How to Terminate a GMAC Auto Finance Agreement

Jupiterimages/ Images

Ending any type of auto-financing agreement comes with a hefty amount of red tape. You might have any number of reasons to terminate a financing agreement with GMAC, but the most common come at the end of a lease.

Other reasons to terminate financing agreements may come right after a new car purchase if a customer is unhappy or if the automobile is no longer affordable. Regardless of the reason, consumers need to be aware of the repercussions and options available to them when terminating an agreement.

Read your lease agreement carefully. Before a lease expires, a customer has three options to terminate his contract: He can return the vehicle to the dealership, apply for a new financing contract on the vehicle, or sell the vehicle himself and pay off the balance of his lease.

Carefully read the termination clause in the lease regarding additional fees. The dealership will have information about any additional fees and charges due to GMAC at the end of a lease. These are payable when returning the vehicle and terminating the lease.

Inquire about your security deposit with GMAC. In some cases, GMAC may require a security deposit with a lease agreement. In these instances, you are often eligible to get back a portion of your security deposit. However, the amount returned to you will be reduced by any unpaid amounts on the lease after the vehicle sells at auction. This process can take anywhere from 30-120 days.

Read your purchase agreement. In most states, consumers are protected under a 72-hour purchase policy known as the "cooling-off" period. This gives the consumer the right to return a vehicle to the dealership and cancel the GMAC financing contract. However, the terms of this policy, and even its existence, vary from state to state.

Return the car to the dealership with a copy of the contract in hand. The dealership will then have you sign cancellation paperwork, but may not return your down payment or other fees collected at the time of purchase. Your contract outlines the particulars regarding fees and penalties to which the dealership is entitled if you return the vehicle.

Contact a consumer-rights attorney and your local Better Business Bureau if you believe the dealership or GMAC swindled you into an auto purchase. There are numerous consumer-protection laws in place covering an auto purchase. If dealers are not operating by the letter of the law or if the finance company made mistakes in your purchase contract, your lawyer can tell you how to proceed.

Review your purchase contract carefully and look for a clause regarding "voluntary repossession." Whether a bank repossesses a vehicle or whether you voluntarily surrender it, there are credit and financial consequences you need to understand before making this decision.

Try to sell the vehicle before surrendering it. It is much easier to terminate a GMAC auto-financing contract when you have cash in hand from the sale of your vehicle. When selling, try to get a price that is as close to the balance on your loan so you can pay off the bank. You may have to pay out-of-pocket for any difference between the sale price and your loan balance.

Surrender the car to the dealership GMAC directs you to if you weren't able to sell it. Bring the dealer your car, owner's manual and keys, and tell them you are surrendering the vehicle to the bank. You may have to sign paperwork surrendering the car before leaving the dealership, depending on the laws in your state.