Family's credit approval story serves as warning to other car buyers

You see it all over Houston: 100-percent guaranteed approval, apply and drive today. But a couple is out hundreds because of it
April 14, 2014 8:36:42 PM PDT
If you're in the market for a new or used vehicle, buyer beware when it comes to those signs stating 100 percent financing. That's how one Houston couple feels after they say the deal they made with a dealership went south.

You see it all over Houston: 100-percent guaranteed approval, apply and drive today. But one local couple says after they purchased their luxury SUV, that offer wound up costing them hundreds.

"We purchased it because it said credit approval," car buyer Tammy Taylor said.

Taylor and her husband put $4,000 down on a 2006 Range Rover and financed the rest through the dealer.

But a week after owning the vehicle, Taylor says the dealership called and asked them to bring the SUV back.

"They said they wanted us to bring the truck back because they had a better finance for us," she said.

Taylor says her husband brought the Range Rover back to Z1 Auto Finance. And that's when she says the dealership's story changed.

"They told him they needed the keys, because we weren't financed," Taylor said.

Taylor tells us Z1 Auto only refunded $3,400 of their $4,000 down payment. She requested the remainder of their refund numerous times but didn't get it.

"He said, plain and simple, you're not getting your money back," Taylor said.

Z1 Auto told Eyewitness News over the phone that the loan wasn't approved because the Taylors had another car loan elsewhere, and claim they didn't include that on their loan application. The Taylors say they in fact did provide such documentation.

"He said because we had another car on our credit. But yeah, we have two vehicles. But it shouldn't even matter because it says 100 percent credit approval," Taylor said.

On top of the partial refund, Taylor says her husband was left stranded for 2 hours with no ride home after handing the keys over. The Better Business Bureau calls this "dehorsing."

"The word dehorsing is a clever word. You literally got yanked off the horse, and you're left walking," said Dan Parsons with the Houston BBB.

Parsons is referencing a Bailment Agreement, which Z1 Auto Finance claims the Taylors initialed. It give the dealership permission to take the vehicle back, minus processing expenses if financing was not approved.

"A consumer gets into dangerous turf when they go off of a deal and leave something unsigned, uncommitted, un-whatever. And in this case, financing up in the air," Parsons said.

However, the Taylors tell us they did not initiate that document, and are now looking into taking legal action against Z1 Auto Financing.

"It's a legal issue, and we have found consumers who are smart will get a lawyer and fight," Parsons said.

The BBB says it's a good idea to get preapproved financing from your bank or other financial institution. That way when you walk onto a car lot, you will know exactly how much car you can afford.


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