What can you do if you find out a repair shop is a fraud, and you can’t get your vehicle back?

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What can you do if you find out a repair shop is a fraud, and you can’t get your vehicle back?

We found out after turning our car over to a man that his business was a fraud and he had been ripping people off for years. The place he took it when he picked up isn’t a repair shop only a wear house. He says he does work he doesn’t do, then holds your vehicle hostage until you can pay him the completely ridiculous amount that he demands.

Asked on February 5, 2012 under General Practice, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you believe you have sufficiently strong evidence of actual criminal activity--i.e. that, as you say, it's a complete fraud and he doesn't even have a repair shop--you can and should go to the police.

The other alternative (including if the police, for one reason or another, decline to help you) is to sue him for the return of your car and for monetary compensation for the time he has had it. Many states (e.g. NJ) have consummer fraud laws which may let you recover additional money and/or attorney's fees.


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