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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Dealership Won't Give Back Deposit

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

    A friend of mine is in the market for a new vehicle. He was pre-approved for $25,000 at 5.9% from his personal bank, so he decided to start looking around - with me tagging along with him. He decided on a vehicle and decided on a dealership (after visiting other dealerships). The dealership said they might be able to finance him for a lower percentage, called their "bank", and my friend was approved (according to the salesman). The price of the vehicle ended up being $19,515 after taxes, which originally it was $22,100. He was excited.
    Following day, my friend brought in his pay stubs, social, bachelors degree, and all the other good stuff, plus a $1000 down payment + vehicle trade in (which he doesn't give to them until the final papers are signed).
    Next day, he get's a call that because he isn't an American Citizen, the bank rescinded it's offer.
    We go into the dealership to try and figure out a way around it, supposedly the bank is afraid of deportation and/or him leaving the country with the vehicle. I ask my friend if he want's his deposit back and to try elsewhere or to look for another vehicle, and then the salesman starts up a conversation of potentially leasing the vehicle - at a $50 monthly upcharge of what the price was originally negotiated. I tell him, politely, that my friend (who is moody and disgruntled now) would like to think about it, but will still want his deposit back. The salesman said to, "please think about it", and, "if he takes his deposit back the car will be sold off to another person". I asked for the deposit back again and the salesman told me he, "wouldn't be able to give the deposit today, maybe tomorrow". My friend chimed in and told the salesman to ask if he can get 24 month financing for a lease and the salesman started doing paperwork and calling the bank up, but because it was late in the day he couldn't get a hold of the bank and we left.

    It's been a couple days now, no call back. We're planning on going back in person.

    I would like to know if my friend can legally get his deposit back and move onward elsewhere, as I think the dealership is acting shady and trying to screw him. It also annoys me that they say they have the car in the lot, but they won't give him a vin number to give to his insurance agency. What are my/his legal options? Should I recommend him to get a lawyer? Is $1000 worth getting a lawyer? He's here on work and student authorization, he's been trying to become a resident/citizen for (10+) years but has been unsuccessful.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Dealership Won't Give Back Deposit

    I can't see the contract that your friend signed from where I'm sitting, so I cannot comment on its contingencies. Perhaps he didn't negotiate any contingencies when purchasing the car, as he had his own financing, with the dealership's proposal for alternative financing coming after-the-fact. As they say, the devil is in the details.

    As he wants the car, he has an obvious solution -- buy the car at the agreed price using the financing he arranged through his own bank.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Dealership Won't Give Back Deposit

    From what I understand, the only signing he did was on a piece of paper that simply stated the price of the vehicle, the loan percentage, agreement to pay that percentage, agreement to provide documentation and so on. I do not think there is any clauses that hold back his down payment - but I may be wrong, as I didn't notice/read deeper into any papers he received. As it being his purchase and him wanting to stay individual, I figured I was there to make sure the salesman didn't sweet talk him into doing something else. Obviously I failed at that.

    :EDIT:

    I would also like to disclose that he actually didn't go through any final processing with the dealership over the car. All his documents are for the loan, he has yet to get past this part.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Dealership Won't Give Back Deposit

    If he doesn't want to post questions himself, and won't show you the papers he signed, perhaps it's time to tell him that he needs to solve his own legal problem and that he should consult a lawyer with the facts.

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