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Can a dealership keep any of your deposit if no contract is signed?

Duncanville, TX |

the dealership is waiting on a discharge letter from the bankruptcy court but have decided that it is taking too long so they have asked for the car back,legally do I have to return the car or is it mine to keep pending the contract being signed?

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Attorney answers 2


Difficult to answer because I am not sure what contract you are speaking of.

If you are in a Chapter 13, with a vehicle you had actually bought. The vehicle is paid through the plan or directly, depending on the approved plan. In this situation, as long as you have continued to make your payments and no motion for relief of stay has been filed, you can keep your car. If you have indicated that you are surrendering your car in the Chapter 13 plan, the you must return the vehicle once the lender has complied with all procedures.

If you are in a Chapter 7, A dealer can recover a car if no reaffirmation is signed and filed. There is also a time period for your Lawyer(or you) to file your notice of intentions. However if your Chapter 7 is still active, your lender will still have to follow appropriate procedures in order to recover the vehicle.

Now this assumes you purchased the vehicle prior to filing your case.

This response is for general information purpose only and does not create a client/attorney relationship. The answer is not complete and may not be the best course of action for you to take based on the limited information. You are encourage to seek at least a consultation with an attorney to see your options on the matter.


It depends on the agreement. Look at your receipt. More information is needed.

Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D 11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280 Houston, TX 77092 713-LAWYER-2 NOTE: Responses are for the education of the community at large and is not intended to be "legal advice." No attorney-client relationship is established by responses or comments.

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