So I get a phone call at 8:30 p.m. last Saturday from a good friend and community leader (we’ll call her Eva), who was helping out and one of her employees who found herself in a major predicament. The predicament was that the employee, let's call her Girlie, was asked by a close friend (who we shall call Linda) to help in the purchase of a vehicle. Apparently, Linda had gone to a dealership (who we will call 666 Motors), picked out a car and applied for a loan. Unfortunately, and for whatever reason, she got declined and needed a cosigner for the loan.
Linda then asks Girlie if she could help. Being a good friend, and having a generous heart, Linda said yes. Linda then provides 666 Motors all her info.
The loan approval process took forever. It was one delay after another and Girlie ended up leaving for a previously scheduled vacation to the Philippines. As far as Girlie was concerned, the purchase contract was never completed – the loan documents never signed. She never heard from the dealership after that initial meeting.
Fast forward three months and Girlie and her husband met by a realtor who suggested that they should look at purchasing their own home. Girlie thought it was a good idea and agreed and the realtor started the pre-approval process. As soon as Girlie's credit report was accessed, the realtor saw a $50,000 car loan posted in Girlie's credit history. Which, in order to proceed with the mortgage approval, had to be paid off.
Girlie was shocked. As far as she knew that car loan she was supposed to cosign for, was never completed. While she remembered providing all the loan requirements, she vividly remembers never signing the loan documents. She immediately knew something was very wrong.
In quick order, Girlie was able to obtain copies of the loan documents and Girlie saw that her signature was forged. She was furious and proceeded to investigate to find out how and what happened for her to end up with this huge loan.
It was a very frustrating and infuriating two weeks, between having to make dozens of phone calls (and getting the run-around), then travelling back and forth to 666 Motors, she was literally at her wit’s end. What made the situation seem hopeless was that 666 Motors maintained that Girlie provided all the necessary supporting documents, then signed the agreement, to make the contract legal and binding – even though Girlie insisted that the signature was not hers.
Enter my friend Eva, who wanted my experienced assessment and advise. She wanted to help Girlie get out of this situation. Eva also wanted to expose the illegal activity that was so obvious in this situation.
I reached out to a good friend who works at the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) – a provincially mandated organization tasked to regulate the automotive industry. They are the investigative and enforcement body that oversee the auto industry, there to safeguard and uphold consumer rights. So, here’s what my friend recommends:
- Go to the AMVIC website https://www.amvic.org/ and file the complaint online. Be as detailed as you can and include names and dates whenever possible. Supporting documents may be uploaded in this portal. If you experience difficulties accessing the portal you can also call AMVIC at 877.979.8100 and ask to speak with a Consumer Services Officer.
- If there is any criminal wrongdoing, then a complaint should be filed with your local police service.
I relayed the above information to Eva, who said she’d heed my advice and, in addition, would hire a lawyer.
If you find yourself in a financial bind and need someone to talk to, CALL ME AT 780.710.4895. I CAN HELP.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony Surtida has been involved in the auto industry since 1990 and has had a long and distinguished career not only as a sales consultant but as a sales manager and finance manager as well. He currently works a Finance Specialist at FILCAN CARS. His knowledge of the auto industry will be an invaluable tool for those in the market for a new or newer vehicle. The insight he shares in this column is a culmination of years of experience which he hopes will provide information one needs to make an informed choice. Kung Sasakyan din lang naman, ‘wag nang kung saan-saan pa. Kay Tony Surtida na!