What can I do to get out of a car lease due to illness?

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What can I do to get out of a car lease due to illness?

My husband has been diagnosed with cancer and given 3 to 6 months to live. Both our cars are leased in his name. His still has 20 months on his car and I have asked to be let out of the lease because we/I cannot afford both payments. The dealer said no. The salesman, who is a friend of ours, told me to drop the car off and just refuse to make any more payment. That would be fine but I’m sure they will eventually come after him or his estate. I need advice.

Asked on January 9, 2016 under Business Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There is no legal way to get out of a lease due to illness, unfortunately. A lease is a contract; and a party to a contract cannot get out of the contract due to changes in his or her personal circumstances, such as illness, a spouse's illness, disability or death, unemployment, etc. Regardless of what happens to you or your family, you are still obligated to the contract, the same way that if the dealership burned down or went bankrupt, you'd still have the car--their bad fortune would not require you to give up your vehicle. Similarly, your family's bad fortune does not require the dealership to let you out of a lease.


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