When Anne Cortez TMs sister was suddenly reassigned to a job position in Las Vegas, the family was left without a vehicle.
That TMs why they were relieved and happy to find a good bargain on a car at Consignment Cars in Harlingen.
"We got it and (the salesman) said it was really reliable (and) it was a good car, so we paid $500 down," Cortez said.
However, Cortez said that relief quickly turned into anguish.
She knew that for approximately $4,300, the car would need new tires, an oil change and coolant.
But, she said she never expected the car would stop working just three days after they purchased it.
"We found out it's the motor (that TMs not working), Cortez said, but that's going to cost us like $3,000 to fix, so it's more than what the car is worth itself." Cortez said she's approached the used cars shop trying to work something out with the owner, whether it's exchanging the car for one that works or getting her money back. However, so far, she said no solution has been offered. Instead, she said, hey reminded her that she still needed to make her $260 payment for the month.
"I'm not going to keep making the payments," Cortez said.
George Merrill, dealership owner, said he did offer to look at the car when the family first reported the problems. He said that was at least a week after they drove-off his lot with the car in good condition, and with new license plates and tags in hand. Merrill adds there is no Lemon Law on used cars with no warranty, and that he's actually helping those who would otherwise not be able to purchase a car, by not checking credit and keeping down and monthly payments low.
Cortez said she and her family must rely on friends and family for rides now that they don TMt have a car once again. She's also learned a tough lesson.
"I think next time I will do a lot more research before I get a car from someone," Cortez said.