‘He goes “It doesn’t work that way” and I go “It does when you commit bank fraud”.’ This Guy Helped His Friend Not Get Swindled By A Shady Car Dealer
by Trisha Leigh
I think most people are aware that walking into a car dealership is like going into battle. You’ve got to have some armor and a lot of information on your side – and like everything else in life, the more money/credit you have, the better off you’re going to be.
OP has a friend who didn’t make much money but somehow qualified for a car payment that was 75% of his monthly income. Between that and crazy insurance, the friend knew he had made a mistake and asked for help.
Circa 2020 January my friend makes a stupid decision and buys a brand new car he can’t afford. His insurance is like $400 a month, he makes like $10.25 an hour working as a shift supervisor at McDonalds. His car payment is like $795 a month.
Now at $10.25 an hour, 30 hours a week that’s a weekly income of about $300 a week or about $1,230 a month….so yea.
So my friend came to me for help because I used to sell cars and know the industry pretty well.
OP worked in the industry and so started digging for something that was actually illegal and not just shady as heck.
I go over his paperwork. The dealer did rip him off, but my friend is trying to find a way to get out of this mess. And ripping someone off isn’t illegal. They did of course over charge him for warranty, they gave him a higher APR, they had add ons, etc…but none of that is illegal and I know the only way I can get my friend out of this deal is if they did something illegal.
So I look at his finance application that my friend signed, it correctly listed his income. Which turned a light bulb on in my head.
They found it when the realized the dealership had lied about his income and job to get him approved for the loan.
No bank is going to approve someone for a $795 car payment if they are only making $1,200 a month. It does not make mathematical sense to do that. So I start searching through his paperwork for the finance app the dealer submitted to the bank.
You often times when you submit a finance application at a dealership the dealership will take the hand filled out application and reproduce it electronically. This is pretty normal.
However on the application the dealer submitted to the bank the dealer said my friend was a GM of the McDonalds and made $70,000.
My friend had good credit, so it doesn’t appear like the bank asked for proof of income.
So, they marched back in and demanded to see the GM. They told him what they knew and demanded the dealership undo the loan and give the friend his trade-in back.
So I go to the dealership with my friend and tell the sales manager he’s going want to put me in touch with the GM because we are going be unwinding my friends deal and giving his trade in back. The sales manager thought I was joking, the GM also thought I was joking.
Then I demonstrated how his dealership finance department committed bank fraud. I showed the GM the finance app my friend filled out. I then showed the GM the finance app his dealership submitted to the bank and pointed at the income difference. My friend really made $14k a year, the dealership claimed my friend made $70k a year. That’s bank fraud, that’s a felony, lets keep this simple shall we.
The GM sees his dealership is in a load of shit. The proof I am presenting to him is rock solid. He knows it, I know it, we are all on the same page.
He goes “ok…so what can I do to make this right?” I go “Unwind the deal give me my friend his trade in back”
Unwinding the deal is basically the GM agreeing to cancel the deal, and basically erasing the deal and pretending it never happened.
Initially the guy laughed but he soon realized he was in a pickle.
Still, he tried to give the friend a car that wasn’t as good as his old one (they had already sold his) – OP was having none of it, though.
GM tries to avoid that but I remain firm and remind him we can take easily take this documentation and turn his life in a living hell. He knows i’m right. My friend also needs a car to get to work the next day.
The GM says he’ll check into it he comes back and tells me unfortunately they sold his trade in already. I said “That’s fine, unwind the deal and lets put my friend into something as good or slightly better then what he traded in for”
So the GM goes “So he’ll buy a car similar to his trade in?” I said “No, you’ll give him a car similar to his trade in” the GM goes “It doesn’t work that way” I go “It does when you commit bank fraud”
Gm is upset with me and I remind him…I’m being really nice and this situation can totally get really ugly. Like felony level charges ugly. Like losing your franchise ugly. SO yea this is going hurt…but it’s going hurt less my way.
So the GM goes alright and he looks in his inventory and he tells me they have a 2007 Focus with 10k more miles. I tell him “no, the car you give my friend needs to be the same or better then what he trade in” the GM counters “i’m giving him a free car” and I go “no, you took his trade in, you sold it, you made money on that sale, you also committed a felony in the process of selling him his new car, you are now correcting that mistake, this isn’t a free car for my friend, this is a you are correcting your mistake”
GM insists that’s what he’s willing to do I tell him if he can’t do better then that we will go to a consumer protection attorney and have a conversation with them.
My friend didn’t wanna go this route…but it was our plan B.
Eventually they settled on a fairly nice and dependable car, and the friend’s credit didn’t even take a hit.
We get to get up, the GM says “Wait’ give me a second”
The GM goes “I have a 08 civic, it has 5k more miles, but its a civic and not a focus. I unwind the deal on the new car, and put your friend in the civic at no extra cost”
GM has the paper drawn up, the old loan on the new car is canceled, they take in the new car again (but because it’s already titled they’ll have to sell it as used, that sucks for them) and they gave my friend a better car then the one he traded in.
For people asking why we didn’t get a lawyer involved from the start
We could have done that
But courts take a long time, and this was a faster way to fix the situation.
Score one for the little guys – and here’s what Reddit thinks about the whole mess, too.
The top commenter says they hope the friend has learned a lesson from all of this.
This person thought OP was a little too nice.
They say he could have gotten his way and reported the guy.
This commenter agrees that this could be just what the friend needed to be more successful the next time.
The dealer, however, probably didn’t learn a thing.
I tend to agree with the people who think OP should have reported the dealership.
After they took care of their friend, though.