A surprise from bank over car loan

Daily News personal finance columnist Harry Gross

DEAR HARRY: In the fall of 2010, we bought our first new car after several used ones (I don't like the word pre-owned).

We took a loan for 36 months, for which the last payment is due next month. We were notified that despite the original 36 payments, we still owe $7,100. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that letter.

I called the bank that issued the loan and was referred to a new bank that took over the loan about a year ago. Neither could explain what happened. Neither called back after promising to do so.

I looked over all our agreements with the bank and the dealer, and everything indicates that I will owe nothing after my next payment.

I have no record of anyone adding charges to my payments or my balance.

I am worried about my credit report as well as this stiff payment that I don't owe. Help!

WHAT HARRY SAYS: My guess is that an error crept into your loan at the time of the transfer between banks.

Ask the people at the new bank for a detailed statement of your account. That should show when the error was made.

There is another possibility: Are you sure you did not lease the car, rather than buy it? If so, the $7,100 may be what you owe to purchase the car at the end of the lease.

You would not be the first person to have made this mistake.


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.