I bought a car from a local dealership on the 14th of February, 2009. I gave them $1200 cash down, and was under the assumption that my payment would be $210 per month. They called me today (March 12, 2009) and said that they couldn't get me financed (they promised financing wouldn't be a problem). They will finance in-house, but only if I pay $100 more per month. The contract says "the dealer has 14 days from the day the buyer takes possession to obtain irrevocable acceptance of funding", and it's been way past that. It then says that until irrevocable funding is obtained, I have no rights to the car. Can they take the car back if it's been over the 14 days? I still want it.
Lemon Law Attorney
Probably not, legally. But as a practical matter, get ready for a fight. You need to talk to an Oregon attorney to find out what your state laws say. It is hard to believe, but true, that car dealers will deliver a new car to you and have no idea of whether or not your loan "really" is approved or not, but they do it because they know that if they can put you in their car, then they take you out of the shopping market and that keeps you from buying somewhere else. Then they worry about setting up the financing later and if they can't get a lender, then they may call you back and say they need you to get your own loan at your own bank yourself, or you have to come back to the lot and sign a new contract for one reason or another (such as, you don't qualify with that lender, they want more money down, etc). In many states, that can be illegal. Look at your sales paperwork for a document that is often called a Spot Delivery Agreement and then check with a local Consumer Law lawyer. A Spot Delivery Agreement is a paper that says what how long the dealer has to set up the loan and what happens if they don't get it done on time. It usually says they have 3 to 30 days (usually on the short side of that total) and that if they can't set up a loan then you have to give them back the car and maybe pay for the mileage you drove on it. Whether or not you get your trade in or down payment back should also be covered. This whole process is called "dehorsing" by the car dealers themselves (you can read a Car Dealer's Slang Dictionary at this web page: http://ohiolemonlaw.com/car-dealer-dictionary.html) and doing it can be a violation of most state Unfair & Deceptive Acts and Practices laws, if you were buying the vehicle for non-business (personal) use. If your amount being financed is less than $25,000 (look at your finance contract's "federal box" where key finance numbers are stated) then it's very likely to also be a violation of the federal Truth In Lending Act too. Some states (like Ohio) also have a law that specifically applies to car dealers doing this sort of thing. If you don't have any spot delivery document in your deal and there is nothing on the finance contract that says it is contingent on financing approval and it says on it that the dealer (by its name) is the "creditor", then your deal may be a final contract and if the dealer can't get a lender to finance the sale for you then legally the dealer is probably stuck having to take your loan payments, but of course they won't tell you that and they, in fact, will probably say they don't have to at all. You need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case (it's called "autofraud" or car sales fraud). Call your local attorney's Bar Association or you can go to this web site page (http://ohiolemonlaw.com/locate-a-local-attorney.html) for a national list of consumer lawyers and find one near you. Also, for every legal right you have, you only have a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or you automatically lose (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to an attorney and finding out what your rights are. The key to the whole thing may be whether or not your finance contract has the car dealer's name listed on it as the "creditor" or "lender" in the financing. If it does, then the dealer may be stuck with having to take your payments. Get to a local lawyer and find out. If this answer was helpful, please check the box below.
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