MANAHAWKIN, NEW JERSEY -- It happened to us. It can happen to you! So you purchased a beautiful new car, signed all the necessary paperwork and drove it right off the lot with a big smile on your face. The dealer got you approved on the "spot". Or so you thought.
A few days or weeks later, the dealer calls and asks you to return to "sign a few more papers". "Mr. **", they say, "We couldn't get the car financed and you need to sign a new loan with another bank." or "You need someone to co-sign.", or "Give us another $1000 and we can do the deal.", or "Mr. **, we need to increase your monthly payment to get this done." The dealer may even have delayed paying off a traded vehicle loan or refused to mail registration papers, all to place additional pressure on the consumer to do as they are instructed or to face dire consequences to their credit. Sound familiar? It gets worse.
If you refuse, the dealer may threaten to repossess the car, tell you that you have no legal entitlement to keep it or even make you wait for hours at the dealership under some excuse, to wear you down. This situation is most common involving consumers with bad credit, since dealers perceive that such people are vulnerable and easy to take advantage of. Most consumers assume the dealer is telling the truth and will do whatever the dealer says, resulting in higher payments, additional money being spent over the life of the loan and/or thousands of dollars in increased "hidden" costs. Those who refuse, see their cars repossessed.
What is happening here? It's a scam. Dealer fraud. Unlawful. Illegal. Call it what you will. The industry has given it a name: Spot Delivery, a description which refers to the dealer placing a consumer in a car "on the spot", to get the sale, only to "yo-yo" them back at a later date for additional funds. Played to perfection, a dealer can reap thousands of dollars in unearned fraudulent gain. That is exactly what happened to my husband and myself. We went car looking one evening, and pretty much got talked into buying a new car.
We were just looking. We told the sales people that our credit was not good. We were totally upfront and honest with them. Why waste everyone's time. They proceeded to let us know how many programs there were out there for people like us. We spent 5 hours in the showroom, and after several attempts to just walk out, they came up with a deal for us and put us in a 2009 Nissan Sentra. We left feeling satisfied.
Then 14 days later they called us to let us know that they could not find a bank to finance our loan? We didn't quite understand this because we had signed all the contracts and had notified our other loan company to let them know that our current car loan wasn't late, that Causeway paid it off. Boy was I wrong. Causeway told us that they were sorry, but we either had to return the car or put more money down, or they could put us in an older car. We were told that they practice this all the time. We said no to all and returned the car.
They told us how sorry they were and offered to put a new windshield in our current vehicle, which of course we took, because ours was broken, but told them, "That would not keep us from trying to protect other people from what we just went through." I am writing the BBB. After extensive searching on the internet to see if this has happened to other people, I found all kinds of scams and things that car dealerships used to reel in their buyers. I want to warn people to learn things before you go in. Try to get financing before you go into dealerships. Don't sign papers that say 'subject to loan approval' if it is not 100% the day you sign. Don't sign. It's that simple.
Please take a minute to visit these sites. Knowledge is power. We were taken, and unfortunately for them, I had 2 people whose cars leases were up and they were looking to buy. Needless to say the salespersons name that I gave to them was quickly withdrawn. Everyone that knows me and my husband, now knows about shady car deals, and through our experience knows how to protect themselves, where to buy and where not to buy.