The Illinois Appellate Court has rejected a proposed class action suit by vehicle buyers whose installment contracts were purchased by a sales finance agency that was licensed in Wisconsin but not Illinois.
The suit sought to void more than 700 contracts that Mercury Finance Co. of Wisconsin acquired from Illinois dealerships via its Racine, Wis., office.
The borrowers were not harmed or damaged by the company's lack of an Illinois license, the court said. In addition, it said Mercury acted in good faith by voluntarily reassigning the contracts to an Illinois-licensed affiliate after being contacted by the state Department of Financial Institutions.
Mercury's lawyers, Eugene Kelley of Chicago and general counsel Mark Dapier, said that if the court had ruled the other way, the plaintiffs would have been able to keep their vehicles without making any more payments and would have gotten a full refund for past payments.
'They would have gotten the cars for free,' Dapier said.
The borrowers' lawyer, Chris Marder of Waukegan, Ill., has asked the appellate court to reconsider its ruling.