What to look out for before you 'Buy Here Pay Here'

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If you are like millions of other people in Los Angeles County, then you rely on a car to get around. However, cars are expensive, which means that buying one without knowing what protections are in place can prove to be a costly mistake.

Unfortunately, there are auto dealers who take advantage of the fact that consumers don't always know that there are laws in place to protect them. For instance, if you buy a car from a dealer who advertises "buy here, pay here" options, then you should be aware of the rules and protections that come with these dealer-provided loans.

Understanding Buy Here Pay Here

Backing up, we should explain that BHPH dealerships are dealers that extend credit to buyers directly. This can be an attractive offer for people who have no credit or poor credit and cannot secure a loan from a bank.

While BHPH is a legitimate method, there are serious drawbacks to consider. Primarily, these loans often come with massive interest rates that are far higher than a bank or credit union might require.

Another drawback is the fact that dealerships often have the power to deactivate a car if a person misses payments. They can do this by using starter interrupt devices.

Red flags to watch out for

If you are considering buying a car from one of these dealers, then you need to proceed cautiously.

Before you agree to anything, make sure you review the interest rates and other charges associated with the loan to ensure the amount is within state legal limits. You will also want to be sure that the dealership is actually a licensed lender. Finally, be sure you confirm the conditions under which the dealer might disable a vehicle.

Know your legal options

Dealers who take advantage of consumers by misleading them or overcharging them can and should be held accountable for unlawful actions. If you believe you purchased a vehicle from a dealer engaging in illegal practices, then you would be wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible to protect your property and your rights.

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