Caveat Emptor: beware trade-in fraud

Imagine trading in your vehicle, driving away in your new vehicle, only to find out the dealership hasn’t paid off your trade-in. And you’re stuck with the bill.

That’s what happened with several couples, the Detroit Free Press reports. It happened when Walt Michael’s RV Superstore failed to pay off a couple’s trade-in RV. When the dealership went under, the couple was stuck with the RV payoff amount. Even though the trade-in RV was sold by Michael’s, the Free Press reports.

The Free Press recommends paying off your trade-in vehicle before turning it over to the dealership, or making sure the dealership agreement includes a promise-to-pay provision that says the dealer is 100% responsible for the trade-in amount. Also, ask around to see how the dealership does businesses. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see what others have to say, or to check for problems in the past.

As always, caveat emptor: buyer beware.

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