COCOA,Fla. - A Cocoa woman claims a used car dealer repossessed her truck even though she had not missed a payment for a year.
She called Action 9 for help, and Todd Ulrich found out how it can happen after a buy-here, pay-here dealership sells your loan.
Melinda Nelson just lost one of the few things she owned, a 2003 Ford pickup truck. It was repossessed by Car Nation in Cocoa.
“Have you ever missed a payment?” asked Ulrich.
“No I have not,” replied Nelson.
“$165 every two weeks,” said Ulrich.
“Yes,” said Nelson. She had poor credit, so she went to a buy-here, pay-here dealer.
She said after six months, Car Nation sold her contract to a traditional lender, Sterling Credit.
Nelson claims she was told it would benefit her.
She then made payments to Sterling, but said last month when the new lender asked her about the truck's condition, she told them, “And I said I'll be honest with you, the truck is getting worse."
Then she heard she no longer qualified and her loan was being sent back to Car Nation.
That same day her truck disappeared. “I was dumbfounded,” said Nelson, “I thought someone actually stole the truck.”
Nelson said Car Nation repossessed her truck without giving her a chance to make the payment due that week.
Todd Ulrich went to Car Nation in Cocoa.
“She said her car was repossessed but she never missed a payment,” Ulrich told the manager who didn’t respond.
“Was the loan sold to Sterling?” asked Ulrich.
“Yes,” said the manager.
Ulrich asked, “Did she miss a payment?”
“Yes,” said the manager.
“When?” asked Ulrich.
A manager said she was four days late and that's why Sterling called to check on the truck.
Melinda Nelson said she was trying to pay and claims Car Nation's manager blames her for complaining to the new lender.
“If I had not told them the condition of the truck, and that it needed work, I would still have it,” said Nelson.
Car Nation said when third party financing is rejected it re-evaluates the loan's risk but it works at giving buyers a second chance.
Realize at buy here pay her lots your interest rate and risk can be much higher.
Car Nation sent Action 9 the following response:
"Car Nation, attempts to give all parties a second chance in consideration of their credit and further finances presented at the time of purchase. Car nation makes the connection to third party financing or under some circumstances in house financing. When assisting a customer in obtaining third party finance Car Nation tenders over all required documentation which includes but is not limited to payment history if any. In cases that third party financing rejects a potential customer, Car Nation then re-examines payment history, did they do the agreed upon requirements of the third party contract and did they tender over all documentation requested to obtain the loan in the first place. After such examination, Car Nation determines the risk of being out several thousands of dollars and potentially a vehicle verses allowing the customer to continue possessing the vehicle in question."
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