Am I able to get my full down payment back

I purchased a vehicle
with 2500.00 down I was
told I was approved by
Sierra Bank for the car
loan from the car dealer
I was issued a temporary
tag I’ve had the car for
32 days now i have full
coverage insurance on the
car with Sierra Bank I’m
being informed from the
dealer I’m not approved
after 30 days for the
bank loan unable to get a
tag for the car so what
are my options I want a
refund of my down payment

Asked on September 2, 2016 under Business Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the dealer was at fault in some way, you should be able to recover your down payment and any other costs you incurred in reliance on this (such as any registration fee[s]). The key is, the dealer must have been at fault in some way, such as by lying to you about the loan status (e.g. telling you that you were approved when you were not). If they were provably at fault and do not voluntarily compensate or reimburse you, you could sue them for money (e.g. in small claims court, "pro se," or as your own attoney) with a reasonable chance of success (no case is ever guaranteed).
But if the dealer were not at fault, they would not have to return any money to you. So, say that the dealer had told you that it looks like you qualify for the loan, but that the loan was not fully approved or underwritten yet (or something like that); in that case they did not lie, and are not responsible for any losses you suffered due to the failure to be approved, since you would have been aware that the loan was not final and therefore there at least some economic risk in going foward. Or say that you provided incorrect or incomplete information initially, and were disapproved when the correct information was determined; or that something changed in the interim, like losing a job, taking out other loans (which affects your debt to income ratio), etc.--again, they are not liable if what they told you was true when they told it.
Sothe issue is, to recover money, you have be able to show that the dealership was at fault, which generally means showing a lie or misrepresntation.

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