When The Departed left, it was after a number of very large purchases had been made. Some of those purchases, not surprisingly, involved loans or other debt, but he wasn’t paying it, and after one expensive letter from my lawyer to his, I realized I would be better off somehow managing the debt myself until I could find my way to a divorce.
This is a problem, when you have more bills than income.
Immediately after he left, I found myself with two cars: the first, a beat-up old Subaru that didn’t look like much, but was paid for and probably only approaching its automotive half-life. The second was its replacement, a large luxury SUV that we had bought only a few months earlier – which was not even close to paid for in spite of a large down payment. Since his departure was so abrupt, decisions were made quickly: The Subaru belonged to me outright and was sold, with the proceeds used to hire my lawyer. The SUV was jointly titled, so I paid the large monthly bill and figured it would all be worked out when we finally sat down and divided things up.
Except that took a lot longer than anyone expected it to, and so, after months of large car payments, one expensive letter, and a couple of sobbing phone calls, my lawyer suggested that I should go test drive a car and maybe get a value on the SUV as a trade in. It’s so new, he said, there probably won’t be much you can do about unloading it. But, go find out and I’ll call his attorney.
So one sunny Sunday, The Child and I drove a large luxury SUV up to the car dealership a minute from our house, the one that sold cute little European cars in fun colors. The SUV had every possible bell and whistle on it – DVD player, heated front and rear seats – and I surmise that this was how they heard me coming.
And they did, because what started as a test drive of a new car on a sunny morning turned into the day that would not end which gradually became the early evening in which I bought a used car – but with a lower monthly payment. No worries about my not-yet-ex-husband’s signature; they’d take care of that. No worries about driving a used, un-inspected European car; their extended warranty would cover me.
I started trying to undo the deal almost as soon as I got home. I knew I’d been taken, which was confirmed a when they called a few days later and asked me to “come back in, there’s been a problem with financing.” You can tell me a lot of lies about cars, but I know a few things about credit, what with working in the banking industry for more than 20 years, and my credit is perfect.
Great, I said, let’s undo this. Please bring the SUV up the road to my house.
They told me they’d already sold it, another story that stunk: It was not possible they’d obtained The Departed’s needed signature that quickly, and in any case, it was still listed on their website.
The financing issue went away, as did the promise to make repairs, and the return phone calls from their mechanic.
I panic, and call my own mechanic, who inspects the vehicle. It’s fine, he says, as Minis go, but these cars are nothing but problem after expensive problem.
You are going to regret this car.