Monday, August 6, 2007

Get Gephardt: Car Company Won't Return Overpayment

If you make regular monthly payments to any company, be careful never to accidentally make an overpayment.

When a Salt Lake City woman accidentally overpaid $1,600, and couldn’t get her money back, it was time to Get Gephardt.

An overpayment of $10 or $20 bucks to some company might not be a big deal: just subtract it from next month’s payments.

But $1,600 over? That might make it difficult to pay some other bills.

Let’s see if we can figure out why this company won’t return money that isn’t theirs.

Chrissy Wingeier leases this Chrysler through ‘Chrysler Financial Services.’

Back in march, late fees were looming after some confusion as to whom she was needed to pay on her lease.

So, to be safe, Chrissy wrote multiple checks.

She wound up overpaying on her lease $1,600 and she needed that money back.

Chrissy says that she called Chrysler Financial, and they told her she could not get a refund until her lease matured in 2009. And one spokesperson told us that is Chrysler financials policy.

“We were just holding it due to the access wear and tear and/or mileage that may have occurred.”

“We want the money back now,” says Chrissy. “It’s our overpayment. Why should they hold onto that payment for 3 years?”

“The law is not clear,” says Commerce Department Director Francine Giani. She says law or now law, a large overpayment ought to result in a refund.

“This was an error. I don’t see why that group would not give her that money back,” says Giani.

And that’s just what happened.

After our call, Chrissy got this check for $2,200 from Chrysler Financial.

$2,200 dollars? She thought she only over paid by $1,600.

Here’s the deal, Chrissy. Don’t spend all of that $2,200.

Because while Chrysler Financial may not have wanted to refund your overpayment, I’ll bet you’ll have to pay them back right away if they accidentally overpaid you.


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