Can I get my money back?

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George Adams wrote:


Then I guess you don't really know much more than I do. Thanks anyway.
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Well in all fairness, he's not out $1000 on a car he doesn't want or like the terms of so he knows at least a little more than you do...
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The difference is that the contract validity is being called into question by dint of duress - any contract made under duress is invalid. If you agree to withdraw money from an ATM and give it to an armed robber, even if he makes you sign a contract, that contract is unenforceable. The elements of a contract are offer and acceptance, and both must be freely given.
Stopping payment is entirely proper at this stage in any event, as no value has been received. The penalty would be limited to whatever the contract specifies for breach of contract... if it is found to be valid. If the OP had the car, it could be fraud - that would be a matter for a court to decide. If the buyer tried to prevent the seller from recovering the vehicle, it surely would be. Otherwise....
I am not a lawyer.
Mike
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Actually it can and often does constitute fraud. When you use a bank to commit said breach it can (and often is) prosecuted as check fraud. Not looked upon too differently than if you went into a store and bought groceries using a check from an empty account. All a merchant has to do is "dispute" the check and then take that form down to the local court and a bench-warrant will be sworn out on the writer of the check.
Simply stopping a check cause you don't like something is not the proper way to handle it. One should take the other party to small claims (for amounts under your jurisdictions small claims cap. The courts don't look too kindly on those who submit to "self help" rather than using the proper channels.
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The difference is that no value has been received. It is more as if you went to the store and asked to have groceries delivered, then refused delivery. Bad checks and checks drawn on closed accounts do constitute fraud because the writer is reasonably expected to know the check is no good, while in the case of stopping payment the writer knows the check was good and is entering a dispute.
Mike
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The courts do however strongly encourage settling disputes outside of them. It's not unusual for a judge to chew two or more parties out for not being 'reasonable' and so wasting the taxpayers' dollar (or billing one or more of the parties for its time!).
Only a tiny fraction (less than 1% IIRC) of cases that reach two or more lawyers actually make it to a courtroom precisely because it is more efficient, and about as fair, to settle outside the courts.
Hopefully the Original Poster will update us. This could be a very instructive lesson for others. I personally am optimistic that a positive outcome for him/her will result, if s/he applies a fair amount of the suggestions here. Maybe it won't be totally smooth sailing, but who among us had every car transaction go perfectly?
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wrote

Absolutly. But one-sided "self help" is not settling a dispute outside of court.

And by following the "proper" steps it probably never will see a courtroom.

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I don't think this does justice to the circumstances or what the OP has indicated s/he is contemplating, re stopping the check.
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wrote

That is what I make of it. Failure to stop payment actually could be construed as tacit acceptance of the contract, and that won't do. The money, which she (rightly, IMHO) feels she was cheated out of, would probably be gone forever.
Again, the whole thing would be much dicier if the OP had taken possession of the car. There's a good reason they want us to leave the lot in the car!
Mike
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Strike that. I missed the forest for the trees. Take the deposit out of the equation, replace it with a signed contract saying the buyer will do abc in exchange for her getting this car today, give her the car, and, short of a mistake in the actual, written contract, and based on what the OP said about the conditions under which she signed the contract, she's pretty much stuck with the contract as written.
Even if there were evidence that the salesperson said Y months of payments while the contract said Z months of payments, the onus is still on a buyer to read the contract. Contracts are generally put in writing for a reason; namely, with the expectation that people do read them and concur that their was a meeting of the minds per what is written.
The law's purpose is to thwart chaos. The law accomplishes this by setting standards which are, bottom line, common sense; based in reason; with an aim towards not assuming anything but going on as much of the facts as are available to all as possible.
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I've had to stop payment before, when it was apparent I was being scammed. I never had any trouble from it. The mechanism exists for a purpose, but it's true that one needs a good reason to do so. In this case there should be no problem; making the contract dispute formal covers that base and there has been no value received at this point. Certainly, without the stop the money will be very hard to recover.
The whole affair pivots on money - the dealer hopes to get some whether or not they ever deliver anything to you, and if they snag some they know the tricks to cheat you out of it without overt criminal action. The very last thing they want is for this to go to court.
Disclaimer - I am not a lawyer.
Mike
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I would like to thank everyone for his /her help. I do value your input and hope that everything will wok out in the best interest of all parties involved ( although I duubt this will be possible). I have wriiten a letter to the manager at the dealership regarding my concern and will cc it to higher authorities if need be. I will get it notarized tomorrow and send it as a certified mail.. When I meet with the manager tomorrow,I will also hand him a copy in person. I have stopped payment on the check and hope we will reach an amicable decision. Thanks again,guys.
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Best of luck to you - I think it will turn out okay enough. It is a good bet they do business like this all the time; some dealers are just that way. I would bet you will be given a combination of puppy-eyes (why, what's the matter?) and thinly veiled threats (you signed the contract; you owe this money now). It makes me wonder if places like this are training grounds for abusive mates. Anyway, if you take a bunch of deep breaths and hold your course as best you can you will do fine. All they want is your money. The very last thing they want is to get the law involved; it will only cost them money.
Mike
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Also bad publicity will cost them money as well. I've learned to be wary of salesmen and try to read the fine print.
On a similar note when I was buying my Accord, I went ahead and got a pre-approved loan from my C.U. Figured out exactly what my monthly payment would be. Finance guy was going to offer me a higher APR unil I showed my pre-approval certificate. Lowered the APR but the payment was still higher than it should have been. He tried to add the extended warranty without telling me. After all was said and done, I was able to get the lower APR w/lower montly payment.
-Dave
Oh, what was the saying? "Hold your friends close. Hold your enemies closer." Something like that. Be wary when shelling out your money. Good luck!
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BULL, he hasn't taken delivery of the car! You may not have a leg to stand on after you take delivery but your talking about a vehicle that's on order. He has the right to look it over and drive it before he accepts it. If for any reason it doesn't please him he should refuse delivery. If there's anything (at all) different from the original order this is also reason to refuse delivery, at which point they would have to refund the deposit. No car is perfect, don't accept delivery unless YOU find it is perfect.
Al

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Have you read the contract? I didn't think so. It may very well say he has no right to inspect the car before taking delivery. It probably also says he has no right to sue them and must submit any disagreements to binding arbitration. Unfortunately, those type of ridiculous clauses are often enforced these days by judges because people elect politicians like Bush to federal, state, and local offices and in some cases, judgeships. We live in a very anti-consumer society these days.

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Actually, that subject came up here just a couple days ago. My son-in-law, graduating next month with a BS in criminal justice, says unenforcable clauses in contracts and unenforcable forms like waivers of responsibility are common as dirt and worthless in court. A contract may specify anything but all are subject to prevailing law.
Mike
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Unfortunately your son may be wrong. It depends on what state you are in. He might be correct in California and Massachussetts but these riduculous clauses are being enforced against consumers in most states these days. In fact there is a federal law that overrides state laws regarding binding arbitration clauses and forces state judges to enforce them. You can thank the right wing business interests for that.
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Virtually all consumer contracts have a three day "cooling off" period which is mandated by federal law. IOW, you can back out of a signed contract. Regarding a "non refundable" deposit, consult an attorney if necessary.
JT
IrieDahta wrote:

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Nope, not on auto loans. If the contract is transacted on the dealers property, it is binding. No Backsies!

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