By STEPHANIE ZIMMERMANN, ABC News Fixer
Dear ABC News Fixer: My husband’s 84-year-old aunt lives in Chicago. She has been having problems making major decisions and handling her finances since 2009. My husband obtained power of attorney in 2010 to help her with her business affairs.
Recently, she sold her used car and said she wasn’t going to drive anymore.
Some time later, she got a solicitation in the mail from a car dealership in Northwest Indiana saying it was her “final notice” to get a used car. She apparently took this literally, and got a ride there with a gentleman from her church. She ended up buying a used car – we believe without fully realizing what was going on. She had no money to put down, so she post-dated a check until she received her Social Security check.
The used car was $11,091.98. The payments were for six years, with the total price — including a $2,500 service contract she didn’t realize she bought – coming to $20,323.92. They told her to drive it home that day.
She will be 90 years old at the end of this contract.
When my husband, James, her nephew, found out about this, they went to the dealership and he explained that he has power of attorney and that she wasn’t capable of making such a purchase. The salesman said to bring back the power of attorney document and they would look into it. James left the used car and keys there and brought back the form. The man at the dealership made a copy and said nothing.
When they got back to his aunt’s home in Chicago, the car was there, parked on the street in front of her house. What can we do?
– Dariel Koehler, Crown Point, Ind.
Dear Dariel: So, that used car loved your husband’s aunt so much, it drove itself back from Indiana to her house in Chicago … or the dealership really, really wanted to make that sale stick.
The ABC News Fixer guessed the latter, so we took a closer look at this deal.
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Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Doug Criss, CNN
Heather Long, CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN