I recently returned my leased 2005 GMC ENVOY to CLASSIC GMC in Carrollton, Texas, in May 2009. When returned, the vehicle was only a few miles over the 60,000 mile return provision limit stated in my original signed contract, with a .15 charge for each mile over the limit.
Everything seemed fine, until I was handed a sheet of paper with a balance of over $2,500 due to a mile overage charge. Baffled, I asked where that charge was coming from since I was less than 50 miles over the limit. I was instructed that the system showed me to be 12,000 miles over the 48,000 mile limit. My eyes poped wide open in complete disbelieve since I had a signed contract in front of me showing 60,000 miles. I showed them my signed contract showing 60k as the mileage limitation and was then told that the dealership could not do anything to keep me from being charged that amount. I was told that I would need to take up my claim with GMAC Financial Product, the leasing company. The dealership stated they could not help for 2 reasons 1) They are the new owners of that property and supposedly only bought the car inventory and real property, not the liabilities from the previous dealership owners, and 2) the lease contract disputed is held by GMAC as stated above. We then gave them the car and key, but did not sign anything agreeing to the $2,500, and left the dealership. The new dealership (Classic GMC of Carrollton) did let us get copies of what they had in their files. Sure enough...included in those files were 2 smart lease master lease documents, both with different forged signatures. Neither had my signature and were different than the contract I have had in my car and with me for 4 years. All three master lease contracts had different signatures (3 clearly different hand writings), however, they all had the same date, pmt amount, and residual. One contract showed 48,000 miles with a forged signature. That contract was in both the dealership files and GMAC files. The second contract showed 60,000 miles with a different forged signature and was in the dealerships files as well, but not GMAC's! The third contract stated 60,000 miles and was the one I signed and had with me all these years. Apparently, the guy who did the paper work at the previous dealership forged the signatures on a contract with lower mileage that backs up the residual he gave us. He must have committed the fraud to get the sale done and improve his $$$ numbers.
That said, we proceeded to call GMAC to report the fraud and get the amount swiped off of our account, since the information in their system is based on fraudulent documents different from what we signed. WHAT A MISERABLE AGRAVATING process with GMAC. 20 phone calls, 10 customer service hangups, and endless hours later I finally get a customer service operations manager. WOW, now that is far up the food chain after reporting fraud and demanding something be done (sarcastic!). I am telling you that I tried everything to get someone in the legal department or some kind of manager at GMAC with authority to correct the account mistake and investigate the fraud. No one give me anyone with authority or take ownership of my claims. Long story short. I have had them review master lease and pulled in a GMAC manager on a conference call with the Controller at Classic GMC who has the fraudulent Lease files. The new dealership was totally on my side and explaining to GMAC that they need to go to the previous dealership owners and file fraud charges and at the very least clear up our issue and release the charges. GMAC management, supervisors, and anyone there who I talk to or have review the file refuse to call the dealership themselves or ask for any other documentation. Essentially, the make me wait 1 to 2 days for a call back after REVIEWING and tell me the same thing over and over again. That they intend on honoring the contract since it is signed by them, agreed to by them, and in their files. They state that they have no reason to believe the contract is invalid. YET THEY DONT INVESTIGATE ANYTHING and totally disregard my claims and the claims of the new dealership who also state that the signatures dont match up with other documents we signed. The new dealership totally agrees with me and stated so with the GMAC Manager on the telephone that he thinks forgery has occured and that they have had similar claims from other customers coming back to that location.
How do I get GMAC to remove the charges?
How do I get them to investigate the fraud?
Why can't I get them to do anything except state that they intend on honoring the contract. I hit a brick wall when I tell them it is invalid because it is forged and fraud... over and over again... silence... then they repeat the same thing to me?
Can I do anything to protect my credit if I dont pay the charges and they refuse to remove them. I fear they will send this to a collection agency, then the credit agency etc. I have over 700pts on my credit score and dont want it screwed up?
What can I do legally without spending more than I am disputing? The cost of a lawsuit probably outweight the gain.... THEY KNOW THIS TOO!!!!
Has this happened to anyone else and how did they attack this fraud issue. The dealership owners sold the business and now are who knows where doing who knows what? The time and effort of legally going after them likely is a lost cause isnt it?