Protecting Clients Throughout New Jersey From Consumer Fraud
Thousands of New Jersey residents are harmed by consumer fraud each year at the hands of unscrupulous businesses and individuals. Fortunately, consumers in the state are protected by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA). If you have been the target of deceptive or unlawful business practices, it helps to have an experienced consumer law attorney to rely on.
At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we are dedicated to holding businesses accountable for their actions and fighting for the rights of consumers. We are well versed in all aspects of consumer law and have a proven track record of helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.
What is Consumer Fraud?
Under the CFA, consumer fraud is defined as any misrepresentation, false pretense, false promise, deception or other unconscionable business practice involving the sale of goods, services or real estate. The term “sale” is construed broadly to include distribution and rentals, as well as sales offers, regardless of whether or not the transaction is finalized.
Put another way, consumer fraud occurs when someone makes false statements in attempt to deceive consumers, who then accept these statements as fact and ultimately experience personal losses. The Act covers a wide range of transactions including the sale, lease and repair of vehicles, home appliance repairs, home improvements, furniture deliveries, and others.
In short, the CFA is designed to prevent deception or fraud, whether by acts of commission or omission, related to the advertisement, sale and distribution of merchandise. Generally, fraud is committed when there has been misrepresentation, known omission or violation of the law.
In particular, the CFA can be violated in one of three ways:
- Affirmative Misrepresentation or False Promises – Occurs when a consumer is provided with untrue facts, regardless of whether or not the person or entity providing the information knows that it is not true; consumer fraud also includes negligent or unintentional actions.
Acts of Omission or Failure to Disclose – Occurs when important information is withheld from a consumer by a business.
Per Se Violations – Fraudulent conduct that is inherently illegal because it violates a statute or regulation.
In order to have a valid claim, it is necessary to demonstrate that the fraud resulted in an actual personal loss or damages that can be measured. This also includes losses the plaintiff expects to experience as a result of the fraudulent conduct.
Additionally, in order for consumers to be protected under the CFA, the purchase and sale must be conducted in the state. In other words, New Jersey residents that make purchases from businesses in the state are protected. On the other hand, purchases from out-of-state retailers or delivered to out-of-state addresses are not covered under the CFA.
Remedies for Consumer Fraud in New Jersey
When the CFA was originally passed by the state legislature, the attorney general was authorized to bring charges against businesses that violated the act. Since then, the law has been revised to allow attorneys to pursue civil lawsuits against businesses that deceive consumers for personal gain. In cases where multiple parties have been harmed by the same unlawful conduct, it may be possible to bring a class action lawsuit.
Under the Act, consumers whose rights have been violated may be able to obtain significant compensation. Provided that certain conditions are met, victims of consumer fraud can recover triple the amount of original losses, referred to as “treble damages,” as well as reasonable attorney fees and costs. It is important to note that these damages are mandated by the law and are not subject to settlement negotiations.
New Jersey Consumer Fraud Attorneys
At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we believe that unscrupulous business that deceive the public and cause personal losses must be held accountable. We are committed to fighting for the rights of consumers and helping them obtain the compensation they deserve. Our practice is focused on New Jersey Lemon Laws, auto dealer fraud, and other types of consumer fraud.
If you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you may be afraid or even embarrassed, and not know where to turn. Our experienced consumer law attorneys will offer you compassion and knowledge and help you navigate the legal process. By understanding the circumstances of your case, we explain all of your options and take the necessary legal action to obtain meaningful compensation. Because the law allows for the recovery of legal fees, you will not pay any attorney fees unless you case is successful.
Although consumers expect to be treated fairly and there are businesses that provide quality goods and services to the public, consumer fraud continues to be a growing problem in New Jersey. Our legal team is dedicated to turning the tables on fraudsters and helping our clients find justice. Over our many years of practice, we have gained recognition from both our peers and clients for being fierce consumer advocates. Call our office today for a free consultation or complete the contact form on our website.