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Jones v. Star Credit Corp.

Melissa A. Hale

ProfessorMelissa A. Hale

CaseCast "What you need to know"

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Jones v. Star Credit Corp.

Citation. 59 Misc. 2d 189, 298 N.Y.S.2d 264, 1969 N.Y. Misc. 1696, 6 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. (Callaghan) 76
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Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiffs, welfare recipients, purchased a home freezer worth $300 for $900 from a door-to-door salesman. After various other charges, the total purchase price was $1,234.80. At the time of the lawsuit, Plaintiffs had paid $619.88 and still owed $819.81 on the freezer.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A purchase price substantially higher than the value of an item can render the sale unconscionable as a matter of law.


Plaintiffs bought a home freezer unit for $900 from a door-to-door salesman representing Your Shop At Home Service, Inc. After the addition of time credit charges, credit life insurance, credit property insurance, and sales tax, the purchase price totaled $1,234.80. At trial, it was established that the freezer had a maximum retail value of $300. Plaintiffs had paid $619.88 at the time of trial but still owed $819.81.


Is the sale of a freezer unit having a retail value of $300 for $900 unconscionable as a matter of law?


Yes. The mathematic disparity between $900 and $300 is the most compelling evidence leading to the conclusion that the contract is unconscionable. Additionally, the credit charges alone exceeded the value of the freezer by more than $100, and the seller knew that the financial resources of the buyers were limited.


The determination of whether a contract is unconscionable should not be reduced solely to a mathematical formula, but on the facts before the court here, paying $900 for a $300 freezer constituted an unconscionable contract.

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