We frequently receive inquiries from overseas about troubles with car trading companies located in Japan.
The troubles are such as,
I bought a vehicle from a Japanese company and paid the money, but the company did not ship the vehicle at all.
I bought and received a car from a Japanese company, but the car was broken and did not meet the requirements.
I bought and received a car from a Japanese company, but there was no certificate attached even the company promised to provide a certificate.
There are several ways to settle these problems, such as getting the refund, or ask the company to send another vehicle which meets the requirements.
The attorney will generally handle these cases as follows.
1. Review the evidences and see if the client should move forward.
2. Send a content certified mail to the company in Japan.
3. If the company doesn’t cooperate or doesn’t reply, then the attorney will file a lawsuit.
4. If the company doesn’t pay even after getting the court’s order, the attorney will collect the money from the company through the court enforcement procedure (See this page)
The attorney fee will be charged for each step. For research (step 1), attorney fee is 60,000 yen or more depending on the quantity of work.
For sending a mail (step 2), the attorney fee is 80,000 yen plus tax.
The attorney fee for filing a lawsuit (step 3) is generally calculated from the amount to claim (hourly charge is also available for some cases). However, the legal fee will be usually more than 600,000 yen if you are overseas and cannot come to our office.
It may also cost about 300,000 yen plus tax for doing the above written step 4 (even the procedure may end up in vain).
In Japan, you cannot make the other party to pay these legal expenses, and we request our clients to pay the initial fee in advance.
Even if you file a lawsuit and get the court’s order for payment, it doesn’t directly mean you can collect the money. If the company has no asset, or if they run away, it is not possible to be paid from them anyway. So, usually, if the amount of damage is under 3,000,000 yen (30,000 USD), it may not be cost effective to use the attorney’s service for collecting money from overseas.
It is strongly recommended to trade with trustable companies when you start the international trading. Also, make sure to get a copy of the company registration of the other party before starting the trades. In some fraud cases, we cannot even locate the actual “trading company”.