What to do regarding a mix up with a down payment?

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What to do regarding a mix up with a down payment?

I bought a used car from a dealer and wrote a check in the amount of $1000 as a possible downpayment – the dealer wasn’t clear. During the transaction I specifically asked, “How much do I make the check out for?” I was told the amount on the bottom line (w/out $1000). When the transaction was finished no one asked me for the check. I then took the car. Approximately 3 weeks later I was notified of all of this. They asked me if I had paid it. I didn’t lie and said, “No”. I tried to come to a deal with them for $500 since we were both to blame but they wouldn’t take it. They called me a “thief”. I am now being sued for the $1000. Am I going to be liable for the whole amount?

Asked on November 7, 2010 under General Practice, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What was not clear: that you actually had to pay for the car before you drove it off the lot? I do not understand that part of the question.  You left out the details as to how you actually got the keys and were able to drive away without signing anything or giving them the check.  And I think that you knew that as you then tried to re-negotiate the deal when you got caught.  I think that you should speak with an attorney in your area as soon as you can on this matter.  The fact that they are only suing you and not pressing charges is also a little confusing to me as well.  And you need to straighten it out as soon as you possible can.  Good luck. 


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