What are my rights if a car dealership is trying to change the terms of the contract?

My father and I bought a new van from a local dealership. We ended up only putting his name on the financing, since my credit is not great. They quoted us a payment and price, took my trade in, agreed to pay off what was left on the trade in financing and sent me home with the new van. They fedex;d my father the contract since he lives out of state. They called me a few days later to tell me the financing did not happen and that my payment would be increasing due to the higher interest rate. I talked with the manager and due to the issuing being their fault, they fired the finance guy that helped me and lowered the price on the new van to keep my payment the same. My father signed the new contracts and sent it back, and I was mailed copies that I still have. This was lasy month. As of today, the dealership has yet to send my father yet another contract. The terms have changed again and my payment is significantly higher. They have already payed off the almost $10,000 on the trade-in, and now say I have no choice but to agree to the new terms. What on earth do I do?

Asked on May 29, 2012 under General Practice, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

So wait: you have new signed contracts?  And did they sign them as well (not that it may matter as your father is the one that is the "party to be charged" under the law).  If you have a signed contract that states the price and payments then stick to your guns.  Keep sending in the payments as they are listed.  And call the state attorney general's office and state banking commission regarding this bait and switch.  You should consider seeking legal help in your area as well.  Good luck.


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