Two women say car dealer, financier were deceptive

By Cara Bailey | Jan 18, 2007

HAMLIN - Two Lincoln County women have filed a suit against a Cabell County dealer and financial organization for fraud and deceptive practices in the sale of a new automobile.

The complaint filed in Lincoln Circuit Court says Hazel M. Elkins of Ranger and Sharon Frye of Harts both went to Tri-State Chrysler Jeep mail after hearing about special offers.

Elkins went to the dealership after receiving a solicitation in the mail, but was not in the market for a new car. Elkins has a monthly income of $764.90 a month and did not want a car payment.

While at the lot Elkins "was persuaded to trade her vehicle for another with the misrepresentation that if she were to trade, after six months her car payment would be reduced to the $200 per month, the only payment she could afford," the suit states.

Elkins provided a down payment of $1,000 to assist with the first six payments. After six months of payments Elkins called Wells Fargo Financial for a reduction in payments and was refused. Elkins also called Tri-State Chrysler Jeep and was declined.

Sharon Frye and her husband went to the dealership after hearing of the offer to reduce payments and rate after six months.

The suit, filed Jan. 8, states Frye was also persuaded to trade her vehicle for another with the same promise give to Elkins. After six months, she was also refused a rate reduction.

The suit maintains that Elkins and Frye suffered loss of money, annoyance and inconvenience, and potential loss of vehicle. The free gift turned out to be one of little value.

The suit claims fraud and unconscionable contract. Elkins and Frye are seeking actual and punitive damages, civil penalties of $4,000 and court costs.

The suit was filed by Daniel Hedges of Mountain State Justice.

Lincoln Circuit Court case number 07-C-3

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