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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    18

    Default How to Give Back a Car You No Longer Want

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Ok and Tennessee

    My husband had a job interview for a job in Virginia. We drove out there and while we were in Tennessee, our car broke down leaving us stranded for three days. We couldn't get a rental because we had no credit cards. We finally got a car thru a dealership. My husband told them he doesn't have the job yet, nor is there any guarantee he would get the job, but that he was hopeful for one since he's on his way to a job interview. The dealership said this was no problem and we later found out they listed the job as income anyway. He didn't get the job, because we were late and didn't make it in time, due to being stranded, and we are now stuck with a $25,000 bank note with zero income. We wouldn't have done it, except it was literally the only way for our family to get home.

    Here's the problem: We don't know how to give back this car. The bank said they have no authority or anyone available to come to our state to repossess it, and they said there is also a problem with the title. They don't have the lien filed on it because we don't have the money needed to pay the title fee ($1,200). The dealership doesn't want to touch it at all because they basically put down we had an income of $100,000 per year that we didn't actually have, and the bank told the dealership that if they couldn't provide proof of our income, that they would mail the title to us with no lien on it, which I suspect was just a threat. We also don't have the money to take it back ourselves.

    Could we get in trouble for theft, or some sort of criminal charge over this? The bank has spoken with us numerous times and at one point, said they weren't sure, but we might have gotten a free truck, which sounds ridiculous. What would be a way to resolve this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,668

    Default Re: What Do We Do with This Car

    Well, one option is to just not make any payments and wait and see what happens.

    Sooner or later somebody's going to blink. If the lender paid the dealer it's likely going to be the lender. If the dealer hasn't been paid, it's likely to be the dealer. Either way, one of them will eventually figure out how to retrieve the vehicle.

    I suggest you put in in writing to the lender with a copy to the dealer that the dealer lied about the job and income and that the vehicle is ready to be picked up as soon as they decide what to do.

    The unfortunate part about all this is that the dealer "put down $100,000" which means it was on the document that you signed. I don't know if you saw if and went along with it or didn't bother to read what you were signing. Either way, your signature makes you complicit in whatever the dealer lied about.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: What Do We Do with This Car

    Quote Quoting tdj
    View Post
    ….they basically put down we had an income of $100,000 per year.....
    Nooooooo….

    They may have written it, but YOU signed. Therefore YOU lied about the income.

    I agree that someone will come get it - best that you not drive it at all and notify the bank and the dealership exactly where it is. Do it registered mail.

    Morally, I feel you have an obligation to return it since you bought it on false pretenses. Having it shipped back may be cheaper than driving and hotel rooms.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: What Do We Do with This Car

    Wasn't exactly a lie. At the time, we geniunely thought that WAS our income, but we did tell the dealer we hadn't officially gotten the job yet. The dealer assured us it was fine and that basically everything was on the up and up. That's why we made it a point to tell them; so that they would know the full status of our situation so that nothing illegal or unethical was happening. And at the time, we were all but convinced it was a done deal. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, we were a day late.

    But based on what you're saying, I suppose that means a criminal case could be brought against us?

    And you're right. We need to find a way to send back the car.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,163

    Default Re: What Do We Do with This Car

    You have no inherent right to return the car to where you bought it from without their agreement. You have the right to pay for the car you purchased.

    Unless there was a financing contingency in your contract, it’s your car and you owe the dealer for it. Why would they want a used car?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,112

    Default Re: What Do We Do with This Car

    Have you read an agreement for a car purchase recently? They all have provisions for what is to happen if financing falls through. Generally the provisions are that the car has to be returned and some money has to be paid for the usage of the car.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,163

    Default Re: What Do We Do with This Car

    if the loan was completed, the op owes the money to the bank. Whether there was a lien file or not is irrelevent. The security interest is based in the contract they signed, not whether there is a lien documented in the title. The registered lien is merely a mechanism to prevent the transfer of the title to a subsequent party without permission from the lien holder. There is a lien imposed by the financing contract itself. The lack of recording that lien on the title does not affect the lien itself.

    If the loan was not completed, then the op owes the purchase price to the dealer.

    Neither the desler or the bank is obligated to retrieve the car. They can simply dun the op for the debt and sue them if they wish.

    there is one statement in the op’s original post I simply don’t believe:

    and the bank told the dealership that if they couldn't provide proof of our income, that they would mail the title to us with no lien
    There are all sorts of things wrong with that statement.

    First, the recording of the lien on the title is to protect the lenders interest. A lender is not going to send a unencumberd title to a borrower. They would simply refuse to complete the transaction if the matter wasn’t in order.

    Second: the bank doesn’t have the title so they wouldn’t be sending it anywhere. The dealer sends the certificate of origin (a brand new car has no title until it is sold to a consumer. Then the state they reside creates the first title listing the owner) to the state with the appropriate documents to have a lien placed on the title in the name of the lender. In states where the title is held by the lender, the title is returned to the registered lien holder. In states where the owner holds the title, it is sent, by the state, to the registered owner. It costs no more to send the c of o and associated documents to the state with an application for a lien than without the application for a lien. The entire statement by the op makes no sense.

    If the dealer doesnt get the money from the lender, they are not going to complete the document transaction and the sale is stalled.

    Additionally, op states they haven’t paid the fees typically paid to the dealer such as title fees. That begs the question: did the dealer allow the op to take the car without making any down payment? Did the dealer not require payment of the fees up front?

    this brings in new possibilities such as: did the op write a bad check to the dealer? I haven’t purchased a car, ever, where I was not required to make some sort of payment to the dealer prior to the car being taken off the lot. Given the op was not even in his home state, I can’t imagine him being allowed to drive away without paying s single cent. The payments to the dealer generally include the title fees. Along with that, very few lenders not associated with the manufacturers of the vehicles (most car manufacturers have a financial branch that deals with financing of new cars) do not demand a down payment. Has the op made any such down payment?

    There is another statement by the op that is also not true:

    We wouldn't have done it, except it was literally the only way for our family to get home.


    there are trains, planes, buses, and taxicabs. There are myriad means of getting from one place to another without Making a purchase of a car.

    Hell, I know a guy that rode his bicycle 1700 miles to get where he wanted to go because he didn’t have a car. Arguing it is the only way it’s simply not true. It was the easiest way at the moment. Nothing more.

    There are way too many unanswered questions to be able to give the op much direction.

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