Dear Terry,
I recently traded in my 2006 BMW 530i, which I was purchasing, for a 328i, which was a lease. I needed to show lower debt-to-income ratio in order to buy a home. I’m having terrible anxiety because I know I made a mistake. Is there any way to get out of the lease?


Joseph Llanos


Dear Joseph,
You can get out of a lease, but it will likely be costly. Most lease companies will give you a payoff amount that will allow you to walk away, but I suspect in the case of your BMW it may involve thousands of dollars — something you can’t afford if you’re buying a house.

Another route is to check out the Web sites that will try to find someone to take over your lease, like
LeaseTrader.com and
SwapaLease.com.

Good luck.

Here are this week’s reader questions:
Don’t bet the farm on future value of collectible cars
We paid $30,000 over sticker for a car. Can we get it back?
Leasing a car to lower debt-to-income ratio. Can I get out of it?
What’s the best way to get right side up in my car loan?

If you have a question for Terry, e-mail him at
Driving for Dollars.