What can I do if a dealership is changing my loan and asking for more money and won’t give me my old car back?

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What can I do if a dealership is changing my loan and asking for more money and won’t give me my old car back?

I traded in my car last week and financed a new car. The dealership called me in today to tell me that the loan is being changed to another bank and that bank is requiring $2500 and I have 21 days to pay it. When I told them that I didn’t have that amount of money and that I would just take my old car back they told me that they have already put $1500 into it so I can’t just have it back. They of course have my title because I signed it over and now I don’t know what my rights are to get my car back. I don’t have $2500 to keep the new car. Do I have any legal rights to my old car?

Asked on July 11, 2011 under General Practice, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, indeed you do.  It is hard to give guidance here without being able to read the agreements that you signed.  I do not know if they are one sided and against public policy.  But courts do not generally like it if a party enters in to a contract and then the other party - who obviouslyy has more leverage - tried to change the terms or really holds the entire agreement over their head leaving them powerless. So I would call your state attorney general's office and ask to speak with someone in their consumer affairs department.  Explain the situation and ask them for guidance on what to do.  And then seek legal help and make sure that you ask the attorney to ask for costs, fees (including attorneys fees) and sanctions if you have to sue.  Good luck.


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