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Can a used car lot dealer refuse to take back a vehicle if i am unable to make the payments anymore?

Harvey, IL |

I lost my job because I was sick, I told the car company that I was not able to make the payments and asked them to come and get the car. They told me that they did not want the car but they wanted their money. The car was about 6500 when i brought it and now they say that i owe
12,000 and i told them that i am still not working and have no income but they still refuse to come and get the car. What are my options?

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Attorney answers 3


yES a used car lot dealer CAN refuse to take back a vehicle

It may enforce the contract


Yes, unless you had a contact that requires them to take back the car, which you don't. Options: pay or have your credit ruined for years or go bankrupt.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.


Yes, generally a dealer can refuse to take back a car. The right to repossession of their security (collateral) is a right, not a duty. Moreover, if you owe a lot more than the car is worth, the repossession of the car wouldn't satisfy the debt.

An attorney skilled in representing debtors may be able to help you negotiate a settlement, especially if the debt may force you into bankruptcy.

Though we strive to provide accurate legal information in our answers on AVVO, our answer should not be construed as legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Our firm only forms attorney-client relationships by written agreement signed by both our firm and the client. Please seek an in-person consultation with an attorney immediately as almost all legal matters are time sensitive and failing to meet deadlines can result in adverse consequences.

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