My father has had a TBI and has early signs of dementia. They went to look at leasing a car and were coerced into signing a lease. They were definitely taken advantage of. They never went back to pick up the car and said they wanted out of deal. Well, the dealership was livid and verbally abusive on the phone. They became scared. We live in Mass. Is there anything we can do so they are not financialy liable? What will happen if they don't do anything? I've contacted a lawyer but any advice is helpful. They actually went unbeknownst to me and leased another car. They care for my disabled sister financially and I'm nervous this could hurt them financially.

The problem that you have here is proving that your parents were incapable of making their own decision about a lease. You say they are financially managing for themselves and for your disabled sister. They have no diagnosis? No financial fiduciary or POA? So there is only YOUR WORD that they are incapable of making their own decision.
You definitely need the advice on an attorney here. You need careful diary of when car bought, who was contacted to notify dealership with the diagnosis of dementia (if there is one). If there IS NO FORMAL diagnosis of dementia then it is going to be difficult to get out of this lease, and usually the canceling of same has time limited rules (read the lease).
YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY. Advice of of Forum just won't do here. But you CAN tell the car dealership that your have Newspaper and Media contacts and will "make them famous" if they don't deal with these elders in cancelling the contract. Meanwhile, it is important you see the attorney at ONCE. As I said, in these instances time matters.
You can say that these people suffer from dementia, but the fact is how is a dealership to know this Many can confabulate very well and seem quite rational in business dealings. I worry if these folks are caring for a disabled sister financially if they cannot manage their own financial decisions; that also would not wash well in court, because the dealership can come back on the information saying that if these people are incapable of making their own decisions why have they no guardian? Why have they no financial POA or fiduciary? And etc.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to AlvaDeer

You say they were coerced, but that's not really wht happened. They went there of their own free will without thinking it through (or being able to think it through). The dealership has no way of knowing what's going on with them. Can you imagine the legal and PR blowback if a dealership just decided to NOT sell or lease a car to someone based on no actual evidence of a problem? I can't blame them so you'll need to finesse this situation with the dealership and maybe you can avoid being taken to court. A medical diagnosis or impairment or your father's records of his TBI would probably be necessary. I'm hoping you or someone else are their PoA. If not, this needs to happen prior to a diagnosis. I wish you success in unruffling the dealership's feathers.
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Reply to Geaton777

I agree. Coercion includes violence or threats. This was most likely just the high pressure sales tactics associated with car dealers. If the parents were genuinely distressed by the experience, they probably wouldn’t have tried again so quickly. The second lease indicates disturbingly poor judgment.

Read the contract. If the down payment is similar to what you’d pay the lawyer, consider offering to let the dealer keep it if they’ll cancel the contract. You could also look into car lease exit and how much it would cost to “resell” the lease to someone else.

The larger problem is what to do going forward. It sounds like they are competent enough that the legal system will let them continue to make their own bad decisions.

If you believe they are still competent, get POA etc. done ASAP and see if you can do anything to help disabled sister prepare to make other financial arrangements. Beg them not to talk to high pressure salespeople: no in home demonstrations, no estimates from contractors, no free lunch seminars! Help them to minimize their junk mail and keep their donations under control.

The period when they are ok to drive a car, but incompetent to lease one is difficult to navigate and doesn’t improve.

If you truly believe one or both is already incompetent you need to make some tough decisions. How involved are you willing to be? Is POA enough or do they need a conservator? It’s not easy to disable their ability to enter contracts.

Edited to add:

Their Social Security income should be safe from a judgement on this kind of debt. Pension income and RMDs from retirement accounts would be vulnerable. However, this kind of debt is more likely to trash their credit than result in a judgement. Inability to get credit may not be a bad thing at this point.

As always, if you want legal advice you can rely on, consult an appropriate attorney.
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Reply to Frebrowser

There is a state agency that licenses dealerships. See if they can do anything to help.
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Reply to gladimhere

I wonder if the 3 day change your mind thing works for leasing cars? I guess when you say "they" Mom was there? If she does not have Dementia she could have stopped him from signing. 68 is not elderly and she is capable of understanding a lease. My friend is 73 and leases her cars.

Are you saying they left the dealers and went to another one and leased a car there too? Are you sure its not buyers remorse on their part? Did they contact the first place the same day and inform them they were canceling the first lease?

