Car Payments Taking Their Toll?

Owning a car can be a big responsibility. And while you may have gotten up to speed on proper tire inflation and when to replace worn wiper blades, there are some other key things to know. 

For instance, if you took out a loan to buy your car, you don’t own the car until you pay off the loan. If you don’t pay, the lender can repossess the car. You might be tempted by companies that promise to lower your monthly car payments if you pay them a fee first. They might even claim they can help you stop the repossession process. Put on the brakes. Those promises usually are lies or half-truths from scammers who can’t possibly deliver.

In fact, the FTC recently charged Auto Debt Consulting with taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from car owners and not helping them as they had promised. According to the FTC, the company told people not to pay their auto loans. That “advice” increases the risk of repossession — and some people who paid for help did lose their vehicles.

If you can’t make your car loan payments, you have options, including contacting your lender directly. It’s in everyone’s best interest to work something out. Watch our new video and get more tips about how to steer clear of refinancing scams.

Tagged with: car, credit, loan, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit



Sounds like someone bought outside of their means.

Or maybe they weren't even aware of a vehicle being purchased under their information due to misrepresentation, identity theft as well as other things.

Was trick into a car loan, was suppose to be cosigner for my daughter, they took her income and put as mine, I have no credit and on disabilles, but I end up as buyer on loan. I ask loan people how the hell did that happen, say they been seen a lot of that lately. Told woman I was just trying to help out my daughter, My daughter and I both sign loan paper, but only my name appear. I think I need a lawyer.

I made car payments for a year in advance thinking I was making things easier on myself. I checked my balance a year later and owed the same amount I owed the previous year. I contacted the loan company and they informed me that because I made advanced payments, the amount paid was applied only to the interest because I didn't specify that the money go toward the principal. I was making online payments and nowhere on the payment screen did it show that you could or needed to make them aware of where the money should be applied. Whenever I checked my account for my due date on my next payment, it showed months later so I didn't know what was happening. They also informed me that my interest rate was 13% compounded daily. In reality, they were just letting me drive the car for a year and just postponing my payments even though I thought I had made them. I can't imagine how many people have been ripped off by Wells Fargo Dealer Services and all the other companies using this practice. Is there anything that can be done because This just doesn't seem right?

Yes go to the Wells Fargo Bank and tell them you want to pay your payment on the payment, not the interest. Our bank does that for us.

Note to the FTC staff: Please correct the above material. It is highly misleading to consumers to say, as above, "For instance, if you took out a loan to buy your car, you don’t own the car until you pay off the loan." For all purposes, including vicarious liability, the purchaser is the "owner" and is responsible as the owner, even though that ownership is subject to a lien on the title. While a consumer who purchased a vehicle using loan proceeds may or may not actually "hold" the title (depending on the state in which they live), the title is issued in the consumer's name in every state and is subject to repossession only for default of the loan agreement. She or he can even transfer title of the vehicle (sell the car, or trade it in towards the purchase of a new car),and an unencumbered title is only subject to paying off the loan by either the borrower or the new owner.

There are still supposed to be laws that govern repossession but in a crooked society who cares if those laws are followed I guess.

My daughter was a week late on her car payment, the creditor repossed her car even though she had the money plus two extra months. The creditor told her the only way he would give the car back was if he took her to a title loan place where he would sign the title and she take out a loan and pay him which left her paying the title loan which was more then her original car note.

Your daughter can contact her State Attorney General's Office.

I traded my car in on May 23. The dealer has not yet paid the loan off and I'm accruing interest every day that this doesn't happen. Who is responsible for paying this interest? I signed over my interest in the car on the day I traded it in.

You can check with your State Attorney General's Office or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for information about this.

My Car was taken from me in November 2014 and not late on my payment now thet want a crazy amount back from me that I xant afford what do I do?

You may find information in these FTC publications helpful: Vehicle Repossession, Debt Collection and Coping with Debt.

Arlington Nissan. 1100 W.Dundee Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60004. I had horrible experience at this dealership. While I was there I was leasing a car from them in May of 2015. I traded in my 2012 Altima for a 2015 Nissan Rogue at Arlington Nissan. By contract,they were supposed to pay off the car I traded in with only two payments left, this balance was never paid. I was at the dealership numerous times and was told that the balance was being paid. I also tried calling the store manager on countless occasions and never even once received a phone call back to fix the situation at hand. It turned out to be a lie that it was being paid, now we are in February of 2016, and I am getting calls from the Nissan Finance Dept. to pay the balance, for a car that was paid for back in May of 2015. My credit is ruined thanks to people in Arlington Nissan. Buyers beware.

If you bought your car from a franchised dealer, you may be able to seek mediation through the Automotive Consumer Action Program (AUTOCAP), a dispute resolution program through state and local dealer associations in many cities. Check with the dealer association in your area to see if they operate a mediation program.

You could report this to your state Attorney General’s office and to the FTC. Go to to add a report to the database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Daughter bought a $18,000. pick up truck while on a spending spree due to a psychological condition she didn't know she had.She had good enough credit to buy it on her own but is a student, no job, etc. After hospitalization and treatment for a bipolar disorder, she was stable enough to she returned it 3 weeks later. She is 26 yrs. old and did not even test drive it (as she was in a a manic phase which caused her to go on a spending spree). Her father accompanied her and told the Santa Maria Ford/ Lincoln dealer in Santa Maria, California, that the contract was not valid as she was not "of sound mind" but he didn't care. They sold the truck at auction for $8,000 and she got a bill from collection agency for $10,000. Are there any laws to protect people with disabilities from this practice? She had only driven the vehicle 20 miles and returned it voluntarily in good condition. They said it was a voluntary repossession. How will this affect her credit score and what can she do about it?

You can start by contacting the California Attorney Generals Office and reporting what happened. The Attorney General's office has a unit for consumers where you can file a complaint and get information about car dealers.

Please report this to the FTC too, at The information will go into a database that law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

If you want to talk to a lawyer, you can check with a legal aid lawyer, use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association, or visit this site from the State Bar Associations.

If the person who bought the car or signed the loan is a veteran, you can use this free legal resource (ABA Pro Bono resources for Veterans.)

This FTC article about solving consumer problems has more ideas, like using social media or calling your local station's call for action lines.

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