Can a car dealer deny to return a $500 non-refundable deposit if the car was misrepresented and had a false advertisement?

UPDATED: Feb 1, 2014

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Can a car dealer deny to return a $500 non-refundable deposit if the car was misrepresented and had a false advertisement?

Fraud negates contractual deals and their respective payments or promises to pay. How can a business legally run like that where there are several victims complained to BBB and attorney generals office explaining how they are doing a fraud business?

Asked on February 1, 2014 under General Practice, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You are right that if you can show there was fraud--

1) There was a knowing or deliberate misrepresention (or lie)

2) About a material, or important, fact

3) Which you reasonably relied on (i.e. there was no reason to not believe it and it was credible)

4) To your detriment

--then you can recover your money and/or other damages (compensation). If the dealer will not voluntarily return the money, you'd have to sue to get it back; the law against fraud does not enforce itself. One reasonable option is to sue in small claims court, acting as your own attorney--if you had to hire a lawyer, it may not be economical to sue.

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