The 4 Square

The 4 Square is the equivalent of the “hide the pea” shell game. There are 4 squares on the paper. Trade-in, Sale Price of the New Vehicle, Down Payment and Monthly Payment. The more you put down, the lower the monthly payment is supposed to go. These are defined as “Trigger Terms”, i.e., a monthly payment amount triggers TILA, meaning once TILA is triggered, the document you are signing must contain all Truth In Lending disclosures. Of course, they do not.

Get a copy of this 4 Square for your records. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires the dealer to give you a copy of all documents that you sign.

So you sign or initial the 4 Square and Bingo… it transforms into a purchase agreement under ASFA that may not comply with TILA or ASFA giving you all your Truth-In-Lending disclosures and the whole deal is now unenforceable. So if you discover this violation, you may be able to return the vehicle and get all of your money back.

The 4 Square is also the roadmap to prove Payment Packing or LEG. That is why the Sales Desk or the F&I manager shreds these documents. That is also why it is so important for you to demand a copy. If they will not give you one, walk away.

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