Don't Sign For Car - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Don't Sign For Car

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It sounds OK. You sign the paperwork so someone else can get a car after they promise to make the payments. What can go wrong? They stop paying, and now guess who is in hot water? It's why one good hearted woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN -- Tabitha raised four children, and a regret, they are not still little children.

Tabitha Nunnally: "They grew up so fast. They grew up so fast you can't remember every detail moment."

Since Tabitha's children haven't had her grandkids yet, she became devoted to the child of her daughters friend.

Tabitha Nunnally: "And I love her. I really love that baby. She called me grandma and that's grandma cookie grandma cookie."

Tabitha was so close, the baby's mother called Tabitha mom.

Tabitha Nunnally: "She [Nicole] would call me everyday, stop by if I needed whatever. She was like a daughter to me."

Then the woman, named Nicole asked Tabitha to do her a favor.

Tabitha Nunnally: "'Ma I need a car. Can you put a car on your name, a car under your name for me?'"

Tabitha knew it wasn't a great idea, to sign for the silver PT Cruiser, but this was the woman who called her Ma, the mother of the little baby who called her grandma.

Tabitha Nunnally: "I did it because like I said, she was like a daughter to me. I fell in love with the baby. I fell in love with her."

Tabitha signed for the Cruiser after asking one final question.

Tabitha Nunnally: "'Nicole are you sure you will be able to keep this car?' To pay these payments?' 'Yeah Ma yah'."

You know where this is going. Two months after signing for the car, Tabitha got a call from the finance company.

Tabitha Nunnally: "Called me in June said that they didn't receive a payment. So I kept calling Nicole, 'Why didn't you pay the payment?' 'Well I can't afford the car?' 'You can't afford the car?' 'Why can't you afford the car?"

Tabitha was upset. Then stunned when the woman she trusted, threatened her if she tried to come get the car.

Tabitha Nunnally: "She said before she give me that car back she was going to tear it up, I wouldn't even know that car or the people won't even know the car so I haven't seen the car."

Tabitha called the police. They told her it was a civil matter. She asked the finance company to repossess it. They couldn't find it, leaving Tabitha with the monthly payment and the major headaches.

Tabitha Nunnally: "It hurts that I got myself in this situation. It really hurts, and she hurt me. I tried to do good by her and this is what she do to me."

Well Howard, Tabitha signed for it after Nicole promised to pay for it. Legally what can a good hearted person do?

Howard Finkelstein: "Whether you co-sign or you sign, if the person you are helping out, stops paying, you are on the hook. If you can't make their payments, your credit is damaged and a collection agency will then come after you, not them."

We did a little research and found the PT Cruiser that Tabitha had signed for in this apartment complex. We contacted the finance company and gave them the location. They told Tabitha they went out to repo the car, but it wasn't there when they got there. That means Nicole still has the PT Cruiser she is not paying for.

Howard Finkelstein: "If the lender doesn't seize the car, the law discourages you from going and taking the vehicle. Instead go to the clerks office and file what is called a Writ of Replevin, and a judge will legally give you the right to seize the car."

Soon the car will be repossessed, leaving Tabitha with a very painful lesson.

Tabitha Nunnally: "My advice, don't do it. I don't care how good they is to you, how much you love them or your child, don't do it because it will bite you in the long run."

Even when the car is repossessed, Tabitha's headaches could continue.

The finance company will sell the car and if any money is still owed on the loan, they could come after Tabitha for the difference. Her option, sue Nicole for that money, but good luck collecting from her. Now you see why people say, never sign for someone else to get a vehicle.

Possess a problem you wish you hadn't signed up for? Ready to put the pedal down? Contact us. We can guarantee we won't drive off and leave you stranded.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com

Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN

Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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