After months of struggle, 7 On Your Side gets woman's deposit back from car dealership

ROCKLAND, New York (WABC) -- When one woman had trouble getting her deposit refunded from a car dealership for months, 7 On Your Side stepped in to get the money back.

After Jackie Rhatigan furloughed from her job during the pandemic, she started a new career, moved into a new apartment with her boyfriend and found a new, used car in May.

However, the day after she put down a deposit, the dealership said her financing wasn't approved and her $1,000 would be refunded -- but a week later, she still had no money and no answers.

After leaving multiple messages, Rhatigan finally called her bank and they gave her provisional credit while they investigated in early June.

Then on July 30, the bank took back that credit.

"And I had to transfer money from savings to my checking, got an overdraft fee for that, and everything was all messed up," Rhatigan said.

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Her credit score took a hit as she was desperately trying to repair it.

7 On Your Side contacted Rockland Nissan and inquired about the deposit. The dealership apologized for its error, and within an hour of the call, the money was returned to Rhatigan's account.
She got the $1,000 she put down on Memorial Day Weekend plus $70 in overdraft fees.

"Knowing you guys are there to help the community is really comforting," Rhatigan said.

The big takeaway is Rhatigan used a debit card, not credit card. For deposits, you have a month to pay it off and have a way to dispute charges if you use a credit card.

Also, if you're battling a company, put your beef in writing -- you can find email addresses on dealership websites.

And breaking news on story from six years ago involving an exotic luxury car dealer.

Bobby Khan, owner of Emporio Motor Group in Ramsey, who we exposed in September 2014 after customers, including reality TV stars, said he took their Ferraris, Bentleys and Lamborghinis on consignment, sold the luxury rides and never paid them, pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will be in December.

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