November Fourth changed my life forever. I was in a car accident and I have been going through hell ever since trying to get my financial life back in order. The car I was driving I had had since 2006 and was the perfect little car for me and my son. I was in the last year of paying it off and was looking forward to not having a car payment for at least another three to four years after that.
I am the responsible person and had car insurance, the finance company was paid, and I had a little left over to use for a down payment. I had been paying on this vehicle for three years straight, not one single thirty-day late pay ever. I could not get financing for the life of a dog if I needed it. I was turned down left and right it was extremely frustrating given that I take my son to school everyday, he missed a lot of days for my not having transportation.
The first vehicle I found was a lemon; I was desperate for a vehicle so I went to a Buy-Here-Pay-Here place. That is what paying on a car loan on time for the last three years got me. The bankruptcy almost ten years ago still looming like a big dog ready to bite and given I was on Social Security I was considered a risk. I had one guy at a dealership tell straight up “we don’t work with people on Social Security because we cannot garnish their wages”.
So you can see what I was dealing with and why I felt I had no other options. It was a raggedy car, I knew it, but a raggedy can still run nicely, I did not care about looks. The car had system problems the ABS light kept coming on and I took it back the next day telling them this. Now understand I was crying for this car because I was desperate, but that does not mean I have to accept less than what I paid for.
For three weeks, I was back at that place almost every day after I had purchased the car about the problem with the ABS light. They kept jerking me around telling me their systems are not showing any problems never mind that they were supposed to fix the latch on the trunk so it would work. I took my car to a dealership of the car make and had them do an inspection, which cost me about $30 to have done.
They found what was wrong with the car I went back to the BHPH place and told them what was wrong with the car. Again, no help so I went to the Maryland DMV because when it would come time for me to have my car inspected I know it would not pass given the things wrong with the vehicle. I made a complaint against the dealership with the Maryland State Police, they are the ones who handle this type of situation.
The BHPH people were finally forced to give me a partial refund. I want people to know even when you purchase a car “AS IS,” there is still a warranty attached to the vehicle by the state that you live in. I knew this and was able to use it to my advantage because even though I had gone over the number of miles the warranty had, I had not gone past the number of days allowed.
Most BHPH places try to skirt many laws and if you do not know your rights then you are the perfect customer, not me. I was spoken to like I was a raggedydog on the street. I was damn near cussed out.
I had to take the car back and was given a check. When I took their check to their bank, I had to pay a fee to cash it there since I did not have an account with them. Being that I was carless once again I was about to walk home when I went to the insurance company that I use and told them what had happened. I live in a small town and this car place was around the corner from them.
I had to take the car off my insurance and change the policy to a no-vehicle owner policy that way I can drive any vehicle and be covered. In Maryland, anytime you do not have insurance coverage for thirty days or more you will be treated as a new customer by the insurance company.
The ladies at my insurance company were so nice. They also shed light on why I was treated that way by this one particular company. They did not “know” me. That really is sad, because they think I did not know any better they think they can treat me any type of way, well they were wrong.
I was given a ride home and it was the last day of school for the Christmas break; I was blessed for that. My neighbor took me to the store when I needed and for would take my son to and from the bus stop so he would not miss anymore school.
The next week she said she couldn’t do it anymore, so I paid a taxi ten a day to pick my son up and take him to the bus stop. She did pick him up from the bus stop on her way home from picking her son up from her mother’s home across the street but she tired of that after a couple days.
One day she “forgot” to pick him up and I had to call her to ask was everything ok. This is now January 2010 and I have been car less since December 18th 2009. Desperation is a terrible feeling to have but what other feeling could I have had at that moment? I needed a vehicle and I needed one fast. I was spending $100 a week to get my son to and from school, which meant I was spending any money I would have had for a down payment for the car and the car insurance.
I Googled “car financing for people with bad credit” and got a hit, actually got a lot of hits but I only needed one. I tried and was approved for car financing and once again, what seemed like a great idea turned into disaster.
I am sick and tired of people taking advantage of people like me. I will never get ahead as long as financing companies and car dealership continue as they are now. I will explain in Part Two of my life being hell because I am poor.