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Used-car dealer could be facing class action

Suit says J.D. Byrider falsely promises to refund down payment

A used-car dealership in Glen Burnie faces a potential class action for allegedly failing to make good on its promise to refund the purchaser’s down payment if installment payments are made on time.

Attorney Charles H. Edwards IV filed suit Monday against J.D. Byrider of Glen Burnie, alleging that “hundreds” of consumers put between $750 to $1,000 down on car purchases based on the dealership’s pledge that this money would be returned once their car payments — including interest – were made and on time. But the reimbursements never came, Edwards stated in the complaint he filed in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on behalf of a lone car buyer, Coleen Ashbury of Baltimore.

In the court filing, Edwards said he seeks to add more plaintiffs through judicial certification of a class including “all persons” who bought a used car at J.D. Byrider and made what they were told was a refundable down payment, but who never received the refund despite meeting all payment deadlines.

After filing suit, Edwards called J.D. Byrider’s down-payment refund program a “smokescreen” to entice people with poor credit ratings with the false hope that they would get some of their money back.

“They really capitalize on people with bad credit,” Edwards said. “You can bet your bottom dollar that if [the buyers] didn’t make their payments on time, J.D. Byrider would have been out there for their car.”

Edwards said Asbury put $1,000 down when she bought her used Buick in December 2009 but, despite making all her car payments, was rebuffed when she asked for the return of the $1,000.

“She made all her payments on time and they refuse to give her the money,” added Edwards, of the Law Office of Barry R. Glazer P.C. in Baltimore. “She did it and lo and behold they won’t give her her money.”

Ward Griffith, who owns the franchise, did not return telephone messages seeking comment Monday afternoon.

The lawsuit alleges that J.D. Byrider violated provisions of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act prohibiting deceptive trade practices, that it breached its contracts, was unjustly enriched and committed fraud.

“In violation of the [Consumer Protection Act], J.D. Byrider omitted telling the named plaintiff and the class that payment of the down payments would not be delivered even if the named plaintiff and the class made their deferred down payments and regular payments in full on or before their due dates,” the complaint states.

“J.D. Byrider provided the named plaintiff and the class with the paperwork underlining the Refund Program, which was phony and represented false and misleading written statements,” the complaint adds. “Further, J.D. Byrider’s agents, servants and employees made false and misleading oral statements to the named plaintiff and the class by communicating that if the required payments were made on time, that J.D. Byrider would refund the down payments.”