What to do if the dealership that I bought a new car from hasn’t paid off the loan on the trade- in?

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What to do if the dealership that I bought a new car from hasn’t paid off the loan on the trade- in?

My wife and I traded in 2 vehicles – an pick-up and a 10 year old car. We got an SUV. It has been a month and the dealership still hasn’t paid off the loan on the pick-up. We have a written contract that states they will pay off the loan but doesn’t give a timeline. Is there a law that limits the amount of time they have to pay off the loan? Can I pay off the loan and get the title and make them pay me the amount of the loan before turning it over to them?

Asked on June 21, 2011 under General Practice, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there is not time frame within which they are supposed to be paying off the loan then I would think that a "reasonableness" standard would be applied.  Here a reasonable amount of time may be considered before the next payment was due to prevent a default on the loan.  I can see how you would be livid under the circumstances.  You may not want to extort money from them by holding the title hostage if you pay off the loan.  But you can sue them for breach of the contract and ask that they pay off the loan asap.  Otherwise, I would bring the document in to an attorney to write a letter on your behalf.  I would ask about paying off the loan after the attorney has had the chance to read the documents and possibly have the lawyer write a letter indicating the option in a legal way. Good luck.


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