I will never do business with Ally again, and you shouldn't either

Being a member here, I was well aware that breaking a lease with Ally would be painful. I was prepared. I did my homework.

The key bit of that homework was getting on a 3-way call with the dealership who made the offer to buy the vehicle and Ally’s dealer services phone number. During that call, the representative of the dealership asked for the “into dealer inventory” buyout for the vehicle. The value was about 10% higher than my buyout. It’s good for 5 days. Awesome. All is good. Everything is acceptable.

So I drive out to the dealership 3 days after the call to sell them the vehicle. This is CarMax, and it’s unfortunately about 140 miles from home. 2.5 hours to drive. Yeah, I did my homework before I did that drive and arranged favors to get me home.

Once we’re at the dealer, the dealer calls to verify the “into dealer inventory” buyout for the vehicle. Guess how much MORE it was than the offer above, as a percentage. You already know they screwed me over on this, else I wouldn’t be writing this.

It was another 10% higher than the number they gave the dealer 3 days earlier. They couldn’t explain the discrepancy. They wouldn’t budge.

I steamed for the 2.5 hour drive back home in a vehicle I desperately wanted to be out of. Then I looked at my lease contract.

As it turns out, the contract has a term called “Realized Value”, which might be different than Residual Value. Realized Value is the value Ally sells the car for at wholesale or, if I get an independent appraisal of the vehicle’s wholesale value from an appraiser both Ally and I agree upon, it’s that value. It’s not the lower value. If I get the appraisal, and it’s higher than Residual, Ally has to cut me a check for the difference.

So of course I get Ally on the phone, I record the call this time, and ask them to tell me in writing who they will accept in my area as appraisers. They won’t do it in writing, but they said, knowing the call was being recorded by both parties, that any of the brand’s dealers in the area would be acceptable as appraisers.

So… here we go… let’s see how high I can get an on-brand dealer to appraise this thing for because these assholes need to write me a check for doing me dirty like that.

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Was the original offer in writing?

Selling someone else’s property always has its risks.


The terms of your lease agreement allow you to buy it, and then resell it to whomever you choose for as much as you can get.

Good luck.

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Really? That’s your question? Was it in writing from Ally?

Car dealers do this exact process over the phone every day. The dealer took this one over the phone, not in writing, and if the buyout would have been the same number, we would have closed the deal with the dealer taking it over the phone.

I was asking if Ally’s offer to the dealer, who is not a party to your lease agreement, was in writing.

You stated that the offer was valid for 5 days. If that was in writing (fax, email) to the dealer, then the dealer may have some recourse.

If anyone was wronged here it was the dealer.

Take a breath and read your lease agreement for your lease-end options.

Dealers give quotes over the phone all the time, people drive there and they change the terms, or say “tax tags fees weren’t included”. There’s hundreds of examples of that here, maybe thousands.

Key takeaway. Always get everything in writing in the car business. When I get a lease for my clients, I put the exact terms in writing.

36/10 lease 453/mo tax tags ALL fees included etc. people always try and tell me they asked for 12k miles, or the price changed. A simple screen shot proves it. And occasionally I mess up and they have the opportunity to do the same.

I’ve never had issues with ally transferring leases or selling them, if going by their terms. Their biggest issue is that they do not hire enough customer support. It takes forever to get anything done with them over the phone.

In my experience, dealers rarely get the payoff in writing. I sold another car off lease from a different company to CarMax the same day I tried to sell this one. They took that over the phone. Nothing in writing. They wrote down about a dozen pieces of information including confirmation numbers and an employee name or ID. That’s it.

The issue isn’t with CarMax. They did a fine job. They kept their end of the deal intact. There is nothing CarMax could do about Ally changing the payoff amount.

The issue is Ally is a piece of shit company who tells you one number that is good for 5 days, then a completely different number 3 days later.

Eventually your neighbors are going to notice that their car is missing.


You are awesome, sir or madam! :laughing: :rofl:

IMHO, this was carmax’s fault. It is silly that they request a payoff and then request another a couple of days later. Why? They will always be different, even if by just a little.

The fact that Ally allows for you to get the car appraised and they’ll pay you any overage is shocking to me. If anything, this makes me WANT an Ally lease! So, if worth less, they eat it, but if worth more they pay you? Good god! They are SAINTS!!

If that doesn’t work out, why wouldn’t you just buy it yourself and sell to carmax? If they original quote was 10% over, wouldn’t you be getting even more by buying it yourself? Unless your tax is greater than 10%.

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Because Carmax isn’t stupid and will be held responsible if any variance in payoff.

When I’ve sold to carvana, they’ve required a 10 day pay off letter so they have in writing the buy out and how long it’s good for.


Right and this one was verbal, hence why they don’t want to get screwed.

We don’t know all the circumstances behind the verbal quote so I will say that the Carmax guy didn’t want to lose his job just so someone else can get some extra cash.

Yes, as a business, the proper thing to do would have been to request the pay off in writing so as to not have any ambiguity. Getting it verbally, even the same day, is fairly worthless.

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Bingo. That’s the point. You get the official payoff BEFORE you have the customer make the trip.

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As I said, we don’t have all the information on why the OP went to Carmax with a ‘verbal’. For all we know he called the bank himself. That’s why I quoted your post, why blame Carmax, they know to get a real payoff. Why would they get a ‘verbal’. It is suspicious and possibly some details left out.

OP post of getting mad at Ally is correct, but I do not think Carmax is at fault here.

Do you think Ally has a reverse-LH calculator and they were plugging in numbers to see their score?


The first post is pretty detailed. Carmax, Ally, and OP were all on the phone together before OP went to carmax in person.

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My story with Ally is the other way around. My dealer buyout was $1k more than my personal payoff. I was like fine. But when the final paperwork was requested by Vroom, Ally made the mistake of giving them the personal one and they stuck by it. i’ve no idea to this day why

Every lease I’ve had has that clause. Long ago, I had a leasing company send me a check out of the blue when they wholesaled the vehicle for over residual. It wasn’t nearly as much as this one will be, and I just recently figured out the appraisal route because I dug deeper into the contract because Ally screwed me this weekend.

Because Ally will tack sales tax on and then hold the title long enough to ensure I owe the sales tax. The appraisal route nets me a lot more money.

CarMax and I were on a three-way call with Ally. CarMax requested the to inventory payoff during that call.

I do not think that, either. This is 100% Ally.

But, I ask again, is your sales tax actually more than the 10% increase on that first dealer quote? You were willing to take a 10% hit at that time, so if your tax is less than that, it would have been, and still is, a better move, no?

Sure, it might take some time, but the shortage isn’t changing anytime soon, and the value of your car may even go up in that time.