Car loan mix up jeopardizes Brentwood woman's retirement dreams

ByRandall Yip KGO logo
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Lender accused of not keeping agreement
Brentwood woman did everything financial experts say to do. So where did things go wrong?

BRENTWOOD,Calif (KGO) -- For many parents, becoming an empty nester is a life-changing moment. Her plans, however, hit a roadblock after a mixup over her loan.

Darla Gilliard is looking forward to her golden years. The 58-year old divorcee has her retirement years all figured out. She even knows what kind of dog she's going to get.

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"I plan on getting me a little French bulldog blue. I already picked his name out-Ghost," said Darla.

As luck would have it, we spotted one-off in a distance. Our intern arranged for a meet and greet with Darla.

"He's my dream dog," she said as she hugged him. "A miniature one."

"Oh, really!" responded the excited dog owner.

Darla lives in this neighborhood in Brentwood. She shares a place with her son, but her next home will begin her life as an empty nester.

"This is going to be my retirement home, how should I say, after raising my son, she said."

Life is much better these days for Darla. Several years ago, she knew she would be late making her car payment on her Mazda3.

So she did what she was supposed to do-- called her lender to work out a one-time payment plan.

"The rep of course said 'OK. I'm noting it in the account. We won't charge you a late fee and we won't report it on your credit,"' Darla recalled.

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Since then, she says she hasn't been late on a single payment.

Recently she applied to get pre-approved for a home loan.

That's when she noticed that Ally Financial had reported her late payment to the credit agency despite their agreement.

She called Ally immediately but said she got nowhere after repeated calls.

"So I got frustrated and finally said forget it. Let me contact 7 On Your Side because I love 7 On Your Side. I watch it all the time. "

We contacted Ally and within minutes, their rep went into action.

Within three days, the credit agencies removed the late payment from Darla's credit report.

In a letter, it told her, "In the spirit of customer satisfaction, we have asked the credit reporting agencies to update their records to reflect your account as 0 days over 30 days past due."

"It's awesome that there's an outlet or an advocate for the people you can go to to get results. Thank you, thank you, thank you," said Darla.

Ally said it regretted any miscommunication that may have occurred and any inconvenience or frustration this matter may have caused.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.