The Hummer had problems, and GM replaced it with another one.
Margarida said she didn't learn that she was the only one obligated on the loan until after it went into default and the second vehicle was repossessed. Her lawyer, John Stobbs Sr. of Alton, Ill., said his client didn't sign any loan applications and that the defendants failed to produce the originals that the dealership was supposed to retain under GMAC policy.
The suit sought damages and to rescind the transaction under the state consumer fraud and deceptive business practices law and other statutes. GMAC counterclaimed for the $57,835 unpaid loan balance.
A lower-court judge dismissed the suit without trial, and a unanimous Appellate Court of Illinois panel agreed, finding no evidence of violations by either GMAC or the dealership.
"She makes no claim that a specific misrepresentation was made at the time she signed the loan documents," Justice Melissa Chapman wrote for the three-member panel. Nor did she offer facts showing "deception on the part of the dealership or GMAC which in any way kept her from reading the documents. Nor could she because she admits the reason for not reading the documents was her fear of admonishment by her husband, not any actions or inaction on the part of the dealership or GMAC."
Even if Margarida believed that she was only a joint borrower, she would still be obligated on the loan, the court said. And as long as fraud couldn't be detected on the face of the loan documents, GMAC had no legal duty to look for possible misrepresentations.
Ally spokeswoman Sue Mallino said the company is pleased by the decision and "Ally's counterclaims against the borrower for the amount owed on the vehicle remain viable going forward."
Stobbs said Margarida expects to seek Illinois Supreme Court review.