RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Tryphena Whitfield left the court house happy and waving her arms in the air at the amount judge John Dodson ordered Yes Auto Sales to pay her in Chesterfield General District court.
Whitfield had been battling the car dealership over a down payment she felt she was owed after the dealer asked her to return the car. The judge agreed and she walked away with a check for $1,856.
Whitfield said two weeks after she drove off the lot believing the car was hers, she got a call instructing her to bring it back. When she did, the dealership refused to return her $2,000 down payment.
Now she can take that money to another car dealership and get the vehicle she’s been without.
Dodson ruled that Yes Auto Sales owner Amon Hamad is required to return a down payment if financing on a vehicle cannot be secured. The judge subtracted about $200 from the payout because Hamad had paid that so Whitfield’s co-signer could be current on his own car note.
The 2011 Nissan Rogue should not have been let off the lot, the judge said, until the financing paperwork was finalized.
“I am so glad,” Whitfield said. “I never knew that I could do this."
Prior to the dispute going to court, Yes Auto Sales maintained that the down payment was non-refundable and held firm to that stance entering the court room.
“Nothing’s free in this world," Hamad said. "When you put people to work and people put miles on your car and people use your paper, your ink, your services, car comes back dirty, you’ve got to clean it.”
Hamad wrote the check ordere by the judge on the spot, even though he disagreed with the ruling.
Dodson also said the case was special and that a refund will all be ordered in similar cases that come before his court.
“So, I learned something,” Hamad said. "We wrote a check and now you guys can just remember that Yes Auto Sales paid the money.”
Whitfield also got back the $56 in court costs to have a deputy serve the warrant against Hamad.