What are my rights if a cardealership altered a lease agreement after Isigned it and then forged my signature on a new document?

I signed a lease for a new car 3 weeks ago. When I received my first bill, it was $50 more than the monthly payment stated on the original lease. I had their financing company send me a copy of the lease that they had, and to my surprise, it was not the lease I signed. All the numbers had been changed and my signature forged. I can’t afford this higher monthly payment, and I don’t want to hurt my credit. What can I do? I would like the dealership to honor the legitimate lease. I have approached them but they are attempting to put the burden of proof on me, even though I have all the documentation (in fact I have 4 separate documents which state my original, agreed-to monthly payment). How I can I get them to resolve this? I feel like their is little recourse for honest folks in my situation.

Asked on August 27, 2011 New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have been presented with a new car lease agreement by tha car dealership which is not the one that you signed and agreed to, the document presented you is not binding upon you as a matter of law even though the car dealership may try and enforce it.

You need to immediately call the person in charge of this dealership advising him or her that the numbers and signature of yourself on the document just received are different than the document that you signed and follow up with a written letter concerning the telephone conversation keeping a copy for your records for future use.

One option is to contact your district attorney's office about the apparent forgery of your signature on the document as a basis for a criminal investigation.

If you do not want to abide by the terms of the new lease where your signature is not in it, but is a signature of someone else's, you should contact an attorney about rescinding the agreement. If you cannot afford one, potentially your county may have a legal aid program that could assist you.

Good luck.


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