I just met with another individual who appears to be the victim of a scam
by a car dealership and this seems like as good a time as any to warn
others about it. The consumer went to a car dealership and got what they
thought was a sweetheart deal on financing for a car with very low interest
rates, very low monthly payments and a low total price. Some of the spaces
on the financing paperwork were left blank but the consumer is not an
expert on auto financing and was told that those blanks would be “filled
in by the finance person” later. The consumer, not knowing anything
was wrong took their car and left the dealership. Three weeks later the
dealership contacted the consumer and in a frantic manner told the consumer
that they had to come to the dealership IMMEDIATELY and that some of the
paperwork was not finished! There was a mistake that had to be fixed right
away or they could lose the car!
What did the consumer actually receive when he went to the dealership?
He was given a new contract which fundamentally different terms than the
old one, with a high interest rate, high monthly payments and a higher
total price for the car. The consumer was told that previous set of paperwork
had been accidentally lost by “the bank” and the consumer
had no choice but to sign the new agreement.
You always have a choice, no one can force you to sign a contract. If you
go to buy a vehicle and large portions of the contract are blank, do not
agree to sign it. Request to take it with you, take it home and read it
carefully. The job of the person selling you the car is to sell you that
car no matter what, if they pressure you to sign or tell you that the
deal is a one time offer and won’t last, do not be pressured. If
on the contract the interest rate or monthly payments or total value for
the car are left blank, do not sign it without reading it carefully. Claiming
you did not understand a contract will almost never work in court. Keep
an eye out for this scam and hopefully you can avoid falling victim to it.
This document has been provided for informational purposes only and is
not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please
consult your attorney in connection with any legal issues related to the
matters discussed in this article as the applicability of state, local
and federal laws may vary.