Public Roundtables: Protecting Consumers in the Sale and Leasing of Motor Vehicles, Project No. P104811 #00036 

Submission Number:
Lauren Wichman
Initiative Name:
Public Roundtables: Protecting Consumers in the Sale and Leasing of Motor Vehicles, Project No. P104811
I am very pleased to see that the FTC has come to our towns to hear our stories and help us American consumers to be better protected against fraud and predatory lending in the Auto industry. Not all Auto Dealerships are snakes in waiting but with our cars costing as much as our parents’ houses did ‘back in the day’ we desperately need to adjust accordingly to prevent nightmares such as mine is currently. There is ONE simple new rule that I submit to you today that would have made A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN MY CASE. ALL CONSUMERS SHOULD BE ALLOWED 24-72 HOURS TO RETURN THE VEHLICLE with all monies and trade-n or original allowance returned-if they feel they were wronged because it was not the deal they were promised. In my case, it is now almost a year later from the day that I walked into that average large American Car Dealership and became the victim of fraud and deceptive practice. I still can’t find a Consumer Attorney in my state that has time to take my case, the car sits parked away not driven since my daughter finished school months ago with a total of 4,000 miles on it. I am afraid to let the Lending Co repo it as they have a horrible reputation of auctioning them really cheap and suiing for the rest Plus all sorts of additional charges so I am held hostage to a situation that I have to stand up for because the consequences are unaffordable and unacceptable. The stress and ramifications of them not giving me the deal they promised are huge and I realize that yes, I did sign the contract but they promised me that everything we agree upon was there and I unfortunately believed them. They committed fraud, the lender ~predatory lending and they refused to do anything about it twice. My case started out with my car needing repair and by the end of the day they had gone from $160 to $2700 to fix it. “come in they said, we will find you a better used car that will last your daughter while she finishes school. When I arrived they couldn’t find the keys to any of the used cars but they had a new car that would be very reasonable to afford and wouldn’t break down. They had rushed me through the signing of the contract after making me wait almost 2 hours, interrupted the signing constantly. I was already a wreck, I didn’t want to buy a new car but they said they couldn’t keep my repair car on the lot, it was all tore up and I had no way to get it home .They knew very well that I was under Doctors care from my husband’s cancer death at only 58.I was vulnerable and they marked me with words like TRUST, we will take care of you and that they did!, They told me they would forgive any repair work they made me pay $1,200 to their Service Dept. telling me they would give me a check the next day. They didn’t. They said the payment would only be around $250 with a good deposit – is $450 and when I got home and could finally really read the rolled up contract I was in shock! A week later they had my car that couldn’t be repaired it on sale on their lot for $4,400… Financialy in the end, they made $4,000 on my used car, plus $1,200 to the repair, $24,000 from the lender for a total of of $29,200 CASH doubling their money . I, as a consumer, on the other hand, was $6,200 out of pocket PLUS a 39,000 loan balance to pay off for a Grand Total of $45,200 on a Kia Forte that had an original sticker price of $20,200. And probably wholesaled to them for $16,000. I RETURNED THE VEHICLE THE NEXT DAY AND THEY REFUSED TO EVEN TALK TO ME. THEY SAID I HAD SIGNED THE CONTRACT AND THAT WAS THAT! Also submit a simple Summary Sheet in large letters with 4 simple questions that would be placed on top of all the contract, to be signed by both parties FIRST and state the following that would help us all. 1 TOTAL AMOUNT BEING FINANCED 2.PERCENTAGE RATE OF MY LOAN AND FINANCE COMPANY NAME 3.NUMBER OF MONTHS BEING FINANCED____________. 4. NAME OF SALESMAN___________________AND HIS SIGNATURE_______________