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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Repo By a 'Buy Here-Pay Here' Lot

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Pennsylvania

    On January 20th (2010), my fiance was in a minor auto accident resulting in about $800 damage to the front drivers side fender and headlight...and a small buckle on that side of the hood of his vehicle. At the time we didn't have the financial means to repair it. We went to a local dealer whom I have personally bought vehicles from before. He agreed to accept the damaged vehicle...as is...as a trade-in for another vehicle on his lot. Our vehicle had a blue-book value of a little over $3000. In exchange for our vehicle we asked for NO money...we only wanted a few payments toward the "new" vehicle in exchange for ours....which the dealer agreed to fully. We signed our vehicle over to him and drove of the lot in a vehicle off of his lot.

    Fast forward 3 weeks......I get a phone call at home from this dealer saying that the vehicle we got from him was on his list to be repossessed. Why? Because he said we owe him $300. I told him, "but you said you would give us a few payments toward this SUV (a 2000 Bravada) in exchange for our car." He replied, "Oh no, honey! It don't work that way. The value of your vehicle went to taxes on the transfer. One of you needs to get over here and pay the $300 you owe me or it will be repossessed." WHAT?!? Maybe I'm wrong, but this sounds VERY shady to me. He also kept saying that we had paperwork yet to sign that wasn't done that day.

    Fast forward to March 4th (2010).....Woke up that morning only to find our Bravada GONE. He sent his goons out @ 6am to take it back to the dealership. Throughout the day, we constantly tried to contact him but no one would answer the phone. We had a friend drive my fiance over there and they sat for two hours waiting for this guy. Only to find that he was at an auto auction.

    So...I guess we signed over our car to him to RENT that Bravada from him for 5-6 weeks?!? I mean, yeah, we just GIVE AWAY our vehicles all the time!

    This dealership is a kind of "Buy Here, Pay Here" type of place. The dealer is an old man who always forgets about things he says or does. Once I went there in the past (9yrs ago) with a vehicle I was buying off of him and I wanted to make my payment. He didn't even believe me that car was from his place. That same car..he wrote one date of sale on my papers and a different one on his. I had repo guys at my home THAT time because he was off on the sale date by 3 days.

    What can we do to fix this situation? Is this even legal for him to do? Is it a form of theft or something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    72,967

    Default Re: Repo By a 'Buy Here-Pay Here' Lot

    Your contract either required you to immediately start payments or it did not. Which is it?

    Why didn't you start making payments when you were warned that you were late and facing repossession?

    Have you since contacted him about reinstating the loan?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Repo By a 'Buy Here-Pay Here' Lot

    There are consumer protection laws in all states regulating this type of a business. You need to research the law and see if you have any legal options.

    You should have gotten the payment credit in writing as part of the contract.

    You can NEVER rely on what someone says verbally in this situation.

    If the law can't help you, and you have some creativity, do a website about the place. Make some big signs and picket the place (check to see if you need a permit). There are all sorts of grey things that can be done.

    They usually will want to make a deal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Repo By a 'Buy Here-Pay Here' Lot

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Your contract either required you to immediately start payments or it did not. Which is it?

    Why didn't you start making payments when you were warned that you were late and facing repossession?

    Have you since contacted him about reinstating the loan?
    Hi Mr. Knowitall!

    Our contract did NOT require us to immediately start making payments. The blue book value of the vehicle...minus the estimated $800 damage from the accident....was used as down payment, taxes/fees and first few months "loan" payments.

    When we received the call saying that we owed the dealer money, lol, we only had the vehicle in our possession for 3 weeks. We weren't due to pay yet per the original contract stating the vehicle value was to be put toward initial few payments. We were NOT late at all.

    Yes, I contacted him on Monday. He will not reinstate the loan. However, he IS giving us back our trade-in vehicle. So, we'll just repair it ourselves and save ourselves the stress of going through something like this again. It's only the front bumper, driver side headlight fixture, and the hood is buckled slightly on drivers side. Not too bad of damage...we just couldn't afford to fix it at the time of the accident.

    Thanks for your reply!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    72,967

    Default Re: Repo By a 'Buy Here-Pay Here' Lot

    You seem to misunderstand what a contract is. It's the written document you signed, describing your obligations for repaying the loan. If you're now telling us that your contract stated that you would receive a specified amount of credit toward your payments for your trade-in, and that payments would start after that credit was used up, great - but that's not what you said initially.

    If you've now resolved this to everybody's satisfaction, great. Congratulations.

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