When a friend’s reckless car purchase lands him under financial strain, the Original Poster (OP) steps in to salvage the situation. Discovering that the dealership had fraudulently inflated the friend’s income to secure an exorbitant car loan, OP confronts the management. What unfolds is a tense negotiation with the dealership, which culminates in an unexpected offer.
A Friend in Financial Strife
OP’s friend buys a car he can’t afford, costing him $795 a month while working as a McDonald’s shift supervisor, earning only $1,230 a month. He struggles to manage his finances and reaches out to OP for assistance. OP, with a background in the car sales industry, agrees to help and examines the paperwork from the car dealership.
Upon reviewing the documents, OP realizes that the dealership had exploited his friend by overcharging for a warranty, giving him a higher APR, and tacking on add-ons. However, it didn’t appear that they had done anything illegal, leaving OP to figure out how they could escape the car deal. As he delves deeper into the paperwork, a realization hits him.
A Strange Discrepancy
OP scrutinizes his friend’s finance application and finds it accurately lists his income. It then dawns on him that no bank would approve such a hefty car loan on a modest monthly income of $1,230. So, he starts looking for the finance application that the dealer submitted to the bank.
The Altered Application
Upon comparing the two applications, OP discovers that the dealership inflated his friend’s income on the application submitted to the bank, falsely stating he was the GM of McDonald’s, making $70,000 a year. There was no demand for proof of income because his friend had good credit. This crucial finding propels them to confront the dealership.
OP and his friend visit the dealership to discuss getting him out of the deal. Initially, the dealership management thinks they’re joking. But when OP presents the two different finance applications, clearly illustrating the fraudulent income discrepancy, the tables start to turn.
Admitting the Fraud
Realizing that his dealership has committed bank fraud, a felony, the General Manager (GM) of the dealership finally agrees to rectify the situation. OP demands that they cancel the deal and return his friend’s trade-in car. The GM hesitates at first but finally gives in when threatened with legal action.
The Trade-In Dilemma
The GM reveals that they’ve already sold his friend’s trade-in. OP stands his ground and insists that the dealership provides his friend with a car of similar or better quality. Initially, the GM offers an inferior car, which OP rejects, leading to a tense standoff.
The GM’s Counteroffer
After OP threatens to involve a consumer protection attorney, the GM offers a 2007 Focus with additional mileage. OP refuses, insisting on a better car since the dealership profited from the trade-in and committed a felony during the new car sale. The GM remains stubborn, risking a legal backlash.
The Last Resort
Faced with an unyielding GM, OP and his friend contemplate going to a consumer protection attorney. Though reluctant, they’re prepared to take the necessary steps to rectify the situation. Upon seeing them ready to walk away, the GM relents and comes up with a new offer.
The Final Offer
In a last-minute attempt to resolve the situation, the GM offers a 2008 Civic with slightly more mileage than the trade-in but a better brand. He also promises to cancel the loan on the new car at no extra cost. After careful consideration, OP and his friend accept the offer.
Unwinding the Deal
Once the agreement is reached, the GM prepares the paperwork to cancel the old loan, take back the new car, and provide the friend with the Civic. Although the dealership would suffer by selling the new car as used, they decided to absorb the loss. They also provide his friend with a better car than the one traded in.
Speed Over Legal Hassle
OP explains why they didn’t involve a lawyer at the onset. Court proceedings take a long time, and this direct confrontation with the dealership was a quicker way to resolve the situation. They managed to correct a potentially disastrous financial situation and prevent the dealership from exploiting more innocent customers.
In the end, OP’s friend is handed over the keys to the 2008 Civic. The ordeal of having purchased a car they couldn’t afford is over. With a car equal, if not superior, to the one traded in, they drive off the dealership lot.
Was Forcing The Dealership To Give His Friend A New Car Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Bet your friend is glad he had you to help out – hope you at least got a beer out of it, or was the sweet satisfaction of ruining a scumbags day all the payment needed?”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “I hope you turned the dealer in for felony fraud anyway. You know they’ve pulled that stunt on more people than just your friend and will continue to do so in the future.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “Do your friend a favor and get them into a financial literacy class. The dealer is a criminal, but your friend was an idiot for getting into this situation.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “I would still report it after everything. I’m willing to bet this isn’t the first nor last time that dealership is willing to commit fraud to make a deal and screw someone else over.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.