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HANOVERTON Couple sues bank, dealer in car sale



Published: Tue, May 1, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Several weeks ago, the vehicle dealer was the subject of a state investigation.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- A Salineville couple is suing a Hanoverton auto dealer and a bank, claiming the businesses acted improperly in connection with a vehicle sale.

Donald and Judy Harding of 20277 McGavern Road, filed the lawsuit recently in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

Named as defendants were Hanoverton Auto Mall of state Route 30, and co-owners, Donald Hoffmeister, 31080 Haessly Road, Hanoverton, and Bryan Marsh, 2731 Bacon Ave., New Waterford. Also named was the Sky Bank branch on South Lincoln Avenue in Salem.

The suit: The Hardings allege that on Jan. 8 they purchased from the Auto Mall a 1997 Oldsmobile Bravada. The deal, which was financed by Sky Bank, included the trade-in of a 1998 Ford pickup.

Harding said he is unable to use the Bravada because there is a lien against the title, even though an Auto Mall sales representative told the Hardings that the business had a clear title to the vehicle.

The Hardings also allege that the Auto Mall has yet to pay off the lien on the Ford pickup they traded for the Bravada.

The lawsuit claims all the defendants acted maliciously in inducing the Hardings to get a loan for a vehicle that the Auto Mall had no right to sell, and requiring a co-signer on the loan without just cause.

Both of the businesses being sued declined comment on the case, which has been assigned to Judge David Tobin.

Complaints: In March, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Lisbon Post said the Auto Mall was being investigated after receiving complaints from consumers who bought vehicles and did not receive titles within 30 days.

Also involved in the probe was the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

An update on the investigation was unavailable.




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