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Negative Equity Can Cost You Big Money

Would you pay $5 for a gallon of milk that only costs $3.00 at the grocery store just because the last gallon you bought there was bad? Why should you pay extra for something that isn't your fault?

We are seeing more and more people who have a lemon car that they got by trading in their last lemon to get rid of it and get a new car - only to find out their new car is as bad as the last one.

And that's when they find out just how deep their dealer put them into the hole when they got rid of that last lemon car. It's an expensive mistake you can avoid.

The "let's get you into a new car" helping hand that some dealers will give you, just to help you get rid of your lemon car that they can't fix, can be a slap in the face. More accurately, a slap in your wallet.

The frustration of a lemon car can drive you nuts, we know. But watch out for that friendly car dealer who wants to help you out by taking that lemon off your hands and selling you a new car. We are commonly seeing dealers jacking up the new car's cost by an average of $7,000 to pay off the loan on the lemon you are trading in. The simple truth is that your friendly car dealer isn't helping you out at all - they are burying you deeper and deeper in their red ink "negative equity."

And that trade in negative equity can bite you in the tail, big time, if your new car turns out to be another lemon. It's already biting into your wallet big time even if your new car runs wonderfully. Here's how.

Most car dealers have no real interest in helping you out. They are in business to make money and your lemon trade in just gives them one more chance to make money off of you, albeit sooner than they expected when they sold you that lemon in the first place.

Most people keep their new car for 3 years, more or less. But if it turns into a lemon, there's a big temptation to trade it in sooner, just to be rid of it and get reliable transportation again. Watch out! That is exactly when the dealer reaches deeper into your wallet or your purse, making that trade in even more expensive than it has to be.

The dealer knows you are fed up with the lemon car you are driving. How? Because they've been working on it. Or, more often, you told them. So they know that you want out of the vehicle badly. That tells them that they have the upper hand over you, before you even start talking trade in value.

Is it really negative equity or is it just a car dealer ripoff?
So the dealer is strongly tempted to tell you your trade in is worth even less than normal because they know you want rid of it. And up comes the negative equity discussion.

"You know," they start off to say, "your trade in is a lemon and we aren't going to get much out of it when we send it to the auction yard. And if we try to sell it, first we have to try to fix it and we'll probably have to give a warranty with it too. But don't worry," and this is when you think they are helping you the most, "we will pay off the loan and get you into a brand new car!"

Sounds great, doesn't it? But you don't even know what is happening. If your trade in is worth $20,000 the dealer will probably only write up a trade in allowance of $12,000 because they know how bad you want rid of it, even though they will resell your trade in for the full $20,000 or more! And more and more dealers are not even telling you how much the trade in allowance is, by hiding it in the paperwork fine print. Many buyers are so desperate to get rid of their lemon that they don't look closely at the numbers on the sales contract. Big mistake!

In the fine print, and in the confusing form layout that separates the trade in allowance from the trade in loan payoff number, the dealer buries the fact that the trade in allowance is far, far less than the trade in loan payoff amount - and the bottom line number appears to be the price for your new car when, in reality, it's the cost for both the new car and the cost for paying off the old lemon car! It's sometimes called "stealing the trade" by some car dealers, because the buyer doesn't even realize what the numbers are because they are so focused on getting a new car for $xxx per month.

Trading in Your Lemon Can be a Costly Mistake
In other words, the dealer concentrates your attention on the cost of your new car (which includes the extra loan payoff charge on your lemon trade in) and never points out how the loan balance on your lemon trade in is being added to the price of the new car you are getting.

Desperate consumers look at the monthly payment number for the new car and think how glad they are to be getting a new car. But they don't realize that the dealer is adding an extra $7,000 or more to the actual MSRP of the new car they are selling you. Think about it this way. Would you pay $5 for a gallon of milk that only costs $3.00, just because the last gallon you bought there was bad?

Of course not.

Well, don't let the car dealer slick talking rip you off. When a car dealer says they can trade you out of your lemon, they are actually saying we can sell you another car and make even more money off of you if you let us. Well, don't let them.

So, what's the solution? Easy. Get a lemon lawyer to get your money back and get rid of your lemon at no net cost to you at all. Kentucky's Lemon Law gives you the right to a new car or your money back. And it makes the manufacturer pay your attorney fees and court costs too.

So, you have a choice. You can get rid of your lemon car and get your money back, for free. Or you can pay the dealer an extra $7,000 or more to sell you another car. Seems like an easy choice, if you care about your money.

You can probably use that $7,000, so don't give it away so easily, folks. Keep it in your pocket. Get a lemon lawyer on your side. Get your money back and rid of your lemon. Get Justice.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of lemons and get their money back, for more than 25 years.
Lemon Law - it's what we do. Everyday.