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Buyer's Acknowledgment of Delivery of Copy of Retail Installment Contract Complied with Texas Law


 A car buyer signed a retail installment contract in connection with her purchase of a car from a dealership. 

February 2021
Eric L. Johnson*

 A car buyer signed a retail installment contract in connection with her purchase of a car from a dealership. After the dealership repossessed the car, the buyer sued to recover the amounts she had paid, claiming that the dealership wrongfully repossessed the car. The dealership moved for summary judgment, arguing that the buyer defaulted on her payments and failed to maintain insurance on the car. The buyer filed her summary judgment motion after the deadline and did not respond to the dealership's summary judgment motion. The trial court struck the buyer's summary judgment motion as untimely. The trial court granted the dealership's summary judgment motion, noting that the buyer failed to oppose the motion and that the assertions in her summary judgment motion were not supported by affidavits. The Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed. The buyer argued on appeal that the RIC she signed was predatory, one-sided, unconscionable, and unlawful. In particular, she claimed that her signature acknowledging delivery of a copy of the contract violated Tex. Fin. Code Ann. § 348.112(a)(2), which requires that the acknowledgment appear "directly above the buyer's signature," because there was a four-inch space between the acknowledgment and her signature. The appellate court rejected her argument, finding that the acknowledgment was set forth in all capital bold letters on the first page of the contract, that her signature appears directly below this acknowledgment, and that "several of the letters in [her] signature actually overlap the acknowledgment." Therefore, the appellate court concluded that the placement of the acknowledgement and signature did not violate Texas law. See Ford v. Silverado Auto Sales, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 10481 (Tex. App. December 31, 2020).

*Eric (ejohnson@hudco.com) is a Partner in the law firm of Hudson Cook, LLP, Editor in Chief of CounselorLibrary.com's Spot Delivery®, a monthly legal newsletter for auto dealers and a contributing author to the F&I Legal Desk Book.  For information, visit www.counselorlibrary.com.
 

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