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Mother in law bought used Ford Fiesta at liberty auto sales in KY. and gave 2-3 thousand more than it was worth. Me and her son knew nothing of the car until a salesman or finance man called her son and wanted him to come in and co- sign the loan, which he was shocked to have had to find out about her trading her older car in for a newer one. He refused to cosign, but they sold it to her anyway. Forward time a year and a half and a broke hip later, we moved her to tennessee to take care of her (by this time she could not drive safely and has dementia, cannot take care of herself requiring home health. She could not afford the almost 300.00 dollars a month car payment on her 950.00 dollar social security income. The bank was called and told she cannot pay her payments anymore aND she wants to voluntarily surrender the car.. They sent 2 people to get the car. Also, she was paid up to date on her payments. Now the bank sent her a letter saying the car had been auctioned off and it did not sell for enough to pay it off and that she still owed 5,000.00 dollars, and even offered to set up payments so she could pay off the unpaid remainder. She is 90 years old. My question is, is it legal to sell a car to an extremely old person who has dementia?

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How is she paying for AL on $950? I would tell the bank they can't get blood from a stone. Is there a house? If so, let them put a lean on it. I would ask the bank, though, how they allowed the sale with Moms income and the car being way over retail value at the time. TG ur husband didn't sign. So Mom's credit is ruined. Don't let them harrass you for payment. You are not responsible for Moms bills. If they call, tell them they are not to call again. If they do, report them.
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I'm going to take a slightly different approach. If she had dementia, and if it was apparent, or obvious to someone who didn't know her, I believe there's a federal statute addressing this and it could be considered elder abuse.

My comments are qualified though as I simply recall reading about this several months ago, and don't have time to do some research to check it out.

However, I think that a bank selling a car for less than it's worth, and leaving a deficit on the unpaid amount, sounds suspicious.

Research your state to determine if there's a state agency that helps elders (We have the Elder Law of Michigan agency) and ask them. Or contact senior centers locally and ask if they have an "ask the attorney" session. These are free sessions at which general legal advice can be obtained.

Beyond that, if only your MIL signed the note for the car, she's the only one obligated. Your family is not. So the issue would be whether or not she has the money to pay down the loan (if she's still responsible, and I'm not sure since the bank had the right to sell the car and could have held out for additional funds.)

With a house, there can be provisions in a mortgage to address monetary deficiencies, such as after a foreclosure, but I'm not sure about vehicles, and I have no familiarity at all with KY laws.

I guess the question could be what would the bank do if she didn't pay off the remaining balance? Does she have any assets that the family is using to pay for facility care? If there are lienable assets, and if KY has laws that allow recourse or lawsuit for a deficiency in this type of case, I'd see an elder attorney or estate planning attorney pretty quickly to find out how to protect her assets. You don't want to be in a position of losing assets to a bank and not be able to pay for the AL facility in which she's living (per your profile).
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fuzzbunny, there is nothing wrong with selling a vehicle to someone who is 90 years or heading into their 90's.... that would be like telling Clint Eastwood he can't buy a car. Now there is no age difference when it comes to dementia, some people in their 50's have early onset Alzheimer's/Dementia, and there are people in their 90's who don't have dementia at all.

Since you mentioned that Mom-in-law was an extremely old person with dementia, who was her caregiver during that time frame when she bought the car? The family should have taken away her keys at that time, and sold her previous car. If only we had a crystal ball.

With dementia, a person can do what is called "showboating", meaning you can't tell they have dementia, they act very normal. The car salesman probably had no idea Mom had dementia. Therefore, he sold a car since Mom-in-law drove on her own to the dealership.
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She signed the purchase. It's a done deal long ago.
Nothing illegal about. Not very ethical, but not illegal.
Can you prove she was mentally incompetent back when it was signed?
Why wasnt something said or done when they asked for a co-sign?    Way, way too late now.

I would simply ignore this. What...it will ruin her credit. Duh. Who cares.
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