We initially bought a car from a used car dealer. We paid $500 down plus document fees and our old Buick as a trade in. We took the car home after signing contracts, pending approval of financing. There is a clause in the contract called "Spot Delivery". In Washington State it is called "Bushing" Researching this term familiarized us with this popular scam. So when after several weeks passed the dealer calls demanding we return the car because financing had not been secured immediately recognized what was really going on and were prepared.
Well, as Forrest Gump liked saying, "Stupid is as stupid does!" Yes, they had found another financing resource but we would have to make a much larger down payment yada yada yada. We declined until they offered a contract that actually did appeal to us so we gave the dealer another $500 and we accepted a contract with the new finance company. Three months later a tow truck pulls up and hooks up our car! Long story short, the finance company sold our car back to the dealer who paid off in full OUR financial contract..The dealer repo'd the car from us and now has it for sale at one of his lots. (RCW 46.70.180)
You have three options with state agencies. One of the options gives you a private cause of action you can pursue with a private attorney as well.
1. The Washington State Office of the Attorney General tracks and prosecutes scams and probably wants to hear from you on this. When you file a complaint, their attorneys investigate and go after those who are defrauding customers. File a complaint here: http://www.atg.wa.gov/file-complaint
A private attorney can also file a complaint on your behalf. Last time I looked, state statutes permit you to recover treble penalties and damages in a private cause of action, so check with an attorney to discuss whether this could be a good option for you.
2. Financial service providers (lenders) are licensed and regulated by the Department of Financial Institutions. This agency gives you an option to file a consumer complaint when a lender is engaging in fraud. Go to this page (http://www.atg.wa.gov/file-complaint) and click on the "Consumer Loan Company" button to file a complaint online. DFI will investigate and can impose penalties or revoke the loan company's business license.
3. Vehicle dealerships are licensed by the Department of Licensing. DOL has a consumer complaint form as well and has the authority to revoke the business license of an vehicle dealership if cause exists. File a complaint with DOL here: http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/vehiclevesseldealer/dlrcomplaint.html
The information contained in this answer is general in nature and provided for informational purposes only. The information should not be construed as legal advice in any way, nor does it establish an attorney client relationship of any kind.
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