What to do if a car dealership failed to disclose the correct payoff amount on a trade-in?
I traded in my car and purchased an SUV. The salesman called the company holding my existing auto loan for the payoff amount, which they gave to him verbally, as well as faxing him a copy. I purchased the car and signed a trade-in document which indicated that if the payoff was different I would be responsible for the difference. When I called to find out when I would receive the registration and tags for the new car, the financial officer proceeded to inform me that I owed $487 on my old car. Apparently the trade-in amount was less than owed. Now I signed the paperwork to be responsible for this but they failed to disclose on the paperwork that the original payoff was $7,787; they only had $7,300 down. I assumed, since the salesman was given the payoff amount that the $7,300 covered the total payoff of the car. Now the old dealership still has not been paid and the sales manager at the new dealership will not return my calls, says that he is busy, etc. Do I have legal action based on the fact that they never disclosed my true payoff amount? They were faxed the payoff amount from the old car dealership.
I hate to pass the buck so to speak but one needs to read the entire contract in order to properly evaluate the case and then discuss with you if the salesman made representations as to the terms. You have an obligation to read what you sign and courts hold you to it. Courts also do not generally allow you to testify to any information that may have been exchanged that differs from what is stated in the contract unless some form of fraud or misrepresentation is attempted to be proven. Then what is known as "parol evidence" may be introduced. Go and seek help in your area for an acurate assessment of the situation. Good luck to you.