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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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backdating on a new car contract is illegal Does

Customer Question

backdating on a new car contract is illegal? Does it break contract? Or in breach of contract? Spanish speakers not getting a contract in Spanish bit only English is illegal? Is there a 72 hour cooling off period on new car purchases in state of Texas? Can you legally take back a new car to dealership with in 3 days?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

If your contract shows a different date, then that's your evidence that yours is the correct date (i.e., a genuine dispute over the authenticity of the original contract exists).

If the buyer only understands spanish, then he/she couldn't know what he/she was signing, therefore there would be no meeting of the minds concerning the contract, and thus NO CONTRACT. However, the dealer is entitled to the reasonable value of the use of the car for the time that the buyer had it in his/her possession.

That value would be whatever the car would have rented for in new condition. It would not include depreciation, because the contract to purchase was invalid due to the misunderstanding of the buyer.

There's no cooling off period for a new car purchase. Hard to say if $285 is a fair rental, but probably not if less than three days has passed. Mileage could be a factor in that calculation. BotXXXXX XXXXXne is that the dealer will have to sue you to collect if you drop the car off and say that's it we're done. Your risk for not paying is that the dealer actually does sue and wins.

Not nearly enough facts to determine the prospects of any lawsuit.

socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37700
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to socrateaser's Post: well the car was bought 6/28 the contract I have states 6/11 and 6/23. The dealership says their copy says 6/28. They did not provide a Spanish version of contract for my Spanish speaking only co signer and Spanish was spoken durning sale. They did not provide copies of contract. I asked why contract was dated wrong and told not to worry about it.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

If you're a cosigner, then it doesn't matter that your friend doesn't understand English, because you are on the hook for the entire contract, whether or not your friend can get out.

Which, of course, is why the dealer wanted you to cosign. You need a copy of the original contract. Don't let them stonewall you. The issue is simply what is the fair market value for your use of the car. You can try to negotiate, but if the dealer refuses, then ultimately you will need to decide if you will just drop the car off and wait to see if the dealer sues you. Also, you will have to transfer title back to the dealer.

You could offer the dealer a check displaying the words "payment in full" for some amount other than $285.00, and if the dealer cashes it, then you would be off the hook (KEEP THE CANCELLED CHECK AS EVIDENCE IF THIS OCCURS). But, you'll still have the title transfer issue to deal with, and you may need to read the Department of Motor Vehicles rules in your state to figure out how to do that.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
so either way the contract is not a bondck
contract because of wrong dates or their backdating of contract?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

An incorrect date or other clerical error is not by itself grounds for cancellation of the contract.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
So two different contracts are? I have 2 different dates on my paper work, none of which arethe actual date I bought truck. Their records are different contract then mine, i couldn't get car with out co signer who is a Spanish only speaker who can not read an English legal bind contract and not provided with a Spanish version. My understanding of Texas law is that he is entitled to one to u deratand what he is cosigning for. Backdating is a violation of the truth in lending act- the dealership clearly has backdated the contract and changed another contract with out me knowing or giving me my 10 day notice to refuse. Are they in breach of contract under Texas law?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

If you believe that the dealer has engaged in a deceptive trade practice under Texas law, then you should contact the State Attorney General's office and file a complaint. See

If you think that the Truth In Lending Act has been violated, filing a complaint with the Federal Reserve Board could be an option. See

But, here's the point: the dealer is not going to just say, "Okay, you win!" if you show up with a statute or case law that says you are entitled to a complete refund. No one at the dealership will understand the law well enough to acknowledge your being right or wrong.

So, it really doesn't matter whether or not I think you have a good case. Ultimately you will have to involve the government, sue in civil court, or return the car and wait for the dealership to act (a bad idea, in my opinion, unless you first contact a local attorney and have him/her review all of your documents to see whether or not you may have missed something).

There's a limit to the amount of analysis that can be conducted in this forum.


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