When a car is repossessed there are clear laws governing how it’s supposed to be done. But sometimes the circumstances are murky.
What one local car buyer didn’t know about the law is costing him. And yet, the dealership is not without blame.
When Jerry Fiblin bought a used car last month, he had no idea he would lose the car and a $500 deposit within 2 days. He admits, he made one big mistake. He didn’t get insurance.
“I knew you’re not supposed to drive without insurance. So that’s why, I mean I really didn’t drive the car except to the house to try to get quotes and stuff to find which one I was going to go with?”
What Filbin didn’t know, is that repossession law allows the lien holder to take your car with no prior notice if you don’t have insurance. If you’re simply late on a payment, you’ll get written notice and 20 days to pay up.
7 News showed the sale documents to John Brown, the Executive Director of the Carolina’s Independent Automobile Dealers Association. It’s a trade union that represents dealerships.
We asked “is the dealership at fault here in part?”
“Certainly in part, the paperwork requires them to verify they have insurance,” said Brown.
It’s a concern we took straight to Freedom Auto in Spartanburg. The owner, J.R. Blackwell showed us a sign letting buyers know all deposits are non-refundable.
Filbin insists he deserves an exception.
“They’re making it seem like they could let anybody drive off the lot with no insurance and then 2 days later come back and get the car and they’re still making money off of it.”
Brown advises all dealerships to tell the uninsured:
“When you come back and show me you’ve got proof of insurance, I will let you drive off this lot with this lot with this automobile.”
And that’s something Blackwell admits he regrets he did not do.
“Yes, I understand exactly what he’s saying, and yeah, I probably take fault on that.”
Blackwell said he would offer Filbin his deposit money off another car. Meanwhile both parties say they won’t make the same mistake again.
To file a complaint about a car issue with the Department of Consumer Affairs, click here.