How can I recover my down payment for a car, if I refused to continue with the paperwork?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2012

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How can I recover my down payment for a car, if I refused to continue with the paperwork?

I backed out the deal.

Asked on September 17, 2012 under Business Law, Florida


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The answer to this depends on the paperwork that you signed.  If it says the downpayment is non-refundable, you may not be able to recover it.  If the paperwork does not say this, you may be able to recover the downpayment.

If you backed out quickly, never took possession of the car, advised the seller that you were cancelling the deal, and especially if you cancelled because of something you learned about the car or the deal, you may be able to get your downpayment back.  If the seller incurred no damages because of your cancellation, your chances of recovering your downpayment are better.

I would recommend that you request a return of your downpayment.  If the seller refuses, see if you can get their reason in writing.  Then, if you believe you are justified in demanding a return of your money, you can bring a suit in small claims court.  You do not need a lawyer in small claims court, and your county court website should have information and forms to file a small claims matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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