Is signing a purchase order from a used car dealership considered to be a binding contract agreement?

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Is signing a purchase order from a used car dealership considered to be a binding contract agreement?

I recently purchased a used vehicle from a dealership after signing the purchase order and all the paperwork I took the vehicle home and had it for 7 days after deciding not to buy the car and return it. I did but now the dealer say they would send the purchase order I signed to any bank that will take the loan and if I default it will affect my credit as an auto repossession. Yet I didn’t sign any contract with any bank. I only signed the purchase order which does not mention any bank (only the dealer), and a “rescission agreement and no cooling off period”. What can I do. Are they lying?

Asked on August 5, 2011 Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I really hate to throw the ball back in your court but you need to take this agreement to someone to read in order to determine if it can be interpreted as a binding contract in your state.  I am fearful that it can be but hopeful that it may violate some of the laws in your state to allow a court to render it void or voidable.  They may in fact be posturing in this matter in the hopes to get you to comply with what you agreed.  But again, no one can tell you that with out reading what you have signed.  Once that is done then you can figure out your options. Get help.  Good luck.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should bring the paperwork (i.e. the purchase order to an attorney, who can read all its terms and advise you as to your rights); I suspect that the specific terms of what you signed will be critical. Some general principals to keep in mind:

1) There is no general three-day right of rescission; there is one for residential mortgage loans, but that does not apply to other transactions.

2) Generally speaking, there is no right to return a purchase unless a) there was fraud involved; b) what you got was not what you agreed to buy; or c) the seller voluntarily chooses to take refunds. Simply changing your mind is not good enough.

3) A contract or agreement to buy something can be formed many ways--it does not necessarily take something called a contract. It is very possible that the purchase order you signed would be sufficient to bind you to buy the car.


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