Auto Money Title Loans

Full title: JOSHUA HUNDLEY, Plaintiff, v. AUTOMONEY, INC., Defendant

Court: Court of Appeals of North Carolina

Date published: Jul 19, 2022

Facts

¶ 2 Plaintiff Joshua Hundley is a citizen of Rockingham County, North Carolina. In 2017, Mr. Hundley received a car title loan from AutoMoney. Mr. Hundley first learned about car title loans from a friend. Mr. Hundley specifically learned of AutoMoney’s services through a subsequent internet search. AutoMoney is a car title loan provider based out of  South Carolina. AutoMoney does not maintain any physical locations in North Carolina.  ¶ 3 Following his initial internet search, Mr. Hundley called AutoMoney from North Carolina. During this telephone conversation, the AutoMoney employee asked Mr. Hundley is he was interested in obtaining a car title loan. The AutoMoney employee asked Mr. Hundley some additional questions to determine his eligibility for a car title loan and then informed him during the initial telephone conversation that AutoMoney could loan him at least $1,000.00. The AutoMoney employee then told Mr. Hundley to drive to South Carolina to obtain the car title loan.

¶ 4 On 2 September 2017, Mr. Hundley drove from Rockingham County, North Carolina to Indian Land, South Carolina, where an AutoMoney store is located. In the window of the Indian Land, South Carolina AutoMoney store, there is a sign that reads, “NC Titles Welcomed.” While at the Indian Land, South Carolina store, AutoMoney issued Mr. Hundley a car title loan. The loan was for $1,220.00 at an annual interest rate of 158.000%. AutoMoney then put a lien on Mr. Hundley’s vehicle through the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (“NCDMV”).

¶ 5 Mr. Hundley made payments on the car title loan over the phone from North Carolina. On multiple occasions, AutoMoney called Mr. Hundley in North Carolina for collection purposes. Eventually, Mr. Hundley fell behind on making payments on the car title loan. AutoMoney then took possession of Mr. Hundley’s car from his driveway in North Carolina.

¶ 6 On 20 May 2020, Mr. Hundley filed a Complaint in Rockingham County Superior Court alleging causes of action for violations of the North Carolina Consumer Finance Act, for unfair and deceptive trade practices, usury allegations, and seeking declaratory relief. In response, AutoMoney filed a Motion to Dismiss under North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6) on 30 June 2020. Both parties submitted affidavits and evidence about the Motion to Dismiss. The matter came on for a hearing on 25 January 2021. The trial court entered an Order Denying Motions to Dismiss on 29 January 2021. AutoMoney filed a Notice of Appeal on 22 February 2021.

Issue

Whether jurisdiction is statutorily and constitutionally permissible due to contact with the forum is a question of fact. 

Decision

For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that defendant-appellant AutoMoney is subject to personal jurisdiction in North Carolina, and thus, the trial court did not err in denying AutoMoney’s 12(b)(2) Motion to Dismiss. Additionally, Mr. Hundley’s complaint sufficiently alleges North Carolina statutory claims and the trial court did not err in denying AutoMoney’s 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss.

AFFIRMED.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

six + fifteen =