Fleetway Leasing Complaint - Auto Lease Ripoff
FEASTERVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA -- I leased a vehicle (2000 Mercedes SLK 230) from Fleetway Leasing in 12/2007. A few months later, I began experiencing severe back and leg pain and was diagnosed with sciatic nerve damage due to a herniated disc. I was no longer able to comfortably drive the vehicle. I contacted Fleetway, explained the situation and asked if I could swap the vehicle for another car that was driveable with my condition, ideally an SUV.
Fleetway said I would have to pay them $6,000 to get out of the lease. They claimed the car was worth $5,300 and I would have to pay the difference between the remaining payments less the value of the car. I would then have to pay them another $4,000 (approx.) to get into another lease for an SUV. Edmunds.com valued the car at $11,200 dealer retail and $9,800 third-party retail. Again, Fleetway did not care. The Fleetway representative suggested that I try to sell the car myself.
I decided to try to sell the car and asked Fleetway for a payoff amount. The Fleetway representative said the payoff amount was $12,300 and that the interest rate charged under my lease was 16%. (The interest is not in the lease - not required by law!). The interest rate is used to determine the present value of the outstanding payments, in other words the interest built in to the future payments is backed out.
When I asked how the payoff amount was calculated, the Fleetway representative would not give me a straight answer and said the computer does the calculation.
I contacted an expert on auto leasing who did the calculations based on my lease terms and found that I was in fact charged an interest rate of 25%! and the payoff amount should be $10,100, not $12,300. I found a website that shows you how lease payments are calculated and using their formulas, I got the same amount - about $10,000.
The lease payments should be discounted by the interest rate I was charged, which is 25%, not 16%. When payments are discounted at the higher rate, the payoff amount is lower. Fleetway lied about the interest rate and used a lower interest rate in order to get a higher payoff number.
The bottom line: Fleetway ripped me off by charging an interest rate of 25% on the lease. I had credit issues, but this is outrageous and should not be legal. Now that I am trying to buyout the lease, Fleetway is attempting to rip me off again with the buyout amount and extort an extra $2,000 from me.
Never do business with Fleetway! They are greedy and sleezy and will try to rip you off at every opportunity.