In this action plaintiff seeks a determination that the transaction between the defendants and him, as described hereinafter, is usurious. His complaint demands discovery of the real nature of the transaction pursuant to N.J.S.A. 31:1-4, and he seeks to compel the defendant B-W Acceptance Corporation to accept payment of principal only, as provided in that statute.
The matter is presently before me on defendants' motion for summary judgment. At the time of argument plaintiff originally took the position that many questions of fact existed, thus precluding relief by way of summary judgment. When pressed for particulars as to factual issues, he conceded that a plenary hearing could produce no facts other than those set forth in his affidavit and answers to interrogatories. I am satisfied that no dispute as to material facts exists. Accordingly, for the purposes of this motion the statement of facts following, as taken from plaintiff's affidavits and answers to interrogatories, is accepted as true.
During May 1961 plaintiff became interested in the coin-operated dry cleaning business. He contacted defendant
Mytelka & Rose, Inc., which acts as the manufacturer's representative and distributor of machines for this type of operation. He was contacted at his home by Rickstein, a salesman for Mytelka & Rose. The two conferred at some length, and during the discussion Rickstein was acquainted by plaintiff with the details of the operation of the dry cleaning business. Rickstein explained that the machines necessary for the operation, plus related equipment, would cost approximately $18,750, and that this amount could be financed through Mytelka & Rose with defendant B-W Acceptance Corporation at an "interest" rate of 7% per year for four years on the balance of any unpaid purchase price. Plaintiff informed Rickstein that he thought the interest charge was quite high, but he states that he was told that a business loan was contemplated and that 7% "interest" was the standard rate at which a transaction of this nature was customarily financed. There followed several more discussions between plaintiff and Rickstein, following which plaintiff made a down-payment of $1,000 toward the purchase of the equipment necessary to commence operations on June 27, 1961. During the ensuing six months negotiations took place which produced some minor changes in the purchase plan and which decreased the price of the equipment required to $18,500. Following these latter negotiations, plaintiff decided to increase his down-payment on the equipment to $8,750, in order to cut down the high "interest" charges. This left a balance payable on the purchase of $9,750, plus 7% "interest" per year for four years, or $2,730, making a total amount due of $12,480 to be paid by plaintiff in 48 monthly installments of $260 each.
On April 13, 1962 plaintiff and defendant Mytelka & Rose entered into a conditional sales contract, and he simultaneously executed a note payable to the order of Mytelka & Rose, Inc., at B-W Acceptance Corporation, in the principal amount of $12,480 to be paid in 48 equal successive monthly installments of $260. The conditional sales contract contained the following legend:
"Cash Selling Price $18,500
Down B. Trade-in $Payment C. Allowances $Unpaid Balance 9,750
Balance to be financed 9,750
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