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Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 3 decades of experience in the legal field.
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Can a car dealership keep my down payment if the finance company

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Can a car dealership keep my down payment if the finance company doesn't finance the car?
Good afternoon,

Did the dealership arrange financing for you, or did you leave a deposit and say you would make your own financing arrangements?

Did they give you the car yet?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I purchased a car through the Ford dealership in Texarkana Tx. I paid a $4,000 down payment and drove the car home. I had the car for 2 months and the first payment had drafted from my checking account. The finance company said they couldn't verify something on my credit app and decided not to finance. The ford place came and picked up the car and refused to reimburse my down payment. They refuse to give me a copy of my paper work and will not return my calls. I've told them I can understand them keeping part of the money like a rental fee but not all of it. I need to know my legal rights. I appreciate your help.
Good afternoon,

You failed to answer my first question. I can not help you until you do.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The dealership arranged the financing.
Good afternoon,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

When a dealership arranges financing and they give you the car, they take the risk that the financing will not ultimately be approved. In that situation they are allowed to take the car back from you if you do not establish alternate financing. In effect, they are canceling the contract and the purse agreement you signed gave them the right to do that. The problem is that when they choose to cancel the agreement---that essentially voids the entire agreement-- they are obligated to immediately return to you any trade in or deposit or payment that you made on the vehicle. If they refuse to do that---or if they even try to charge you a fair rental value of the vehicle, you may sue them for breach of contract and recover every dime you gave them.

Tell the dealer that they have 48 hours to return all of your money or you will sue them for Breach of Contract. You appear to have a meritorious claim against them.

I wish you the best in 2011.

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