Newark, NJ asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for New Jersey

Q: Can bodyshop change terms of payment after work has begun then threaten to not release the vehicle into my possession?

May 20th 2021 I recieved, signed and sent back an authorization to repair form that the bodyshop had sent me. This document listed acceptable payment methods one of which was any "major credit card". Relationahip between bodyshop and I has gone down hill since then and around June 3rd 2021 the bodyshop started demanding I pay for repairs in cash only or they will not release my vehicle into my possession. Can they hold my car and charge me storage fees especially since I have a document they sent me stating they accept credit cards? I'm located in NJ and the bodyshop is located in PA. I dropped the car off at the BMW dealership in NJ and they sent car off for repairs. I've been on the phone with consumer protections, district Court, sheriffs office, as well as the local Police Department and I've had no luck in getting any assistance from them. Thank you for your time I look forward to your response.

Kind Regards,

Mario E.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
Answered
  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: I would file suit in New Jersey against the BMW dealer under the Consumer Fraud Act and obtain jurisdiction over the body shop in the New Jersey case, using the long-arm statute and the entire controversy doctrine. However, this type of case can only be taken on a retainer and hourly basis. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act provides for a successful Plaintiff (you) to be awarded triple damages, plus attorney fees. Do not wait another day, act Monday.

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