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8/13/2009 - Clunker Payback Agreements Not Required

Some dealerships are requiring buyers to sign agreements that oblige the buyer to repay the dealer for the program's $3,500 or $4,500 rebates if the government denies the claim -- despite a government advisory that consumers are not required to sign such agreements.
Dealer associations in some states are even providing the agreements on their websites for their members to use in clunker transactions.
The dealers apparently are using such agreements to guarantee that they receive the rebates promised by the program.
Cash for clunkers has been plagued by uncertainty concerning its funding and late payments to dealers, who are required to give consumers the rebate up front and then wait for reimbursement by the government.
In addition, some clunker deals are being rejected by the government because they don't meet all of the program's myriad specifications. Those include the requirement that vehicle trade-ins must have been continuously insured for the 12 months prior to the clunkers transaction.
The Department of Transportation is overseeing the clunkers program, which provides rebates to consumers who trade in an older car for a new vehicle that gets better gas mileage. The official website, , states that "consumers are not required to sign contingency agreements to pay back the dealer should the CARS [Car Allowance Rebate System] credit be rejected."
Source Los Angeles Times 8/13/2009

Peter Schulz - Editor - Email TCRM

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