We get this question a lot. The short answer to this is that merely filing a lemon law claim would not necessarily negatively affect one’s credit, as long as the consumer continues making the vehicle’s finance payments, assuming the consumer is financing the vehicle. In fact, filing a lemon law claim may positively affect a consumer’s credit rating because in the event the consumer prevails in their vehicle repurchase claim, the vehicle would be paid off as part of the repurchase, thus potentially positively affecting the consumer’s credit rating in many circumstances.
The key here is to continue making the vehicle finance payments, even after the consumer has received a vehicle repurchase settlement from the vehicle manufacturer, and up until the date, the consumer returns the vehicle to the vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle finance overpayments made by the consumer would be returned to the consumer either by the vehicle manufacturer, or the consumer’s vehicle finance company.
Another question that is closely related to the credit question is whether the consumer, while they wait for an answer from the vehicle manufacturer regarding a repurchase, should continue making the vehicle collision and vehicle insurance gap payments. The consumer should continue making the vehicle collision and vehicle insurance gap payments while they wait for an answer from the vehicle manufacturer and until the date the vehicle manufacturer repurchases the vehicle. There are various reasons for this, but one of the most important reasons is that if the consumer continues to drive the vehicle while waiting for the repurchase to take place, the consumer is required to carry vehicle collision insurance, and also in the event the consumer is involved in a vehicle accident, or the vehicle is stolen or damaged.
Filing a lemon law claim with the vehicle manufacturer or in court is but the first step in the lemon law vehicle repurchase process. The mere process of filing a lemon law claim, by itself, would not necessarily negatively affect a consumer’s credit, as long as the consumer continues to make the vehicle finance payments. The consumer should also continue making the vehicle collision, and vehicle gap insurance payments up until the date the vehicle manufacturer repurchases the vehicle. As the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, or California Lemon Law provides for attorney’s fees, a consumer should take the guesswork out of filing a lemon law claim and should instead think about hiring a competent lemon law attorney.
Luis Aguirre is a California lemon law, breach of vehicle warranty, and breach of vehicle contract attorney with deep knowledge in the area of the California Vehicle Buyer’s Bill of Rights.
Luis Aguirre California Lemon Law Attorney 26060 Acero Suite 111
Mission Viejo, CA 92691 Telephone: 949.342.6199.