Can an auto lease be cancelled after the fact?

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Can an auto lease be cancelled after the fact?

I leased a car (3 days ago); all contracts were signed and the down payment was accepted. As of today they called saying I cannot lease the car because I am under deferred action and everything will have to be cancelled. can they do this? Shouldn’t this have been done before the contract was signed?

Asked on June 17, 2014 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lease may be canceled (either rescinded or terminated) only for:

1) Fraud or misrepresentations--that is, one party lied about or concealed critical information from the other;

2) Illegality--the contract is illegal, or it is illegal for one or both of the parties to enter into it;

3) Impossibility--something is making it physically impossible to perform (e.g. a contract to sell a car, and then a lightning bolt hits the car, destroyng it, before the sale occurs).

4) Material breach--one party violates one or more important obligations.

Only if one of the above occurs can the lease be cancelled; if it does occur or is discovered, it does not matter whether it was discovered after signing the lease or not.

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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