Elderly Citizens, Beware Auto Sales Fraud! By Ida Tyree Hyche, Esq. Baby Boomers have become the “eldercare generation.” A Baby Boomer myself, that statement came to heart when I researched alleged elder abuse of a family relative in the Black Belt of Greene County by an automobile dealership. While most cases of elder abuse center around elderly health care, telemarketing scams, nursing home abuse, little notice goes to automobile dealers and payday/title loan operations servicing the elderly.
Chris Walter, in his article at http://consumerist.com titled, “GMAC and Car Dealership Scams Old Lady for Nearly $8,000” reports a volunteer’s claim in Chicago that her client, a 65-year-old woman with dementia, was given a GMAC auto loan for a new 2007 Pontiac, anonse nieruchomości kujawsko pomorskie even though she only makes $900 a month and has no driver's license. Repossessing the car later, the car dealership says the woman owes them nearly $8,000. On a fixed income, in great debt, the woman received a loan and one month after missing a payment, the car was repossessed, auctioned and the car dealership sued for the difference of $8000.
The story somewhat parallels my elderly relative’s situation – only the city is Eutaw and the State is Alabama. Elderly citizens may become the target of unethical auto dealers. These scam artists frequently conceal the poor condition of used cars. There may also be acts of fraud and misrepresentation of the purchase price. In my relative’s case a verbal agreement was haggled out, however, the actual paperwork reflects a totally different price.
Do you think the paperwork reflected a lower price? It did not. In fraud and misrepresentation, sometimes the paperwork price is raised above the actual sticker price. While we would like our elderly to rely on car dealer salespersons like any other professional service provider, there are instances it appears that verbal contracts mean nothing, yet are used widely. Another common scam by unethical auto dealers is down payment fraud.
This is how it works: An individual trades in a vehicle and/or pays a down payment; however, the seller defrauds the customer of that equity in the deal. For example, an elderly woman trades in her vehicle and ogłoszenia za darmo according to the automobile dealership, she has equity over and above what she owes. The elderly customer trades in her vehicle and thinks she is applying the equity toward her new purchase. The auto dealership also informs her they would take the trade-in and pay off the balance with the bank holding a note on the old vehicle.
Three months later the elderly customer receives a call from her old bank wanting to know why she is behind in her payments. Or, where there is no loan owing on the trade-in, she looks at her new purchase agreement after the sale and discovers the trade-in and down payment are not recorded as part of the sale.
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