Skip to main content

Is it legal for a financing company to give you a loan on a car for more than the car is worth?

Columbus, OH |

A year ago we purchased a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan. Our amount financed is about $21k. We have tried to trade it in or sell it as the payments are crazy. Every dealerdhip we have gone to offers a trade amount of $10k-12k. How on earth does a car lose this much of its value in 1 year? We believe we were taken advantage of as we were coming out of a BK after losing our business. These poor credit dealerships & finance companies rope desperate families into an even worse situation. The company that financed us has been awful as well. They harrass if you are one day into your grace period. Threatening jail, repo & have called family. We had to contact the BBB to get a cease & desist put on our account. Please tell me there is a way to get rid of the van & finance company!

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Yes, there is a price gouging law in Ohio - it’s part of our Udap law. Many other states have a version of it in one way or another but Ohio has a pretty clear law. It says that no business (including car dealers) can sell something to a consumer for substantially more than what the same thing normally sells for somewhere else. Credit repair car dealers and buy here-pay here lots, and their finance companies, often gouge their customers on both the car price and the finance cost - because they know they can get away with it when the buyer has little choice where to shop because of their financial troubles or history. The way to tell for sure in your case is to find out what your kind of car was selling for at other dealers or in private sales, at the time you bought it. Look at old newspapers. Look at current prices too, because if it is selling now for thousands less than you paid just a year or less ago, then you may have been ripped off. And what can you do about it? Ohio’s price gouging law says that you can recover up to 3 times the amount you were overcharged and, in some cases, you may even be able to cancel the deal if you act quickly enough and if there has been no significant change in the condition of the vehicle since you got it. Of course, no car dealer who gouges you on the price is going to admit it or tell you they violated the law. And frankly Ohio’s price gouging law is so seldom heard of (and it is counter to what most people think) so many lawyers and judges don’t even know about it. You need to talk to a local Car Sales Fraud Lawyer near you. Handling cases like this against car dealers in Ohio, it's what we do. And it keeps me busy. For a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers, click on the link below and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, You can also look for one here on Avvo under the Find a Lawyer tab. Or you can call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you. 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,

Did a business treat you unfairly? See what your Udap rights are to protect yourself, click here

For a Free Online 50 State National List of Car Sales Fraud Lawyers, click here

Click here to see what your state law says is unfair and deceptive and what your legal rights are

Read this free online Avvo Legal Guide, What is Fraud?

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


Contact a consumer protection attorney to determine if your contract is enforceable, and if there are violations of the Fair Debt Collection Act or other consumer rights laws that may give you a remedy. Most of these attorneys will give you a free consultation.

Ronald Lee Burdge

Ronald Lee Burdge


Mike is right. Most attorneys look your car sales fraud case over for free and tell you what they think so you know what your rights are.


Coming out of bankruptcy you were probably delighted to get financing of any kind. Did you pay attention when you completed the financial management class? It's designed to teach you to avoid these mistakes going forward. You made a bad deal. Now you will have to live with it. Trade in value is always artificially low. It is a price that will insure a dealer a reasonable profit. You should be looking at the blue book private party value for an accurate reflection of the car's value. Unfortunately the actual creditor is not controlled by the fair debt collection practices act. Ohio in its infinite wisdom of protection of businesses does not have its own FDCPA. if a collection agency does these things they are actionable. You don't explain why you no longer want the vehicle. If the only problem is that you made a high interest bad deal, learn from the experience and shop around next time. I have two excellent new car dealerships that offer very favorable deals to people just out of bankruptcy. Both of the salesmen are former clients who have crafted programs for people just like you.



Though I appreciate your response I feel a bit talked down to. My husband & I are well educated people & have had great success in our lives. We unfortunately lost an extreme amount of money on a home we purchased as an investment. We bought it, the market crashed & after 2 yrs of paying an extra mortgage on a home we went bankrupt. Our business suffered as did our personal finances. We all have different circumstances that lead us to the dreadful desicion to file Bankruptcy. Had we had an attorney that was compastionate & one that knew what he was doing maybe he would have advised us differently. Had I known I would have 20 plus dealerships send me finance offers, deals on cars etc once our BK was discharged I would not have felt desperate to take whatever fell in our laps. The finance company by the way has harassed & gone against the fair debt collection act. This is why they agreed to put a cease & desist on our account. You mentioned I did not explain why we no longer wanted our vehicle...may want to read this again. The payments are too high for us to afford. When we purchased the van my husband had found a good job & our future looked good. He was layed off in July. You see William not everyone that files BK is an idiot with their money. Some of us have circumstances out of our control. I hope you never find yourself in this position. Regards.