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Pantoja-Cahue v. Ford Motor Credit Co.

Illinois Appellate Court
872 N.E.2d 1039 (2007)


Facts

Mario Pantoja-Cahue (plaintiff) purchased a Ford Explorer from the Webb Ford (Webb) dealership. Pantoja-Cahue spoke only Spanish, and he negotiated the sale with a Spanish-speaking sales associate at Webb. Ford Motor Credit Co. (Ford) (defendant) provided financing for the transaction. Pantoja-Cahue later found that he had leased the Ford Explorer rather than purchasing it. Pantoja-Cahue sued both Webb, the dealership, and Ford, the creditor, for fraud. However, because Pantoja-Cahue had defaulted on his payments, Ford also sued Pantoja-Cahue for replevin. Replevin is a suit to recover personal property wrongfully obtained by another. Ford’s repossession agents broke into Pantoja-Cahue’s garage and repossessed the Explorer. Eventually, Pantoja-Cahue settled his claims against the dealership, Webb. Webb agreed to repurchase the Explorer from Ford and give it back to Pantoja-Cahue. The trial court dismissed Pantoja-Cahue’s claims against the creditor, Ford, without prejudice, which means Pantoja-Cahue could still sue Ford again later. One year later, Pantoja-Cahue sued Ford and the repossession agent who confiscated his Explorer. Pantoja-Cahue alleged, among other things, that the repossession of his car during litigation over its title constituted a violation of §§ 2A-525(3) and 2A-108 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Ford filed a motion to dismiss. The trial court granted Ford’s motion and dismissed the case. Pantoja-Cahue appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Karnezis, J.)

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