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Can the car lot reposes my car? I thought the Lean holder was the only one that could do that.

Bakersfield, CA |
Filed under: Used cars

I bought a car for 9k from used car dealer. The dealer wanted 3k down for one of his loan companies to finance me. He agreed to take 1300 that day and give me 30days to come up with the remaining 1200. He said, "Don't tell the Loan Co. that I gave you more time to give me the down payment. They don't like that." Anyway. I signed the paperwork, my Lean Holder is an independent loan co. not affiliated with the car lot. Shortly after buying the car I lost my 2nd job so it is taking me more time to pay the additional $1200 for the initial down payment. I have made all my payments to the Loan Co. (lean holder) on time tho. I have income but it is much less than before & will probably take me 6 more weeks to pay the remaining 1200 off for the downpayment. Can the USED CAR LOT take back the car?

Attorney Answers 2


In this scenario, assuming all facts to be accurate, NO, the car lot cannot repossess your car, LEGALLY. He also cannot kill you legally. So, essentially, that does not mean he will not do it. Has he threatened to do so? In writing? I have a suspicion that he did not list the other part of the down payment in the contract and that could be bad for him and the lender too and good for you if this happened. Feel free to get in touch with my office this week and we can give you direction.

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As long as you make your loan payments to the loan company on time, they can not repo the car. Your agreement with the dealer is another matter. If nothing was put in writing about you paying them later, then they can not legally repo the car. If they put something in writing, then you have to read that and see what it says. Also, to legally repo a car in most states, they have to have a lien recorded on the title. They probably don't but the way to tell is to look at your title record. No lien, no repo. On the other hand, as Scott so wisely points out, what they legally can do may have nothing to do with what they really do anyway. Your best bet is to talk to Scott Kaufman or another consumer lawyer near you and let them look at your paperwork so you can be sure you do the right thing to keep from losing the car. You can find Scott's contact info and that of other consumer lawyers in California at (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote UP” review below. And please be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Thanks for asking and Good Luck. Ron Burdge,

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This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your state may differ and your best answer will always come from a local attorney that you meet with privately. For a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers, click on this link ( and find one near you

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