I think your parents may have gotten themselves into a mess and it will take a lawyer to get them out.
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Reply to JoAnn29
LakeErie May 10, 2022
The 3 day cooling off period applies to any contract longer than one year. They could have cancelled within 3 days but did not. So now they are under contract. If they want out, they’ll have to make some kind of buyout agreement with the dealership.
"I'm in contact consistently but he is not listening to me"

You don't mention your parent's ages. I am 72 my husband is 75 and I don't feel we need to get our daughters' permission to buy or lease a car. Until you get a formal diagnoses on Dad, there is not much you can do. If you don't have them yet, before u get that diagnoses you may want to get DPOA on both your parents. Tell Dad that if you don't have them, the State can step in and take over their care and money.

If you father is even in the early stage of Dementia he has lost the ability to reason. I have never leased a car but I know when I sign that paperwork, I now own that car. Your father and mother must have bought a number of cars and know that. Both of them going to another dealer and signing again shows that both your parents have some kind of problem. What can you do, not much without a diagnoses of incompetence. I know, now you have to deal with the problem. I so hope the dealer can be reasoned with. Don't go in blaming them. Go in asking if they can help you resolve the problem.

Now your sister. Does she live with them? Does she get Social Security Disability? Supplimental Income? Medicare and/or Medicaid. There is no reason they should be supporting her if she is and if not getting these things, she should be. My nephew gets SSD and with that Medicare and Medicaid. He has housing based on his income. Even with SSD ur allowed to work but there is a limit to how much u can make.

There have been posts where parents have not found help for a disabled child thinking that one of the siblings will care for the disabled child. Usually one sibling finds they are caring for a parent and the disabled sibling too. So, if plans have not been made for the disabled sister you may want to look into this too. You mentioned in your profile that Mom suffers from depression and anxiety. She will have enough on her plate with Dad let alone caring for a disabled child. If this child is home, may be the cause of Moms problems.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I believe a person with dementia cannot legally sign a contract but your lawyer would know.
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Reply to Maidenkaz

Please contact an Elder Law Attorney about elder abuse and whether the state has any protective laws that could help you put a $1000 limit on their credit report for any potential leases or purchases (presuming you have a medical diagnosis from the doctor)?

On the flip side, your parents are, or should be, collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SDDI) funds for your sister; that could pay for her transportation (e.g., a van that can be used for her). When they pass, YOU may be called up to take care of her and to get her placed in an appropriate setting where you can visit frequently, but not end up being her nurse.
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Reply to ConnieCaretaker
JoAnn29 May 10, 2022
SSD does not pay for transportation. Its Social Security and if she has never worked its based on her parents earnings. Since Medicare comes with it and Medicaid can be gotten, Medicaid is where the the transportation comes in. Office if Aging can provide transportation for a disabled person. My nephew is disabled.
I appreciate the opinions of others on this forum, as it helps me realize more, how dysfunctional my family was, and is. The same way that taking the 6 week Savvy Caregiving Class, opened my eyes. My elders regarded old age, as beginning in the 50’s, and my younger sisters started doing many things for mom, when she was in her early 50’s, because she refused to learn, or moving was too painful. When we ourselves got older, we understood how very young one’s 60’s can be, especially if in good health.

When I read that 68 and 73 is not elderly, I want to cheer, and agree, but in my family, that was considered old age. One of many things I grew up under, that I’m rejecting for my best health.

I don’t have good advice to offer about this car situation, just wanted to observe that what is considered middle age to some, is way elderly young others, and that attitude is crippling. Jmho.

I wish you the best and hope a reasonable solution can be found.
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Reply to Odaat59

Wow! I'm glad you posted this. I looked up Massachusetts and "cooling off period" and found out Massachusetts is very restrictive compared to some other states. Basically, because your parents went to a dealership and signed the contract, it was binding at the moment it was signed. Massachusetts does NOT have a "3 day right to cancel if you are unhappy".

I would read all the fine print in the lease contract, especially anything regarding termination of the contract. Is the contract only in his name or also in your Mom's name? Is your Mom mentally competent to make financial decisions? I would suggest that you find an elder lawyer immediately and put paperwork in place so that this doesn't happen again and 2) see if that elder lawyer can advise you or refer you to some one who can advise you about this existing unwanted contract.

P.S. Either way you will be out of some amount of money. At this point, the question just is how much. Praying for you.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to ChoppedLiver
Cover999 May 8, 2022
Too late for that, according to OP they leased another car.
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