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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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I was In the process of buying a 2012 , 650 BMW. We ran the

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I was In the process of buying a 2012 , 650 BMW. We ran the credit and it came back that i needed 15000$ down to secure the. I told the dealership that i only had $12000 available. At this point they agreed to "Float" the other 3000$ and i could pay them directly overtime. At this point put down 1000$ to hold the vehicle until the following monday where i would come in with the other $11,000 and take delivery of the vehicle. Monday morning i was emailed by the dealer apologizing saying that the bank would require the full 15000$ up front to take delivery of the car. I argued that this is not what we agreed to, i have set aside 11000$ today not 14,000$ . They said there was nothing they can do about it, So i cancelled the purchase entirely.

Now they dont want to give me my 1000$ deposit back because they said they held the car for a week, but i Argue that they changed the terms of the purchase AFTER I put the deposit down.

I signed a receipt saying non refundable deposit. Statue 501.204 Rule No. 2-19.005
But the receipt also DOESNT have the right car or date on it. It was a generic piece of paper that I assumed they have been using from a previous sale for years because it says August 15 2012 for a Cadillac SRX which is obviously not the date or car i was purchasing.

So my question is, because they changed the terms of our agreement after, and i have emails from the dealer as proof of this, and the receipt i signed doesnt even have the correct date or car information. Do i have a leg to stand on in court?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

If the $1,000 was given to them to hold the car and not sell it to anyone else until the terms of the sale were agreed, that is an entirely separate contract from the purchase and sale agreement. That means that, as long as they held the car and didn't sell it to anyone else during the negotiations, they are unfortunately entitled to keep that $1,000. They fulfilled their obligations under the agreement.

That's the general rule of holding deposits. However, it could be considered unfair and deceptive for them to say "Sure, we'll give you $3,000" to get you to put down a deposit and then change their minds. If you signed anything that doesn't mention the $3,000 agreement, it could be a violation of Fl. Stat., Section 501.976(9) which says that it is unfair and deceptive to "Obtain signatures from a customer on contracts that are not fully completed at the time the customer signs or which do not reflect accurately the negotiations and agreement between the customer and the dealer." If you signed the piece of paper that designated the wrong vehicle, that could also be a violation.

If you would prefer not to go to court, there are a few things you could try first. You may want to consider talking to the owner/manager if you have not already done so. I might also think about sending BMW a letter - I feel like they might be interested to know that dealerships are offering personal loans to people to get them to leave deposits, then keeping the money. On top of that, you can ask the Attorney General to investigate their sales practices. The other option is to have a lawyer send them a certified demand letter, asking them to return the deposit to avoid going to court. You may also be able to recover your attorney's fees from them.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Unfortunately it was a dealership that sells bmw's and other high end cars, not BMW itself. yeah that advised me to "not tell the bank" if they call me which also made me uncomfortable with the purchase.


I plan on taking this to court. In your opinion do you think its something that i could win given i have the emails and faulty receipt?

I think the whole thing is pretty shady. The law prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices strongly favors the consumer. And since the law allows you to recover attorney's fees, you might be able to find a lawyer who doesn't require payment until the case is resolved - all of which can help your chances for recovery.
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