In Anderson v. Frederick Ford Mercury, Inc., — F.Supp.2d —-, 2010 WL 960423 (D.Del. 2010), Judge Robinson denied a Plaintiff Rucker damages for alleged ‘back-dating’ in a spot delivery situation, and granted summary judgment to the defendant automobile dealer. Judge Robinson explained:
The TILA was enacted in order “to assure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available to him and avoid the uninformed use of credit, and to protect the consumer against inaccurate and unfair credit billing and credit card practices.’ “ Vallies v. Sky Bank, 432 F.3d 493, 495 (3d Cir.2006) (citing Rossman v. Fleet Bank (R.I.) Nat’l Ass’n, 280 F.3d 384, 389 (3d Cir.2002)). See 15 U.S.C. § 1601(a). The TILA requires creditors “to make certain prominent disclosures when extending credit, including the amount financed, all finance charges, and the APR.” Rucker, 238 F.Supp.2d at 716. The term “creditor” under the TILA has been interpreted to include those persons who “arrange for” credit, such as automobile dealers that arrange financing for buyers with finance companies. See, e.g., Whitlock v. Midwest Acceptance Corp., 575 F.2d 652 (8th Cir.1978); Frazee v. Seaview Toyota Pontiac, Inc., 695 F.Supp. 1406 (D.Conn.1988). Defendant does not dispute that it is a “creditor” subject to the provisions of the TILA. ¶ Despite the potential for fraudulent abuse of spot delivery transactions in a “yo-yo” sales scheme, the court starts from the premise that, “absent some independent showing of fraud or misrepresentation, spot delivery transactions are not illegal.” Rucker v. Sheehy Alexandria, Inc., 278 F.Supp.2d 711, 719 (E.D.Va.2002). The court in Rucker described a spot delivery transaction as follows: ¶ In a spot delivery transaction, the buyer takes possession of the vehicle pursuant to financing terms which have been agreed upon by the parties, but not yet accepted by a third party lender. In the event the lender rejects the financing terms, the agreement between the buyer and the seller is null and void. A spot delivery sale is used to allow the buyer to take possession of the car before the financing is approved. ¶ Id. at 713 n. 1. According to the court in Rucker, the documents in that case “made clear that [the transaction] was a spot delivery, because the sale was conditioned upon financing being obtained from a third party lender according to the terms of the RISC within five days from the date of the agreements.” Id. at 713. The issue in Rucker was a narrow one, “whether the disclosures in the second agreement violate[d] the Truth in Lending Act … by calculating the annual percentage rate of interest (APR) on the basis of the date on the backdated agreement rather than the date the transaction was consummated.” Id. ¶ . . . Plaintiff’s claim under the TILA is limited to his assertion that he is entitled to statutory damages under 15 U.S.C. § 1640(a)(4), based on defendant’s alleged failure “to disclose the correct APR and financing charges after [it] backdated the contract[, i.e., RISC # 2].” (D.I. 55 at 25) More specifically, plaintiff claims as statutory damages the difference between the interest payable from April 29, 2008 forward (the date he executed RISC # 2) and the interest payable from April 28, 2008 forward (the date that appears on RISC # 2). ( Id.) Plaintiff does not claim actual damages. Section 1640(a)(4) provides for damages “in the case of a failure to comply with any requirement under section 1639 of this title, [in] an amount equal to the sum of all finance charges and fees paid by the consumer …. “ (emphasis added) Plaintiff cites no authority for the award of statutory damages when the consumer has paid no finance charges associated with the APR. See, e.g., Rucker, 228 F.Supp.2d at 716 (the second agreement “is the surviving agreement by which the parties remain bound and according to which Rucker has continued to make her payments due on the loan.”). The court declines to award statutory damages under the TILA in circumstances where, as here, plaintiff was never obligated to pay any finance charges related to the purchase of the van.