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Reading the Fine Print

Looking for a replacement vehicle can be stressful enough on its own. Top that with needing a vehicle for work and trying to arrange car financing can add to the stress. This is what happened to a debtor I met with recently. She decided to look into getting a different vehicle, as her existing vehicle was costing her a lot of money each month for repairs and maintenance. She looked for a vehicle and found one she really liked. When she was finalizing the purchase agreement, she was told the interest rate and monthly payment amount. She was pleased with what she was being told.

When it came time to sign the actual paperwork; she said she felt like she was being rushed through the process, but did not really think anything of it. When she was done signing all the paperwork the salesman told her that they had added a warranty into her agreement and also increased the interest rate from 11% to 24.8%. She was not told about either of these changes prior to signing the documentation.

She took full ownership of the blunder. She stated that she should have read the contract before signing. She could not afford the new amount for the payments, as per the new interest rate, and was forced to give the vehicle back after a few months. The dealership has since resold the vehicle and are now coming after her for a huge deficiency.

The moral of this story is to ask a lot of questions and read anything you are signing prior to signing, so you know what you are getting yourself into. She now has little alternative and has decided to file bankruptcy.