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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 115465
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I leased a new car about 2 months ago and traded in another

Customer Question

I leased a new car about 2 months ago and traded in another car at the same time. The dealer put down the wrong payoff amount on the contract and then 7 weeks later told me i had to either pay them $12K or return the new vehicle. I am returning the car today and they will give me my old car back. Is there anything I can do legally since they have caused me embarrassment, loss of sleep, even increased my blood pressure. They cancelled the contract and made me more than 30 days late now with my previous finance company that will be reported to the credit bureau. They even came to my house to tell me about their error and asked me for money right there. They called me and were not even apologetic, they were in fact threatening. I understand that legally I signed the contract with the wrong payoff amount but I did not know it at the time. The wording looked correct to me. Thank you for your time.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If they made an honest mistake on the contract regarding the payoff, they are entitled to correct that mistake and can make you pay the difference or cancel the sale. If because of their negligence they caused you to have a negative mark on your credit report and the dealer will not correct that so it is removed, then you can sue them for the negligence in their not properly determining the payoff. If you suffered any other actual damages (not just the stress and embarrassment you described) then it is possible you can seek those damages for infliction of emotional distress based on their negligent conduct in so badly miscalculating the payoff amount on your car. These cases are not easy and you have to prove that the conduct would be reasonably calculated to cause the damage you are claiming to a reasonable person in the same situation.
But, yes you could sue them for the damages you incur for them being negligent in handling the payoff amount.