BMW Financial Services returned my check!

Sooooo I’m in a bit of a pickle.
Back in January this year I got rear-ended by a delivery truck with just 2 months left on my lease with BMW financial services. On February 3rd Geico declared my 19’ BMW i3 Rex a total loss. I subsequently then got a valuation quote from Geico later on that would have allowed me to walk away with close to 7k in positive equity. My lawyer advised me to pay off BMW financial services that way I can keep the positive equity (I live and leased this car in California, other states may be different).

On February 7th, I mailed my payoff with an additional $15 for overnight return service to BMW Financial Services in Chicago. On February 12th, I checked MY BMW on the BMW financial services portal and see that my payment was taken with a prompt telling me that the amount cashed by them was sufficient to cover my vehicle buyout.

I gave them a ring on February 15th inquiring about the status of my vehicle title. Turns out, they say they are reversing the payment since Geico reported to them that the vehicle was a total loss. The agent told me that BMW doesn’t sell vehicles that are deemed a total loss to the lease contract holder and that they will only accept a buyout from Geico. I asked what would happen to my positive equity and she stated that BMW financial services get to keep it.

I was wondering if anyone else had a similar experience as I did? I am unsure of how to proceed. Now when I log back into my portal, it says my payment is overdue and I have one month remaining on my lease. No messages in my inbox or anything. Had I not called, I wouldn’t have even known they reversed my payment. I also looked over my lease contract. Nowhere does it stipulate that I cannot buy the vehicle out once it is deemed a total loss. Do ya’ll have any suggestions on how or what I should do moving forward?


In my BMW lease, Section 24 says (I added the emphasis):

“I agree to immediately notify you if the Vehicle is damaged or destroyed in an accident… In that event, you reserve the right to terminate this Lease and…”

[Section continues on to refer to Section 25, which covers how the lessor’s remaining liability is calculated, assuming they are in compliance with insurance requirements]

Are you saying you had an accident in January and didn’t notify them?


That ^, plus there’s a whole bunch of threads you can go down on this subject… perhaps start here (BMW shamelessly STOLE my equity. What can I do?). The others are linked into it anyways and it’ll answer many of the same questions you probably have (though, of course, I’m not a CA lawyer so do with this as you see best fit)

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It’s their equity, it was never yours to begin with.

You have a lawyer who instructed you in the first place, so why the hell are you asking us internet schlubs?


Thank you for clarifying that for me. I believe Geico reached out to them in February with the news. Just wish it was more fluid between the few entities

Still suffering from brain damage sorry :sleeping:

Yeah I read an article on this forum about that which someone above kindly linked back too. I figure if I bought it, it would be mine. Thank you for your contribution to this thread.

You were obligated to notify the lessee immediately about the damage to their property.

It’s immaterial what Geico did weeks later.


Valuable information for the future. Thank you

There are so many common questions that are answered in the lease agreement.

You wouldn’t be the first one to have an accident with a leased car. :slight_smile:

Glad you are okay, that’s the main thing.

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Lease contracts are like owners manuals, we don’t touch it until we need haha.

The physical pain is all but gone, but unfortunately I still have a ton of brain fog. I still think the i3 did an amazing job protecting me though. Sad to see it go. Dude hit me so hard he cracked the carbon monoshell.


I wonder what would have happened if you mailed the check the day after the accident. Then everything gets processed prior to anyone knowing it was a total loss.

Exactly what I was thinking. This would be the thing to do if you knew the vehicle was totaled. Only issue is if it’s borderline and then you’re stuck with a car with a bad carfax and potentially little or no equity.

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They’ll come after you for breach of contract, presumably.

What did Geico tell you when you relayed to them BMW’s response?

Why would he need to tell them? And, even if he did, why would they care? BMWFS is the payee on the policy, so that’s who they pay. End of story as far as they are concerned.

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