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Promissory Note issue...

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#1 PhilStearnsJr


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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:29 PM

My wife and I live in Charlotte NC. My wife's aunt and uncle live in Montclair NJ. She was visiting them 08/2011 and was offered a car from her uncle. The car actually belongs to her grandfather, but the uncle is the POA. A promissory note was made that we would pay 5.5k in monthly installments of 458.00/month for 12 months, beginning Aug. 2011, ending Aug. 2012. In May, my wife was involved in a serious car accident that ending up totalling the car. The accident was not her fault so the insurance company, *****, was handling a property settlement to give to us. At this point, we had paid a total of 1.5k on the car (my wife lost both her jobs 3 months after purchasing the car, so we were not able to pay on the car). So, that would leave a balance owed to the uncle 4k. The property settlement **** offered was 6.6k. We assumed that **** would send 4k to the uncle to pay off that debt, and would send us the remaining 2.6k to end our promissory bargain. However, a letter of guarantee was sent to *** by my wife's family members in NJ stating that we still owed on the car 6.6k.... when we talked to them about this new amount over what we promised to pay they said it was because of interest and late fees (which was not specified in the promissory note at all, just that we owed a principle amount of 5.5k only, no interest, no late fees specified). So now, **** will not send either of us the property settlement until the uncle and my wife and I come to agreement over the 6.6k property settlement. My question is, is our promissory note legal and binding, since it was made the in the state of NJ? Do they have a legal right to add interest and late fees even if it was not specified at the time of signing the agreement? And also, do we have a case against them of some sort since they provided ***** a fradulent amount of money that we still owed them? I do have both the promissory note and Letter of Guarante that I can provide for proof that we agreed to pay 5.5k, nothing above or beyond that... they have even agreed to us in an initial settlement offer that we have paid 1.5k and still owed 4k for the car, so therefore is not the Letter of Guarante fradulent? And therefore subject to a criminal offense of insurance fraud?

Edited by FindLaw_AHK, 14 September 2012 - 12:07 PM.
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator

#2 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:09 PM

Hard to determine without having read the details of the promissory note. I suggest you consult with a local Contracts Lawyer to advise further on this note and what options you have.

#3 adjusterjack


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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:03 PM

Without reading your promissory note all I can do is guess that it would be legal and binding no matter where it was written.

As for adding interest and late fees, theoretically no, since it was not specified in the contract.

However, when your wife defaulted on the loan, they could have sued and won a judgment that did include post judgment interest and court costs.

No, you don't have a case for fraud because it's not fraud. They are alleging an amount owed because they believe you owe. That's how any kind of litigation begins.

Their offer of a settlement is not an admission of anything. Settlement negotiations are not admissable in court and settlements are binding on both parties.

Keep in mind that your wife defaulted on the loan so she isn't exactly blameless here.

My advice: negotiate something. You might be entitled to some money back but not a lot. What you paid in could just cover the use of the vehicle for the time you had it.

Stay out of court if you can. Suing will cost you time, money, and aggravation and all of that is not compensable.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

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