Down Payments Can Cost If You’re Not Careful

It’s common knowledge that even little mistakes can potentially cost you a lot of money sometimes. What’s not as common is the practice of regularly taking the time to review your operations so those little mistakes are avoided. Here’s a perfect example of why those reviews can be necessary.

Detroit-area Chevy dealership Jay Chevrolet Inc. sold Ljuvic Dedvukaj a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu in 2012. According to their agreement, Dedvukaj agreed to put $10,000 down for the purchase. Unfortunately, the dealership claims to have forgotten to collect the down payment, which Dedvukaj says he paid in cash.

Following Dedvukaj’s refusal to make the down payment, Jay Chevrolet filed a suit with the district court. The Retail Installment Sales Contract lists the total price of the vehicle at $32,582, also noting that a $10,000 down payment was agreed upon and a $6,500 rebate had been applied. In the end, a total of $16,082 was financed.

Early last month, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that Dedvukaj must pay the $10,000, since he does not have a receipt proving that he actually made the payment. However, “Michigan law does not provide for attorney fees in an ordinary contract case,” Judge Douglas Shapiro said in the case’s published opinions decision. So, while Jay Chevrolet will finally receive the $10,000 it’s entitled to, the dealership will have to cover its own court costs.

Moral of the story: don’t forget to take a sale’s down payment. And get everything in writing.

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