Paying for a car that you don't own

Seven On Your Side
December 10, 2012 3:21:33 PM PST
You buy a car, trade in the old one and assume that old one gets paid off, but what happens when it doesn't?

A Middlesex County man had gone after dealerships in the past to get a resolution but first he tried to solve it on his own. After making 3 car payments on a car he didn't possess any longer, he had enough.

"I'm very frustrated, upset. Words cannot describe it, Carl Foy said.

Foy works on the third rail and keep train riders moving, but it's his own mobility that has the railman electrified.

"I'm paying for the vehicle I bought, another vehicle I have, plus the one that I just traded in, so I'm making 3 car notes!" he said

In October, he found the Jetta he wanted at Route 22 Nissan in Hillsdale and drove away happy with the trade-in deal he got for his old 07 Chevy.

"I got the exact trade off allowance I was looking for," he said.

But that satisfaction was short lived, days after signing over the title to the Impala, Carl's lender was looking for the loan payment.

"They were going to transfer the payoff off of $15,398 immediately," Foy said. "He assured me that I would not have to make a payment."

But not only did the husband and father have to make one payment, month after month he got the bill but no answers from the dealership.

"For some reason no matter how many calls I made or who I spoke to, I just got a bunch of excuses and the payment wasn't being made," Foy explained.

With Christmas coming, a new mortgage to pay and a growing baby girl, the extra car payment was putting him in a pinch, but he didn't want to jeopardize his credit either.

"I'm not trying to spend any money that I don't have to spend, especially on something that I don't own," he said.

So we got in touch with the dealer, pointing out Carl's salesman never dated the pay-off quote or wrote down a delivery date, both required by law.

The dealership blamed blamed Hurricane Sandy for the delay.

After 7 On Your Side got involved, Carl's old car was finally paid-off in full.

"I am so relieved, best Christmas present I could have gotten. Thank you so much I'm so glad," he said.

Foy got the trade-in and the reimbursement for those 3 extra payments after he transferred the title. This a problem we are seeing frequently, our story on another dealership not paying off trade-in actually wound up with the place getting shut down. Consumers need to check their paperwork carefully to make sure everything is signed and dated correctly and check with their banks. Don't assume your payoff was made unless you have the proof.



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