Beware of 'Spot Delivery' and Don't be Put on the Spot!
So you purchased a beautiful new car, signed all the necessary paperwork,
and drove it right off the lot with a big smile on your face. The dealer
got you approved "on the spot" – or so you thought.
A few days or weeks later, the dealer calls and asks you to return to "sign
a few more papers." They say, "We couldn't get the car financed,
and you need to sign a new loan with another bank," or "You
need someone to co-sign," or "Give us another $1000 and we can
do the deal," or "We need to increase your monthly payment to
get this done."
The dealer may even have delayed paying off a traded vehicle loan or refused
to mail registration papers, all to place additional pressure on you to
either do as instructed, or face dire consequences to your credit.
Sound familiar? It gets worse.
If you refuse, the dealer may threaten to repossess the car, tell you that
you have no legal entitlement to keep it, or even make you wait for hours
at the dealership under some excuse, just to wear you down. This situation
is most common involving consumers with bad credit, since dealers perceive
that such people are vulnerable and easy to take advantage of.
Most consumers assume the dealer is telling the truth and will do whatever
the dealer says, resulting in higher payments, additional money being
spent over the life of the loan, and/or thousands of dollars in increased
"hidden" costs. Those who refuse see their cars repossessed.
What is happening here? It's a scam. Dealer fraud. Unlawful. Illegal.
Call it what you will. The industry has given it a name: Spot Delivery,
a description which refers to the dealer placing a consumer in a car "on
the spot," to get the sale, only to "yo-yo" them back at
a later date for additional funds. Played to perfection, a dealer can
reap thousands of dollars in unearned fraudulent gain.
What You Should Know About Spot Delivery
If you signed purchase documents and registration applications and if you
obtained insurance for the vehicle, had a new license plate put on the
car, and/or had your old plate transferred, the car belongs to you.
Spot Delivery happens to unsuspecting consumers throughout the United States.
It is very popular with dealers in Louisiana, Texas and California.
If you find yourself in this situation, the chances are good that you have
legal remedies available to right this wrong.
How to Protect Yourself from Spot Delivery or Dealer Fraud
Remember that if you have signed papers, you own the car, regardless of
whether the vehicle has been financed.
Your credit was good or the dealer would not have delivered the car to
you at the price you agreed to pay.
A finance document showing payments, deposit, interest rate and other financial
items is a binding contract, giving you specific legal rights.
You own the car subject to making payments only. The dealer cannot change
that once you take possession.
Keep all copies of your paperwork and anything else associated with the
sale (including calendars, photographs, advertisements). If the finance
manager asks for your papers at any time for any reason, refuse! Keep
these documents in a safe place (not the car).
If you are called back to the dealership to sign additional papers, either
do not go or do so in a different car than the one you bought.
Have a friend or spouse drive you and witness whatever is being told to
you. This will prevent the dealer from taking your car as hostage, an
all too common occurrence.
If a dispute arises with the dealer over the contract and the dealer demands
the car is returned, park it in a garage or remote location until the
matter is resolved to prevent it from being taken against your wishes.
Put together a complete time line of everything that happened from the
time you thought of purchasing the car until the car was taken away. Try
to remember specific names of dealership personnel and any statements
that were made to you during conversations with the sales and finance staff.
Keep track of all monies you had invested into the purchase, including
registration, insurance, down payment and trade. Never pay cash and always
get a receipt!
If you believe you are a victim of a Spot Delivery scam and wish to discuss
it with attorney Rick Dalton, please call him on his cell phone (888) 577-8520.