If I return an auto to the dealership that holds the title of that auto, do they have to accept it back?

I have a vehicle from a private dealership that I still owe money on from several years ago. The dealership holds the title of that vehicle. If I return the vehicle to them, at my cost do they have to accept it back?

Asked on June 4, 2018 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, they do not: you cannot force them to accept back the car and you cannot force them to  give up their right to be paid by you under the terms of the contract of sale and/or financing agreement; that is, you owe them the remaining balance, and you can't make them give up their right to get that money from you.
They may *choose* to take the car back, either in full or partial satisfaction of the amount you owe, but it is purely voluntary on their part to do so; you are held to the agreement (to buy the car; to make certain payments; etc.) you voluntarily entered into.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, they do not: you cannot force them to accept back the car and you cannot force them to  give up their right to be paid by you under the terms of the contract of sale and/or financing agreement; that is, you owe them the remaining balance, and you can't make them give up their right to get that money from you.
They may *choose* to take the car back, either in full or partial satisfaction of the amount you owe, but it is purely voluntary on their part to do so; you are held to the agreement (to buy the car; to make certain payments; etc.) you voluntarily entered into.


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