Fraud Act | Consumer Protection





It’s well known that

NJ is a consumer law friendly state


When you are a consumer of goods and services, the law is a good thing.  The law can be a powerful weapon for good if you have the unfortunate experience of working with a dirt bag contractor or low class and deceptive merchant.


As a legitimate business man or business woman that provides goods and services in a responsible and ethical manner, it’s a dangerous trap you may innocently get caught in. 


Some background in NJ consumer law can give you the information needed to protect your rights as a business man and business woman in NJ and as a consumer of products and services.



General Introduction to the NJ Consumer Fraud Act


The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act ("CFA”) is a series of laws written to provide wide-ranging protection to consumers in the context of day to day commerce and business dealings.  It is intended to protect consumers in this state from deceptive commercial and business practices.  Because the law allows treble damages (treble damages are three times the dollar amount of financial harm to the consumer) and counsel fees to a successful consumer, it is important that consumers, business men and business women in NJ understand the impact of this law.


Do You Have A

New Jersey Fraud Issue?

 

Involved with a Consumer

Fraud Claim?


Let the experienced lawyers at Hanlon Niemann help you. Please contact Fredrick P. Niemann toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  You'll find him easy to talk to and very approachable. 

Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq.
NJ Fraud Law Attorney


What the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Prohibits


The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) reads:


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 whether or not any person has in fact been misled, deceived or damaged ... 


A deceptive practice or the failure to disclose material facts surrounding a consumer transaction falls under the term: "any unconscionable practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, or misrepresentation.”  You often times can lose if it is shown by the consumer that you engaged in any one of the forbidden six affirmative acts described above. 


A vendor can also be subject to liability under the CFA if he or she intentionally conceals, suppresses or omits a material fact "in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise or real estate.”  The key word here is "intent”.  By its own terms, the CFA requires that liability be based upon an omission, concealment or suppression of a known fact(s).


Under the CFA, as a consumer you are not required to prove that you relied on alleged misrepresentations or sharp dealings or other wrongful business practices.  The law is complicated in its scope and application.  You should consult with a NJ consumer fraud attorney to discuss your situation.  You can contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com to arrange for a low cost consultation.  You’ll find him and other attorneys in his office to be very approachable and easy to talk to.



Unconscionable Commercial Practices in NJ Are Prohibited Under the NJ Consumer Fraud Act


Under the NJ Consumer Fraud Act, the law requires that someone be engaged in an "unconscionable commercial practice.” What is an unconscionable commercial practice?  The answer is not precise because the NJ courts have repeatedly articulated a concept known as "broad business ethics” to describe rather than precisely define the term unconscionable commercial practice.  As a result, what constitutes an "unconscionable commercial practice” is analyzed on a case by case basis.  It is often times defined by the particular facts and background of the case and the individual parties to the lawsuit.


The law is primarily intended to protect consumers from "sharp” practices and unethical dealings in the marketing and sale of merchandise and real estate.


Do you have a question(s)?  If so, contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com to schedule a consultation about your particular NJ consumer fraud matter.  He welcomes your calls and inquiries and you’ll find him very approachable and easy to talk to.



Damages Available to Consumers in NJ Under the Consumer Fraud Laws


Under the CFA, you don’t have to prove actual reliance upon the misrepresentations of facts or the omissions of facts in the vendors in their relationship with you. 


If successful, you may recover triple damages (yes, triple damages), attorneys’ fees and costs of suit. The reason for these potentially large damage awards is to enable consumers with bona fide claims to find a NJ consumer fraud lawyer to represent them and encourage legal counsel in NJ to take these cases.  However, to recover treble damages, a consumer must prove that he or she suffered an actual economic loss; meaning they were hurt in their pocketbook.



WHAT CONSUMERS ARE COVERED BY THE CONSUMER FRAUD ACT IN NJ


You may be surprised that a business in NJ can be a "person” entitled to protection under the NJ Consumer Fraud Act.


Yes, a NJ business can be a consumer under the NJ Consumer Fraud Act.


The CFA not only provides protection to consumers (ie., "individual, family, or household” transactions), it has been held by the NJ courts to include a business (a for profit business, corporation, LLC, etc.) that is injured by the prohibited conduct under the Act.



WHAT DOES THE TERM "MERCHANDISE” MEAN UNDER

THE NJ CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?


Recall that the term "merchandise” is expressly recited in the body of the NJ Consumer Fraud Law.  Suffice it to say that under this state’s highly protective consumer laws, the courts in NJ have expanded the term "merchandise” to a variety of situations.  Just about everything that is commercially or individually sold falls under the definition of "merchandise”.


Do you have a question(s)?  If so, contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com to schedule a consultation about your particular NJ consumer fraud matter.  He welcomes your calls and inquiries and you’ll find him very approachable and easy to talk to.



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