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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 33935
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
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My husband and I purchased a vehicle on 7/22/2015. I traded

Customer Question

My husband and I purchased a vehicle on 7/22/2015. I traded in a 2012 Mazda 3 and we purchased a 2013 Honda Pilot. We signed all the paperwork and gave a 500.00 down payment. While there we discussed if we could transfer the tag off of my Mazda since it was in only 1 of our names and the new one is in both or off a vehicle we had at home that we were also selling. The finance guy said he did not know to just let him know and he would do either one/ We then left. A few days later the bank calls to verify everything and also stated the GAP contract was incorrect. They had charged us too much so it would have to be resigned. I told her that we were 2.5 hrs from dealership it is near Charlotte NC and we are in SC. She said not a problem they could mail to us. She told me to call the dealer and arrange for them to mail. I called and spoke with Paul and he told me no problem to mail and also updated him on the tag info that I wanted them to transfer the tag we had at home on the other vehicle. He had me fax the registration of the one we wanted to transfer.
So.....waited and waited called back several times and was only put through to voicemail and as of today the loan has still not been financed.
I did speak with Jeff and Jessica on 8/21 becuase I still had not heard anything or gotten anything to sign and no sign of new registration. Jeff stated he did not know who dropped the ball but would take care of it. While on the phone I realized he was the same guy that messed up the original paperwork. So I ended up getting very frustrated with him and hung up. I called back and spoke with Jessica and she infomed me they would overnight the paperowrk that I needed to sign and she assured me that she would have a manager contact me. After that I called the original bank back and asked where the deal was on there end and was informed they had sent everything back to the dealership because they were no longer able to hold any longer and the dealer refused to get the corrected paperwork they had asked for.
I called back on 8/28/15 and left messages for Jessica and Sandy.
Today I called back again and left another message for Jessica and finally recieved a return call. She transferred me to Sandy and she told me she was going to send the paperwork out today. I told her everything I have been dealing with and explained no tag and that I also checked on my trade and they have sent a partial payoff but still owes approx 750.00 on the trade. She told me that Jeff messed up the paperwork and he was no longer there and she did not know what had happened and apologized.
As of today I still have not gotten the paperwork. I still do not have a tag. Im riding on an expired paper tag.
I want to know what I am legally required to do going forward. They have really screwed up and I don't think any of this is our fault. I am having to deal with all of there mistakes. Do I have to sign another contract?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Further, if you get a message asking if you want to do additional services like a telephone call that message is automatically generated by the website and is not sent from me. I, like most of the experts in the Legal categories, do not do telephone calls due to issues with State Bar rules and other concerns.

While they can't force you to sign another contract without a court order they can sue you for damages and to ask the court for "specific performance" or an affirmative injunction requiring you to sign the contract.

You would have a defense and a countersuit in that you could claim a breach of contract and also an equitable defense known as "unclean hands" which essentially means that they can't breach a contract and then sue the court to enforce the contract.

As to what the court would do when the case eventually reached the judge my best estimate(aka guess) is that the judge would allow you to rescind the contract and they would be ordered to pay you back whatever money you put down on the car as well as to reimburse you the value of the trade in. However, the trade in is a bit of an issue since they are not likely to pay it off if you won't sign the contract but they won't want to give it back either. You actually have a bit of an advantage since the bank won't release the title to them unless someone pays it off but you can be without the car until the trial and you would have to continue paying the monthly note so as not to hurt your credit. They won't want to give the car back so you would have to sue for that as well and ask the court to order them to return it to you while the case is proceeding.

You are definitely going to want to hire a lawyer for this since it is going to be a complicated case with a lot of complex legal issues but you can sue to recover your attorney's fees as well.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I understand everything that you have stated so far. What I don't understand is, since there employee messed up the paperwork then did not get everything corrected like he should have, how can they sue me. The gut is not even there anymore not sure if he was fired or quit but after speaking to them again today it sounded like he screwed up alot. This is a big hassle for us.
They have paid approx 16,500.00 to payoff the trade in but when he supposedly called to get the payoff he did not get the correct amount it was acutally approx 17,400.00. They are not billing me at this point they and basically showing it paid until the 16,500 runs out. I was upside down on the car so I had 2500.00 negative equity. If I decide not to sign the new deal what happens to the amout they paid on my trade? What happens to the negative equity amount? What happens to the 750.00 still owed for the trade? Honestly if they have to keep the car and eat the negative equity I would be better off to just walk away if I get me down payment back.
I truely believe if I had not called back to check on the tag issue last week they would have never figured out that the loan had not been processed. Can I hold them responsible for anything? If so what? I read through all the paperwork and there is only 1 form that I worried about but it even looks like they only had 2 business days to cancel the deal due to financing. I have attached a copy of It and in section 5 is states 2 days.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

Assuming that the issues with the contract were procedural, as opposed to substantive, would allow a court to order a new contract signed.

As an example of the procedural vs. substantive, assume that the contract was supposed to list the VIN as one number and the employee typed in the wrong number but that's the only issue. The court could order the new contract to be signed since the only thing wrong didn't really change the terms of the contract. If, instead, you had agreed to a 7% interest rate and the contract they want you to sign instead has it as 27% then the judge isn't likely to make you sign it.

In a case like this the dealer could ask to rescind the entire contract. That would mean you have to give them back the new car plus any money they paid on the trade in car and they give you back the money you put down plus the trade in car. Essentially everyone goes back to the same position they were the instant before the sale was consummated.

While there is only a 5 day window to cancel due to financing a court can still order the deal struck based on there not being a "meeting of the minds" or due to a "mistake of fact" in the understanding of the contract terms.