‘It’s not fair’: Car loan clauses that could cost you your job

ORLANDO — An Orlando woman claims the finance company won’t give her car back to her because she was working for Uber Eats, now she says she’s lost everything.

Angelic Moore lost her job and like so many others, turned to gig work like Uber Eats and Instacart to make ends meet.

“With the pandemic going on, this is what people are doing now,” Moore told ABC affiliate WFTV.

She bought a used Nissan months ago from a local dealership and financed it through its lender, Mid Florida Financing. She fell behind on a payment and the car was repossessed. Moore asked for a new payment plan with Mid Florida and thought it was approved.

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“They called me back and they tell me I can’t get my car because of Uber Eats and Instacart,” Moore said.

She says Mid Florida kept her car because she used it for her job, and the only way she could get the car back was by paying the total balance of over $9,000 within 10 days.

Moore said she relied on that car to make a living. “I’ve lost my house. I’ve lost everything, you know so, I’m still paying on my storage.”

When Moore went back through the paperwork, she found a document she had apparently signed at the time of the sale that restricted her from using the vehicle for certain jobs.

The clause in the contract says the vehicle can’t be used for commercial purposes, including Uber and Lyft, and is for personal use only.

“There’s nothing fair about it,” attorney Ira Rheingold said.

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Rheingold is the executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. He says these contracts hurt consumers and financing from the same place that sold you the car could come with surprise restrictions.

“I mean, if you’re buying a car, they don’t care how you’re going to use it. But when the car dealer becomes the lender, then suddenly it gets more complicated,” Rheingold said.

A Mid Florida manager said he could not comment on Moore’s complaint but said all decisions are only based on a buyer’s income.

Moore says the dealer took away the livelihood she depended on. “A lot of people are doing Uber Eats and Instacart to make a living. So no, it’s not fair.”

Used car buyers should get approved loans before shopping, and avoid dealer financing if possible. You could probably get a better rate without the fine print that could cost you a job.

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