Am I legally obligated to purchase a car I put a down payment on but changed my mind about within 24 hours?

I put a down payment with a credit card on a used car from a dealership and signed the purchase agreement 2 days ago. I changed my mind about the car because it had to be serviced and they wanted me to pay the balance upfront when I picked up a rental that they had arranged for me to drive while my car was getting fixed. In addition, they called me 11 times that day asking me when I was coming in to pick up the car. I started to feel uncomfortable about my decision to not only buy a previous rental car but was unhappy with the customer service I was receiving a the dealership and called them yesterday and informed them that I did not want the car. I asked them if they would refund my deposit on my credit card and they refused. Am I under legal obligation to buy this car from them or can I change my mind?

Asked on October 21, 2011 under General Practice, Massachusetts


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A three day right of rescission is I think what you are talking about.  It is a cooling off period for certain types of contracts under the law.  It is generally a right  given under a state's statute whether or not it is written in the actual contract.  Here is what I have found from the MA Attorney General on the subject:

"There is no general three-day right to cancel a sale in Massachusetts. There are certain limited situations in which a consumer has a right to cancel a contract and receive a refund for the return of the purchased item. The Attorney General’s Regulations and the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off Rule for door-to-door sales apply to sales of certain goods. Door-to-door sales are sales made away from the usual business place of the merchant (the main office or branch office); however, the rule does not apply to sales made entirely over the telephone or by mail."

You may have a cause of action against them if there was a  misrepresentations (lie) about the vehicle - mileage; accidents, etc. - but just changing your mind is not a good enough ground to cancel the contract.  Good luck.

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