Action 9 investigates controversial title loan company

Updated:

KISSIMMEE,Fla. - A Kissimmee woman said a lender with a controversial history will not release her insurance check to pay for repairs after a crash.

Car owner Marielis Diaz needed a loan, and she said Instaloan seemed like a good option. Her car title secured a $2,500 loan, but a year later, she is unhappy.

“Basically it's interest. It feels like I'm never going to pay (off) this loan,” she said.

After making payments every month for a year, Diaz still owes $2,500. Her loan has the interest rate as 41 percent.

Consumer groups said the interest charge is much higher. Every month, she has to pay extra fees that add up. So it's really closer to 80 percent. But that's not Diaz’s real nightmare.

Three months ago, someone crashed into Diaz’ Acura and smashed a rear door. Her insurance company wrote a check for $1,700 to pay for repairs, but Instaloan won't let her cash it.

“It’s my insurance. So it's my money I should get to fix my car,” said Diaz.

The insurance check listed Instaloan as a cosigner since it has a lien against the vehicle.

But Diaz is not behind in payments. So when it refused to sign it to cover repair bills, she called Action 9.

“Is there a manager here?” asked Action 9’s Todd Ulrich at the Instaloan in Kissimmee. “Marielis Diaz, can she get her insurance check to pay for repairs?” 

“You have to go out and go to our website,” replied a manager.

So far, its corporate office has not responded to Ulrich’s request for comment.

Instaloan is a large chain, and it is rated F at the BBB for unanswered complaints.

“She really needs the money to get her car fixed,” said Ulrich.

Ulrich contacted the customer’s insurance company, which is now trying to help Diaz.

“The damage is still there. I still have to get it fixed,” said Diaz.

The insurance company will try to pay the repair shop itself, so Marielis Diaz can repair her car.

Car title loans should be a last resort, short-term option only.

Next Up: