Justia Military Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Consumer Law
Plaintiff was on active duty with the United States Army. He bought a car from Select Cars of Thornburg in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and financed his purchase with a loan from United Auto Credit Corporation. The loan financed not only the car’s cost but also the cost of Guaranteed Asset Protection. Guaranteed Asset Protection is like extra insurance, covering any amount still due on the car loan after auto insurance is paid out if the car is totaled or stolen. Plaintiff’s claims arise from this single loan. This loan, Plaintiff alleged, violated the Military Lending Act because the loan agreement mandated arbitration and failed to disclose certain information. The district court dismissed the case, holding that the loan was not covered by the Act at all.   The Fourth Circuit affirmed. The court explained that a statutory provision must be given the ordinary meaning it had when it was enacted. Relevant dictionaries, carefully considered, sometimes shed light on that ordinary meaning. Yet here, dueling dictionaries provide more than one linguistically permissible meaning.  But by examining the relevant phrase in its statutory context. This context shows that while “the express purpose” can be used in different senses, it is best read in Section 987(i)(6) to mean the specific purpose. This loan was offered for the specific purpose of financing Plaintiff’s car purchase. And that satisfies Section 987(i)(6)’s relevant condition and the Act is inapplicable. View "Jerry Davidson v. United Auto Credit Corporation" on Justia Law