Molly English-Bowers Feb. 12, 2016, 1:15pm


BENTON – A customer is suing a Wabash County car dealership, alleging illegalities surrounding his attempt to finance the purchase of an automobile.

David Caldwell filed a lawsuit Feb. 9 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against J. Wilderman Autoplex Corporation of Wabash County, alleging violations of the Truth in Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

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According to the complaint, on Sept. 12, Caldwell purchased a 2015 vehicle from Autoplex, and he signed a retail installment contract with the defendant and secured a down payment of $600 cash. The plaintiff then drove his car home.

On Sept. 28, 2015, the lawsuit alleges, Caldwell received phone calls and text messages from an Autoplex employee, informing the plaintiff the financing on the vehicle had fallen through and he needed a cosigner.

When plaintiff could not secure a cosigner, the suit says, Autoplex repossessed his vehicle Oct. 1.

Further, the suit says, the defendant did not return Caldwell's down payment and did not give the plaintiff a written document explaining why it took the actions it did. The latter violates the Equal Opportunity Credit Act, which requires creditors to furnish written notice of an adverse action against a consumer, the suit says.

Caldwell seeks actual damages, punitive damages, aggravation and inconvenience damages, attorney fees, court costs and other relief the court deems appropriate. He also seeks a trial by jury. He is represented by attorney Dwight A. White of the Law Offices of Dwight A. White PC in Chicago.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 16-cv-147

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