If a person signs a car lease and trades in a vehicle, is it possible to void the contract within 48 hours?

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If a person signs a car lease and trades in a vehicle, is it possible to void the contract within 48 hours?

My senior citizen in-laws turned in a (paid off) for $8,500 and signed a lease on a new car. They can not afford to do this. I know that NV has a no return law on purchases. Is a lease the same as a purchase? Are they stuck with this bad decision?

Asked on August 14, 2011 Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, as a general matter, there is right of rescission--so no right to change your mind and void the transaction--for the vast majority of purchases, leases, rentals, service agreements, etc., unless and only to the extent that the seller lets you do this (i.e. that the seller has a policy allowing the buyer to cancel within a certain time). The exception is a mortgage for a residence, which comes with a 3-day right of rescission; but car leases do not have this.

So your in-laws are probably bound by this agreement unless:

1) They can show that there was fraud--basically, they were lied to about something important, to get them to sign up;

2) There was some significant and mutual mistake--basically, the two parties didn't quite each understand what the other was saying, and so there was no meeting of the minds; this is very hard to show, however;

3) The deal was illegal--i.e. the dealership did not have title to the car, or the car is not road worthy; or

4) The in-laws lacked capacity to sign a contract--but showing they lacked mental capacity (e.g. Alzheimer's, dementia, etc.) is obviously not something they can or should do lightly, since it will affect their whole lives.

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