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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
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Hello Yesterday, (4-4-13) my wife and I went out looking at

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Yesterday, (4-4-13) my wife and I went out looking at cars here in Austin TX. We found one that we were interested in and the salesman asked if we would like to test drive it. We said yes and he returned shortly saying that because the car (a recent trade in) had had not yet received a safety inspection, he would have to go with us. When we returned from the test drive he asked if we were ready to do the “paperwork”. I told him that I was not comfortable signing anything since the car had not yet gone through the safety inspection. He was anxious to sell the car and told me that he understood my concerns but that he could not take the vehicle off the sales floor until the paperwork was completed. He said that he would not “hold me to anything” without the inspection being completed by the dealership. It was near closing time on Saturday and he said the inspection would be done Monday morning. I signed the papers (contract) which called for $2000 down, the balance to be financed. They tried several times to talk me into letting them arrange financing, but I told them no, that I was happy with arranging my own through my credit union. They asked for the down payment but I told them that I had not actually planned to buy that day and did not have my check book with me. They told me I could bring it in on Monday morning. (tomorrow, 4-6-13) We left without taking delivery of the vehicle and went home in our old car. Over the weekend our circumstances changed, a large commission that I was expecting fell through. So I decided that I cannot afford the car and plan to cancel the deal. Searching around the internet I have seen opinions that suggest that I may legally cancel because………

1-No funds were exchanged
2-Legally,the car is not supposed to have been sold before the safety inspection by the dealership
3-I never took delivery of the car which is still at the dealership

Is that correct? Can I cancel the contract?

Thank you

Hi, and Welcome to JustAnswer, My name isXXXXX am a licensed, practicing Attorney and my goal is to provide you with Excellent Service,



In order to have a legally enforcible contract, the Law of Contracts states, among other things, that there must be an offer and acceptance and it must be supported by consideration. If those requirements are met, then the parties have a valid, enforcible contract.


In your situation, here is what I see -


The dealer was offering the car for sale

You accepted the offer by signing the Agreement of Sale


The Consideration -


The dealer promised to have a safety inspection performed on the car on Monday

You promised to pay $2,000 down and obtain your own financing.


A promise in exchange for a promise is valid consideration and enough to support a contract. Therefore, there is a legally enforcible contract between you and the dealer. However, not only would it be poor public relations for the dealer to try and enforce the contract, but it would cost the dealer more in legal fees in trying to enforce the contract by filing a lawsuit against you for Specific Performance.


You could probably successfully get out of the contract by speaking to the dealer, telling him that you did not get the funds which would have allowed you to buy the car, and that you were unable to get the necessary financing. If the dealer again extends the offer to get you financing, tell him that you are not prepared to pay an exorbitant amount of interests that is usually offered with dealer financing. Lastly, although the points you raised are not legally valid to relieve you of the obligation to perform your responsibilities under the contract, you could still try to argue these points with the dealer.


I wish I could give you the Answer you were hoping for, and it would have given me great pleasure to do so, but I have an ethical obligation to give you only correct Answers, so I am respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you not hold the law applicable to your situation against me.

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent Service",


Bonus and Positive Feedback are greatly appreciated,


Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,





Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Andrea:

I am reading something right now on a forum that says the following....

"Having worked for many years as the director of the finance dept. in an auto dealership, I can tell you with certainty that signing must accompany "delivery". That is, if you both drove off the lot-or- signed And had it delivered to your home, then you own it. If all you did was sign but never took delivery, then the dealer cannot legally force you to take the contract or vehicle."


This statement and the term "legally" imply something in the law that may protect me in this case. I am looking for "that" point of law and hoping you can explain it to me.



A director of financing arranges financing. With all due respect to him, he is not qualified to render any opinion relating to the law of contracts. If his argument were legally valid, then any prospective buyer who signed a contract for a car, but who had to wait for delivery could walk away from the contract and this is hardly the case. Dealers would have an overwhelming number of cars on their lots which prospective buyers ordered, but who did not accept delivery. I would respectfully XXXXX XXXXX to ask this director of financing what he considers are the legally necessary elements to form a legally binding contract and what type of consideration will be legally sufficient to have a legally binding contract. Under the Law of Contracts, a "promise by one party for a promise of the other party is valid consideration .


"Cannot legally force you.........." means that the dealer cannot make you take delivery, but the dealer can sue you for "Specific Performance of the Contract" and the Court would rule that you either take delivery of the car, or pay the dealer his lost profits on the car,



Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent Service",


Bonus and Positive Feedback are greatly appreciated,


Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,



Andrea, Esq. and 5 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you

You are most welcome, Matthew,




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