Trade-in Trouble

Seven On Your Side
October 3, 2008 9:39:31 PM PDT
It was supposed to be a simple trade in. The consumer gets a new car and the dealer agrees to pay off the old car's loan. But months later? The car's long gone and a huge debt is still unpaid. "Kings Auto don't want to talk to me, they don't want to have nothing to do with me." Velma Hall tells Seven on Your Side's Tappy Phillips she's fed up with the dealership that made a deal that could wind up costing her more than fourteen grand.

Months ago, Velma and her husband separated. He took the car. But she kept the title for a car that was still in her name.

Both Velma and her estranged husband still owed more than fourteen thousand dollars financing on the old car. Last August, her husband traded it in on a new car. As part of the deal, Kings Auto Show, promised to pay it off the financing on the trade-in car. But months later? The debt is mounting and Velma is getting threatening letters from the finance company.

"Toyota Finance is still calling me and telling me that i am still responsible," said Velma. "(I still owe) $14910."

So we called Kings Auto Show, who told us they'd already send out the payment. But Toyota Financing said they didn't get it. So what happened? We asked a manager at the dealership who insisted the loan had been paid off. "It was paid Friday," said George Ballas from Kings Auto Show.

He's right, Kings Auto show did send a check last Friday. But the payment only went out after we called asking about it the day before. After we pointed this out, the dealer admitted it caused the delay by sending the check to the wrong address last month.

And finally? The dealer's check cleared and Velma had fifteen thousand reasons to smile again. " I want to say thank you to all you guys for everything you've done for me," Velma said. "Because if it wasn't for you, I'd still be in this disaster."


Story by: Tappy Phillips
Produced by: Steve Livingstone