Dear Terry,

I recently bought a used car and traded my old one. The bad thing is that the dealer added an extra $2,300 to the contract to cover paying off the balance on my old car. I saw this and told them that I already had paid off the old car. The dealer said to come back the next day with proof of the payoff, and I did. They told me that they will call me back to sign a new contract. It’s almost been a week now and they left me a message saying that they are still working on the deal. Do I have any recourse on this?


Dear Aldridge,

If the contract calls for a balance to be paid on the trade-in and the trade-in is paid for, the contract should be voided.

While you should never have signed a contract you knew to be wrong, the dealer can’t represent that it’s using $2,300 from the loan proceeds to pay off a nonexistent lien. You don’t mention whether you’re driving the new used car, but if you are you’d better return it to them quickly and get this matter straightened out.

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