Dear ABC News Fixer: Used Car Appeared at Elderly Aunt's Doorstep

Allen said there was no indication that your husband's aunt was unclear about the transaction and he said his salesman didn't do anything wrong. He said they've been in business for more than 40 years and don't ordinarily have issues like this. However, given the new information, he offered to void the contract as long as your husband and his aunt provided a written statement authorizing it. They did so the following day, and the dealership took back the car with no penalties to your husband's aunt.

Allen did make a good point, which is that your husband and his aunt should contact the credit reporting agencies and explain that he has power of attorney. They might wish to consider freezing her credit, which would prevent any future impulse purchases like this one.

Some other lessons to be learned from your relative's close call:

It's extremely difficult to undo a vehicle sales contract once it's signed. Many people incorrectly assume they have three days to cancel – but in fact, once they sign the contract, the car is theirs.

It's important to do some research on the front end. For example, the Kelly Blue Book private sale value for the car was about $8,600 -- so the $11,091 price tag looks high, and the $20,323 cost after financing (including that $2,500 service plan) is crazy-high.

Consumers usually get the best deals by paying cash for a car or financing through their own bank or credit union. Be wary of a sales person who encourages you to drive a car home before financing is approved, especially if you have bad credit. For more tips on buying a used car, CLICK HERE

- The ABC News Fixer

Got a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

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