Has your vehicle been repossessed by a Buy-Here-Pay-Here dealership? Repossessions are hard on folks. You’ve lost your car. You’ve lost the money that you’ve put into it. Your credit has taken a hit. Maybe your neighbors or co-workers witnessed the whole thing and it’s embarrassing. Simply getting a car repossessed […]
Deciphering Car Sale Contracts, Continued. If you haven’t read the first part of this article, you should read it here. Today we look at all that fine print on the back side of your car sale contract, and figure out what it all means. XI. Finance Charge and Payments. […]
At 8:59 A.M., my office phone rings. A frantic woman answers: “My car just got repossessed.” As she proceeds to tell me her story, it becomes clear that this isn’t a garden variety repossession. Most repossessions, I confess, are totally legal. A car was bought on an installment contract; payments […]
Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle Programs Sometimes Cover Past Wrecks. Beware of Trusting the “Certified” Label.
When you’re looking to purchase a car, all you want is a reliable, comfortable car that you can afford. If you either cannot or will not spend the money to buy a brand new vehicle, then a used car is your only choice. Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles can be a decent option, if you’re dealing with a manufacturer who stands behind their certification and do your diligence ahead of time.
But many times, the certified label is nothing more than a fancy sticker used to raise the price of the car. Some manufacturers have even been known to repaint wrecked cars and then push them through their “certified” process. Or more commonly, allow dishonest dealer sales personnel to conduct the “certification” and simply rubber stamp the dealer’s certification.
If you paid certified-car money for a vehicle that was previously wrecked or used as a daily rent-a-car, you should talk to your lawyer about your options for getting your money back.
If you live in Alabama and would like a free consultation regarding your rights with certified pre-owned vehicles, call us at 251.272.9148 today.
Are you one of the approximately 482,000 VW Diesel owners in the USA with a car that was rigged to cheat its way through emissions tests? If so, here are some things to consider before you start freaking out: You can still drive the car.The “defeat device” that lurks in […]
If you’ve been watching the news, you may have heard about the massive fraud that Volkswagen has perpetrated on its customers. For several years now, they have been marketing their “clean diesel” cars as being, well, clean burning, low-pollution vehicles. They even had scientific proof: emissions tests showed that the […]
GO Financial (a.k.a. “GO Credit” or “GFC Lending”) Finances Subprime Auto Sales. If you applied for a loan with them and were denied, speak to a consumer protection lawyer right away. We are currently investigating claims where car buyers who sought financing for car sales via GO Financial had their loan […]
Whenever you Apply for Credit or any sort of Installment Loan, you are supposed to receive a written notice from the creditor telling you if you were approved, denied, or given a counter-offer. This is more important than you think. Here’s why.
There’s this thing called the Adverse Action Notice. It’s a letter that anyone who receives a consumer credit application must send to the applicant if they do anything but approve their application on the terms requested. Here’s what they look like:
Both the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act require adverse action notices, but the same letter can serve both purposes, and the ECOA requirements are more important.
Just like the name says, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was originally intended to prevent credit discrimination by forcing creditors to tell people the real reason why they were denied a loan or offered a 12% interest rate when everybody else got a 7% interest rate. It’s really hard to discriminate against divorcees or blacks if you’re not allowed to just deny without an explanation. It still does this, though I like to think that our society has progressed beyond the point of people being mistreated solely because of their color, sex, religion, or whatever.
But the Adverse Action Notice has two very important functions that Congress probably didn’t foresee back in 1974.
1. It alerts you to problems with your credit report. Because the adverse action notice has to tell you why you were denied, (i.e. “You have too much debt already.”), it can alert you to credit problems that you didn’t know you had. For instance, if you get a denial letter that says your auto loan application was denied because you had “Too many recent inquiries,” and you know for a fact that you haven’t applied for any sort of credit in 2 years, then you know that something is wrong, and you’ve been alerted to a possible identity theft issue that you need to take care of ASAP.
2. It warns you of fraud by potential creditors and salespeople. This happens most often in the context of auto sales, but it can just as easily happen with mortgage lending (where there are much bigger consequences). How? I’ll use an example to show you why. You go to a car dealer shopping for a car. You pick one or two models you’re interested in and you offer a $3,000 down payment and you ask to finance the remaining $18,000 at 8% APR over 48 months. You fill out a credit application and you hand it to the dealer. He uploads it to his computer system and submits the loan to potential finance companies.
What’s supposed to happen next is this: he sends your application to a four potential lenders, and they respond. Whichever one gives you the best deal gets the contract. You get the car. The dealer sells a car. The finance company gets a new customer paying them 8% APR for their loan.
But what can (and sometimes does) happen is this: three lenders reply, two of them offer you financing at 9%, and the other offers you financing at 12%, but is willing to finance a bunch of junk charges like a $1800 service contract that cost the dealer $600 and pay the dealer a bonus $500 for sending you their way. The dealer then tells you that you’ve been approved for 12%, and that’s all they can do. You believe him and you take the deal.
30 days later, you get two letters from finance companies you never heard of, announcing that they got your applications, but only offered you 9%, and that they haven’t heard from you since then. You think WTH? I signed up for 12% when I could have gotten 9%? So now you know you’ve been screwed. That’s what is supposed to happen. Now you can do something about it. Like calling a lawyer in Alabama who can help you take action to defend your rights.