Does a buyer of a used vehicle have the right to demand their down payment back if the dealer cannot find financing?

UPDATED: May 11, 2012

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Does a buyer of a used vehicle have the right to demand their down payment back if the dealer cannot find financing?

I tried to purchase a used camper trailer 2 days ago; I put $2000 as a down payment. The dealer tried to get us financed through their usual banks and a credit union. But as of today none of the banks will finance us because the credit score they pulled was a lot lower than the one the dealer pulled. The dealer said we can’t cancel the contract and they have 10 days to find a lender. We don’t want to drag this out any longer. We never took delivery of the trailer and we want our money back today so we can find something cheaper that we don’t have to finance. What is our options?

Asked on May 11, 2012 under General Practice, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You first need to carefully read your purchase agreement for the trailer that you bought to see if the sale was conditioned upon the dealer being able to provide you with financing for it. If it was and you cannot get the financing that was bargained for, the contract falls apart and you can cancel it and get your deposit of $2,000 back.

The best part of the transaction is that you never took possession of the trailer. I suggest that you meet with the dealer's manager to get matters resolved sooner rather than later.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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