As you may recall, Rees-Levering provides that, except in cases of bona fide error, a car dealer's misstatement or concealment of the terms of a car sale renders the contract unenforceable and allows the buyer to recover the total amount paid to the seller. Rees-Levering also requires car dealers to disclose in a retail sales installment contract all the terms and conditions of sale, including an itemization of the purchaser's down payment reflecting "[t]he amount of any portion of the down payment to be deferred until not later than the due date of the second regularly scheduled installment under the contract . . . ." and "[t]he remaining amount paid or to be paid by the buyer as a down payment." See Cal. Civ. Code §§ 2981.9, 2982, 2983.
In addition, California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act provides a right of action to any "consumer who suffers any damage as a result of the use or employment by any person of a method, act or practice declared to be unlawful" such as "[r]epresenting that a transaction confers or involves rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, or which are prohibited by law." Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1770, subd. (a), 1780 subd. (a).
Ralph T. Wutscher
McGinnis Wutscher LLP
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