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Dealer fraud with financing

Old 06-11-2018, 07:46 AM
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Default Dealer fraud with financing

Hi all - have been reading this site for a while now, but this is my first post. I am curious to hear your all's thoughts on a fraud issue I'm having with my dealer.

This happened after I purchased my 2018 Q7 from a dealer in Northern Virginia in September of last year. Given my expat status, it took them about 2 weeks to finalize the paperwork, supposedly due to Audi Financial Services needing more time. During that time I reached out several times to both the sales rep I dealt with as well as the Finance Manager, but was told that due to consumer finance laws they couldn't discuss anything on the phone, and the rep said all F&I stuff had to be handled by the Finance Manager. Finally, after 2 weeks of me driving around in a car I hadn't paid for, we finally sorted out the paperwork. I took Audi Care and 10-year extended warranty but declined everything else. I also negotiated another 500 dollar discount given it took them 2 weeks to finalize everything and I had shopped around for cheaper extended warranties.

Fast forward to February of this year, and when checking something on the car loan I noticed that the amounts were off vs. what was on the original paperwork. I called Audi Financial Services who sent me the paperwork they received from the dealer. I noticed three things:
  • They had added some insurance package, described as just "AWS DENT", for 1065 USD (increasing my original balance by the same amount)
  • They reduced the finance rate by 0.5%, so the monthly payment was the same as on my original paperwork (which is why it took me so long to notice)
  • They forged my signature on the paperwork
Also, the printed date on that paperwork was about 10 days after I actually went in and signed the original paperwork. I contacted both Audi Financial Services ("so... what would you like us to do about this?") and Audi North America ("As you know, we don't actually own the dealers, so all we can do is pass along the information to the dealer GM") who were both pretty useless. I then received a call from the GM who said they always do a "check" after a sale to see if a better deal was possible, and in this case, they thought it was and they had asked the sales rep back then (not the Finance Manager, even though originally I was told several times only the Finance Manager could deal with F&I stuff) to bring the new paperwork to me for signature. The sales rep is no longer with the dealership, so the GM just blamed it on her (implying she must have signed it herself). He offered to cancel the "AWS DENT" and refund the money, but nothing else. He never disputed that the signatures were fake.

I had contacted the police about this as well and even though in Virginia forgery is a felony, they didn't really care and told me to take it up with the dealer directly. I still haven't decided what to do next. While technically they are willing to reimburse the difference, they did profit on this fraudulent action, and I'm sure I'm not the first customer they have done this with!

Anybody else experience something like this? Any advice on how to handle this?
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:20 AM
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Haven't experienced anything of the sort and can understand how frustrating it is and don't have any advice on what to do.
Police already said they won't do anything so you don't have any legal action from them. You may see what your lawyer says but that will just cost you time and money.

Question though, what would you like to happen to make it feel right?
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:55 AM
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Forging a signature is identity theft. Get the police report filed. Then you have time to decide what is the best action.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:06 AM
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There are obviously two things going on here:

The issue with the signature is just flat out wrong and should NEVER have happened.

In regards to the financial aspect of the deal, you - if I got this right - are actually better now because you got that insurance for free.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:27 AM
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The question is what do you want? The cops aren't going to arrest anyone just because your signature was forged. Do you want to return the car or cancel the deal?

Imo, figure out what you want and lawyer up. Just complaining about sleazy dealer won't solve anything unless you're really pissed off about something.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:56 PM
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File a police report, hire a lawyer and let them do the rest. Most likely it will require hiring a professional to determine the forgery is a fake. Forgery is a felony in all 50 states. If the dealer changed some numbers before the deal or skimped on an option, that is one thing, but to actually put your legal signature on a document I wound pounce. No mercy in those situations. Don't take this the wrong way, but in my life I have never heard of a dealer letting a customer drive off a car without the final paperwork being signed.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by landragon View Post
The question is what do you want? The cops aren't going to arrest anyone just because your signature was forged. Do you want to return the car or cancel the deal?

Imo, figure out what you want and lawyer up. Just complaining about sleazy dealer won't solve anything unless you're really pissed off about something.
That's a good question, and I should have clarified. To be clear, I'm not looking to gain from this personally. If I ask, I'm sure the dealer's GM will cancel whatever insurance they added, and refund the money. The issue I have is that I can't possibly be the first and only one they have done this with. Blaming it on the sales rep is BS, as for the entire process she wasn't allowed to even discuss anything F&I related, but then they would just ask her to have me sign a new contract. And I would imagine when signing a new contract you would somehow also sign something that voids the old contract. But the amount is also not big enough that once is enough to make a difference for the dealer or F&I manager. So this is clearly an "organized" practice by the dealer, and I want somehow to actually come down on them and "punish them".

I did speak to my lawyer and his perspective was that there are a few legal avenues to pursue, but you're looking at easily 5 to 10k of legal fees with no guarantee the judge would award full reimbursement of legal fees even when the dealer is found guilty. My lawyer did recommend filing a complaint with the Virginia Dealer Board, which manages dealer licenses in the state. I haven't done that yet but am considering it. I'm also considering going back to the police and make them file a report for me, given the forgery.

I am frankly most shocked by Audi North America's response. Besides calling their customer support number, is there any other avenue to get some traction on this with them?
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by noxqzs View Post
File a police report, hire a lawyer and let them do the rest. Most likely it will require hiring a professional to determine the forgery is a fake. Forgery is a felony in all 50 states. If the dealer changed some numbers before the deal or skimped on an option, that is one thing, but to actually put your legal signature on a document I wound pounce. No mercy in those situations. Don't take this the wrong way, but in my life I have never heard of a dealer letting a customer drive off a car without the final paperwork being signed.
I was also shocked they let me drive the car for that long. They messed up by making me wait over 6 hours at the dealer until 10pm because F&I was backed up (last day of the month), and only then did they realize I was an expat and needed a bunch more documentation. They made me sign a promissory note and let me have the car. Then I chased them for 2 weeks to get everything finalized, with very slow and unresponsive communication from their end. And still the sales rep asked me to give her a 10 on the Audi survey .
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:38 PM
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Do both of these:
1. Google your state attorney general and get a hold of their office and explain what happened; and
2. Google the state prosecutor for the county in which the dealer is located and explain what happened.

See if these folks can help you out. Forgery on consumer finance documents is a big deal.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:24 PM
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When dealers mark up interest rate beyond what Audi financial allows them, AFS rejects the paperwork. Thatís probably what happened in your case. Then dealer has two options, being honest with the customer and refund the extra money or make excuses and correct the rate then add some junk package to again make money.
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