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Lemon Law: Show Me The Money!

Updated on February 26, 2010

Lemon Law Lawyers, Your Money And How To Get It Back!

Photo Credit: Geograph.Org.UK - Will Lovell
Photo Credit: Geograph.Org.UK - Will Lovell

Lemon Law: How Do I Get My Money Back?

Are lemon laws for real? Can I really get money back for a lousy car that I purchased? It's a real hunk of junk!

Yes. The answer is, yes you can get your money back. Federal consumer protection laws are on your side. Whether you are in California, Massachusetts, Wisconsin or somewhere in between, there are new state lemon laws that offer consumers a wide array of protection against buying lemon vehicles. Generally you can be rewarded a cash settlement or a replacement of the vehicle in question.

The good news is, you shouldn't have to pay any attorneys or lawyers fees because these will be paid by the manufacturer or seller of the lemon vehicle. Don't be afraid to find a lemon law lawyer or a lemon law attorney! Lemon law is an established code of law that has been around for a long time. There is a set protocol and the process has been vetted over time!

If you are like most people you may be thinking: I already got screwed once! I don't want to get screwed again by a lawyer! Don't let other people tell you they know better! Your Uncle, your neighbor your mechanic! They may not have your best interest at heart!

If you bought a car and it has immediate problems that weren't brought to light in the sale, go back and get your money! If you had to immediately take your new or used vehicle in for repairs, especially multiple repairs, keep all your documentation to show the continuity of the work done or estimates reported.

Always save your receipt! Notes and Documentation

Someone once said the difference between the rich and the poor is the poor never save their receipts. One of the most important aspects of lemon law lawsuits is what was said and what wasn't said. What was documented to prove that dialogue is the whole shebang. It may look like a fine print monster, but take a gander (magnifying glass in hand) at the contract between you and the car's seller. Look for any details that the seller may have tried to abscond. If it's all mumbo jumbo to you, don't worry, your lemon law lawyer will be able to figure it out. But make sure you save any receipts from the sale or any mechanical or repair work.

Also make sure you take personal notes. Dates, times and who said what. It may seem incidental, but paper work wins lawsuits. You can hand write notes, then transcribe them to typed text later.

Do what you can to educate yourself on the lemon laws. Buy a lemon law book. Go to the library and check one out. You may have to pay an initial fee to hire a lawyer, but a law passed in 1975 called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act guarantees that if you win, your lawyers fees will be covered by the manufacturer or whomever sold you the car. In the field of lemon law, there are many experienced attorneys. If you try a newbie attorney just to save a couple bucks you may do so to your detriment in the case of lemon law, the risk is up to you!  A good attorney will make all the difference in negotiating a proprietary settlement for you and your clunker.

Know your rights! Don't be afraid of attorneys and make the lemon law work for you!

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    • Ben Zoltak profile image
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      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks for sprucing up my legal hub with your smiling face Ms. Doughy, I appreciate you reading my words.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks ThomR, I appreciate the well wishes, can't get enough.

    • ThomR profile image

      ThomR 7 years ago from Oregon

      Great information about lemon laws. Thanks for sharing this information with us! Best to you and your family!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Happy to spread the word Property Invest!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Niteriter always good to hear from you. I sincerely tried planting a lemon tree when I was a boy years ago in my parents basement. Turns out lemon trees don't grow well under houses. Your grip on sanity is no smaller then the luggage I keep mine in my friend! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods, keep that sidewalk straightened out, as I am trying to do!

    • Property-Invest profile image

      Property-Invest 7 years ago from London

      Great hub Zoltak. I had no idea these protections even existed!

    • Niteriter profile image

      Niteriter 7 years ago from Canada

      Hi Ben. I took your advice and went out and bought a lemon law book. As far as I can tell, the law is this: "If you plant lemon seeds, you will surely harvest lemons."

      Hah! As you can see, my grip on sanity is no stronger than it was the last time I visited.

      Best wishes, Blood Brother. I hope all is well.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks for the kudos Jen! I think there may be some room to flesh out even more details, so look for more in the future on this from me!

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

      Ben, I knew lemon laws existed, but this hub taught me specifics I was not aware of. Especially appreciated what you wrote about using an attorney. Thanks for a great hub!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Helen! Kain-tuck was June Carter Cash's home state right? My kind of place methinks.

    • profile image

      AARON99 7 years ago

      A very good hub. Keep it up.

    • mynameisnotpaul profile image

      mynameisnotpaul 7 years ago from Kentuckeh'

      Kentucky, Ben. Good, old Kentucky.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
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      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Ann! I'm still digging your name Mrs. Nonymous!!! Hehe, have you met Jen Erick? Or Harry Peach? That image of the car really stood out for me too! Thanks for reading, I appreciate it!

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      I loved the car picture-what was left of it at least- and the way you presented your entire hub, Ben!!!!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
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      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Awesome MNINP! This bodes well for lots of people too I suspect who are afraid to dip their toes in anything remotely litigious! I wonder what state you are in? Whichever it is I am going to take it off my list for detailing the effectiveness of lemon laws! Thanks for the affirmation!

    • mynameisnotpaul profile image

      mynameisnotpaul 7 years ago from Kentuckeh'

      I bought an SUV a few months ago (without warranty....never doing that again) that had a couple of problems that would be expensive to repair. I called the dealership the same day of purchasing the vehicle and told them about what I had noticed, they basically told me I'd have to hand over $500 for the repairs.

      Needless to say, I refused to pay for it and contacted the "Lemon Law" people, and once the dealership caught wind of my actions, they were pretty prompt to fixing the vehicle. :)

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
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      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks De Greek!

      Thanks Janny, I agree. A lemon sounds good right about now!

    • JannyC profile image

      JannyC 7 years ago

      I shall remember this good information...and also you made me want a lemon now.Cheers! ^-^

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Interesting, thanks ...:-)

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks for the heads-up about Georgian Lemon Laws there GL I may look into it deeper. I once had to lug a giant box of paperwork together for the good Ol' IRS, believe me, it was my worst nightmare, I have nothing but respect for the IRS! I still own the box, as a remembrance!!! I will look for the poetry hub, glad to hear it!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Pamela: Thanks for reading!

      Senor Cobb! Well as you can see from GL's comment, Georgia doesn't seem to have the most proprietary lemon laws! I think they may be my first state to focus in on! Thanks for the inspiration man. It suck your buddy is out that $4700 bones, I'm guessing he might have been able to hire a lawyer for between $200-250, and usually the initial meeting is free. It would mainly depend on whether or not he had paperwork to prove the sale, he would most likely need some other documented evidence that the attorney would request. Anyway, I'm going to look into Georgia's lemon laws unless you beat me to it!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Hello, hello! As I'm realizing from comments above, the laws vary WIDELY from state to state. I may have to pull a Patty Inglish style move and start to focus on some of the states!

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Nice job Ben with some important guidelines! I owned a lemon once, but the dealer just kept telling me to bring it in so they could "fix it". Two year's later I took my 4 ft stack of repair documents into arbitration; got some money back for my efforts but GM would never take back the car. ARRR. I live in Georgia too.

      A bit off topic, but I thought I'd mention that I finally wrote some poetry on HP thanks to your support. Gave you a link too :)

    • whcobb profile image

      William Cobb 7 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      In Georgia, it is my understanding that Lemon laws only apply to the new cars... A friendo of mine is out $4700 for a used Audi he purchased and within a day the car had broken down and the mechanic found a hole in the engine... He only drove the car from the lot about 5 miles to his house... There's no way he could have put the hole in there... Ridiculous laws. Anyway... Good hub.

      William Cobb

      "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?"

    • Ben Zoltak profile image
      Author

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Flightkeeper, this is another subject I've been meaning to hit for awhile!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      That is great information. thanks.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      That sounds great. First good news for people who been cheated. Thankyou for your hub and sharing this information.

    • Flightkeeper profile image

      Flightkeeper 7 years ago from The East Coast

      Good topic, Ben. I didn't know the attorney was paid by the manufacturer/seller. Thanks.