The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Protects Consumers against Fraudulent Practices of Big Businesses

By Fredrick P. Niemann, a NJ Consumer Fraud Attorney

Unfortunately, consumer fraud has become popular throughout New Jersey. Fraudulent actions range from small purchases involving merchandise to extremely large transactions involving real estate. Many consumers are often intimidated by big businesses. They believe that big businesses always have the leverage because they have more resources and more money. This may leave many consumers feeling as though they can’t do anything when they’ve been defrauded in a transaction. Fortunately for these victims of fraud, New Jersey has what is called the Consumer Fraud Act, which protects all citizens from the various types of fraudulent actions that take place in the marketplace.

The Consumer Fraud Act is one of the more complex laws in the state of New Jersey. To ensure the act covers almost every type of fraud imaginable, the New Jersey legislature has elected to create a lengthy law. Despite its complexity, however, the constant theme of the law is to protect individuals from fraudulent actions, whether the fraud is committed by big businesses, small businesses, or consumers themselves. One of the more significant lines in the Consumer Fraud Act states,

“The act, use or employment by any person of any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or the knowing, concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise or real estate, or with the subsequent performance of such person as aforesaid, whether or not any person has in fact been misled, deceived or damaged thereby, is declared to be an unlawful practice.”

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act was recently cited in a New Jersey Court case involving an airplane repair business. After a dispute arose as to the amount owed over the repair services to defendant’s airplane, the plaintiff, the repair business, sued to recover the amounts they claimed the defendant, the plane owner, owed. The defendant claimed that the repair business was attempting to defraud him and counter-sued the business. The defendant said that the plaintiff was attempting to defraud him by never giving him a written estimate, verbally quoting the repair at $15,000 and then claiming he owed the business $35,000 after the work was complete. The plaintiff attempted to have the defendant’s counterclaim dismissed, but the Court denied this request. The Court stated the plane owner had a right to counter-sue under the Consumer Fraud Act and that the act was applicable to the facts of the case. This does not mean the plaintiff was guilty of fraud, but that the defendant had a right under the Consumer Fraud Act to allege fraud was committed based on the facts.

As a consumer in New Jersey, you have a right to protection against fraudulent actions under the Consumer Fraud Act. Although the act is complex, it offers significant protections to a wide variety of transactions. An experienced NJ Fraud attorney can explain it to you in further detail. Please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a knowledgeable NJ Consumer Fraud Attorney today toll free at 888-800-7442 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com/. He would be happy to assist you in your consumer fraud matter or answer any further questions you have about the Consumer Fraud Act.

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