Anderson Bros. Ford v. Valencia

PETITIONER: Anderson Bros. Ford
RESPONDENT: Valencia
LOCATION: Dames & Moore

DOCKET NO.: 80-84
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 452 US 205 (1981)
ARGUED: Mar 23, 1981
DECIDED: Jun 08, 1981

ADVOCATES:
Alan A. Alop - on behalf of the Respondents
Aaron J. Kramer - on behalf of the Petitioners

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Anderson Bros. Ford v. Valencia

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 23, 1981 in Anderson Bros. Ford v. Valencia

Warren E. Burger:

We will hear arguments first this morning in Anderson Bros. v. Valencia.

Mr. Kramer, you may proceed whenever you are ready.

Aaron J. Kramer:

Thank you, Your Honor.

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

This case is here on certiorari from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and it poses two broad issues.

The first of which is whether the entire credit industry, whose stock in trade is security interests failed to recognize and disclose a security interest required to be disclosed under the Truth-in-Lending Act.

Secondly, this case poses the question of whether even if such a hard to imagine mistake occurred, the ends of justice are served by applying any such decision retroactively to any case other than the one at bar.

Warren E. Burger:

Will these issues all disappear under the new statute that was passed last year?

Aaron J. Kramer:

They will, Your Honor, but not with respect to contracts that were written with respect to the former statute, the present statute, which are now--

Warren E. Burger:

Cases like yours?

Aaron J. Kramer:

--That's right, Your Honor.

Warren E. Burger:

And what is the volume of those contracts, have you any idea?

Aaron J. Kramer:

Well there are... this contract that is before the Court is the paradigm of the industries contract.

It has--

Well are we talking about millions of contracts?

Aaron J. Kramer:

--We are talking about millions of contracts, Your Honor.

This is the industries' form--

Warren E. Burger:

How many cases are pending?

Aaron J. Kramer:

--There are... we have no number as to the precise number of cases which have raised this issue.

There have been, however, 27 decisions of various circuit and district courts on this issue in 15 different cases that have already reached the courts.

Certainly whatever the decision of this Court is on this issue will be the landmark case in this area.

And depending on what this Court holds--

Warren E. Burger:

Well landmark, except for the new statute.

Aaron J. Kramer:

--Except for the new statute, Your Honor.

Warren E. Burger:

Which will remove the problem for the future?

Aaron J. Kramer:

Except for those millions of outstanding contracts which presently exist.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Well, as I understand it, under the statute there's a fixed recovery, is there not, $1000 or something?

Aaron J. Kramer:

Well Your Honor, for certain violations--

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

For this one.

Aaron J. Kramer:

--For this one it is twice the amount... penalty in... twice the amount of the finance charge, up to $1,000 per contract where the Truth-in-Lending Act is violated.