By Christopher C. Carr, Esq. Chester County bankruptcy attorney.
Tel: 610-380-7969 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I bought a new car and 3 days later they said they made a mistake on the contract and need me to come back.
3 days after the contract has been signed with me giving them $10,500 as down payment with a 780 credit score. They said they made a mistake by stating the price of $31,129.00 . They said that was supposed to have been including $2,000.00 in rebates. On the contract is states $31,129.00 and then subtracting my down payment plus $2,000.00 in rebates. Do I have to give them more money and resign a new contract. It states on the contract that once both parties have signed it is binding. Hayden, Idaho
A: It sounds like you are facing a variant of what is called a yo yo sale, also called a “Spot Delivery”, which simply refers to the dealer putting a consumer into a car “on the spot”, to get the sale and take the buyer off the market, only to “yo-yo” them back at a later date to extract additional funds. This then is a variety of the old bait and switch. Played to perfection, a dealer can pocket thousands of extra dollars in unearned fraudulent gain out of a single unsuspecting buyer.
However, because your credit is virtually spotless the dealer cannot employ the usual tactic of stating that your credit was not approved to lure you back in to sign new papers. (Your credit was good or the dealer would not have delivered the car to you at the price you agreed to pay.) That is, I believe that the dealer is doing more than simply trying to cheat you out of a rebate that was extended under a legally binding non conditional contract of sale, he is “yo yoing” you back to the dealership to pressure you to rescind the contract and adopt a new one undoubtedly with a much higher rate of interest. The “basis” would be that the contract has to be revised anyway to remove the supposedly erroneous rebate calculation. This is of course illegal since you already have a binding contract but most buyers don’t know it, assume the dealer is right and go along with everything.
You do not need to stand for any of this because you already have you have signed papers and own the car, subject to making payments only, regardless of whether the vehicle has been financed or the dealer misstated the purchase price. A finance document showing payments, rebates, deposit, interest rate and other financial items is a binding contract, giving you specific legal rights under the laws of your state. The dealer cannot change any of this legally once you have taken possession.
Yoyo sales are a national problem, involving dealer fraud. The usual fraud is making the consumer think the sale was complete, while at the same time the dealer sets it up so that the dealer can call it off, seize the car, and sell it to another purchaser or insist on dealer enhanced terms in a revised contract. A few states already prohibit conditional auto transactions outright, Idaho not being one of them as far as I can see, but even in the ones that have not taken that step, state contract law still protects the vigilant buyer. In your case you were never told that the rebate was conditional, subject to being rescinded or the contract rewritten to change the price. That is, you signed purchase documents and, I assume a registration application; obtained insurance; had a new license plate put on the car and/or had your old plate transferred, so the car belongs to you and the dealer is stuck with the deal they initially made. (The dealer may try the legal argument that the contract was formed based on a mutual mistake but I do not think that will work for reasons that are beyond the scope of this answer.)
Now you state that you have been called back to the dealership to sign certain papers; best not to go at all or if you do, do so in a car other than the one you bought, bring a friend with you if possible and be prepared to resist a browbeating. If the finance manager asks for your papers at any time for any reason, refuse! Keep these documents in a safe place, not in the car. If you leave the papers they will also get them if they get the car. That leads me to my final point. You likely will need to retain a local lawyer with a good understanding of the laws of Idaho pertaining to auto sales to assist you. I say this because your best strategy is to have counsel at the ready to take steps to enforce your legal rights against threats of repossession of the automobile or other dubious tactics to try and get the car back if you do not appear. Best of luck to you and enjoy your new car.
Law Offices of Christopher C. Carr, MBA, P.C., is a quality bankruptcy and debt relief practice, located in Valley Township, west of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, where Attorney Christopher Carr, a Chester County bankruptcy attorney, who has over 30 years if diversified ;egal experience, concentrates on serving the residents of and businesses located within Western Chester County and Eastern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, including the communities in and around Atglen, Bird in Hand, Caln, Christiana, Coatesville, Downingtown, Eagle, Exton, Fallowfield Gap, Honeybrook, Lancaster, Lincoln University, Modena, New Holland, Parkesburg, Paradise, Ronks, Sadsbury, Thorndale, Valley Township, Wagontown & West Chester, Pennsylvania. If you reside or do business in the area and need assistance with a legal issue, please call Mr. Carr at (610)380-7969 or write him at email@example.com today!