Saturday, December 3

Phoenix Couple Face Serious Charges for Running Used Car Dealership Scam

auto sites for used cars

UPDATED 11/12/20

Salvage cars for sale are cars found unfit to drive or are considers illegal on the roads. Such cars are sold at a lower price. People then repair them and, after passing state, inspection is considered fit for driving. Although they can be found on auto sites for used cars, they are not the right choice for everybody.

Things to consider before buying any used cars for sale

Before purchasing any used cars for sale, ensure that you understand the cars’ performance review when they were first released. Confirm that the cars are free from mechanical problems. Finally, carry out crash test ratings and features to determine its safety.

A Phoenix used car dealership is in some hot water right now after admitting that it had purposely run a fraud scheme to take advantage of poor customers who couldn’t otherwise afford traditional auto loans.

In fact, according to azcentral.com, the dealership is already permanently out of business — but that’s just the start of its problems.

Gina and Joseph Colombo, owners and operators of Uncle Joe’s Auto Sales at 2520 E. Bell Road, created the dealership specifically for “customers with poor credit histories and who didn’t speak English.”

The couple reportedly used a variety of tactics to take advantage of these customers, including:

  • Luring in targeted customers with false Craigslist advertisements
  • Misrepresenting the condition of used cars for sale
  • Misrepresenting the interest rate (APR) on buyers’ contracts;
  • Overcharging on license and registration fees;
  • Charging fees for miscellaneous reasons that didn’t actually exist
  • Not honoring warranty policies when the vehicles did not operate as promised
  • Not returning down payments on cars that didn’t actually sell
  • Using fake contracts that customers never signed;
  • Making deceptive claims that directly contradicted the written terms of sales and finance agreements.

The Colombos were in business for just eight months, according to YNN, but the Attorney General’s Office received over 30 customer complaints against the business during that time.

“This dealership targeted Arizona families with no credit or poor credit, charging them outrageous fees. Buying a car is a major investment for most families and this office will continue to take a tough stance against used car scams and auto dealer fraud, ” Attorney General Mark Brnovich said.

auto sites for used cars

In addition to permanently closing Uncle Joe’s Auto Sales, the Colombos are now banned from owning, operating, or managing any other vehicle sales business or finance-related business in Arizona, including auto sites for used cars. They surrendered their license to sell motor vehicles back in February 2015, and the Attorney General’s Office filed its official lawsuit against the couple in March.

Recently, it was announced that the Colombos would be forced to pay $70,000 in restitution fees to their customers, along with $360,000 in civil penalties, and $5,000 in attorneys fees.

Despite the crackdown on their sketchy business, the Colombos are actually pretty lucky. The Attorney General’s Office reportedly agreed to waive $335,000 of the settlement, so long as the Colombos honor the settlement payment plan of $500 monthly over the next 60 months without defaulting. And considering that the conditions of their used cars were not as safe as advertised, they could have easily been facing additional charges had one of the vehicles been involved in a serious accident (which could have resulted in a personal injury settlement of around $60,000).

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