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Here’s a new problem which will probably start appearing in storm damaged areas (and beyond)…

Here’s something to watch out for that you probably haven’t thought of: if you are shopping for a used car you  should be on the lookout for flood-damaged vehicles that often hit the market after a major storm. They may not come from your particular geographic area, but the storm actually covered a lot of ground.

In the wake Hurricane Sandy, which caused massive flooding in several Northeast and Mid-Atlantic cities in the U.S., we should consider the advice given by Edmunds.com (the Car People.)

Once owners of damaged cars settle up with their insurance companies their vehicles are sometimes refurbished and resold. An unsuspecting buyer in a state unaffected by the disaster is the prime target. Long after the seller is gone, the new owner finds it is an unreliable car. Electrical and mechanical problems can then surface, and there is no recourse against the seller.

 

When the flood waters recede, they often leave behind damaged cars, and that’s where trouble can begin for used-car buyers. After the owners of damaged cars settle up with their insurance companies, vehicles are sometimes refurbished and resold. And sometimes, a middleman buyer intentionally hides a car’s history as a flood-damaged vehicle through a process known as “title washing” and sells it to an unsuspecting buyer in a state unaffected by the disaster. Electrical and mechanical problems then surface later — long after the seller is gone — leaving the new owner with an unreliable car and no recourse against the seller.

– edmunds.com

According to Fraud Guides, if you suspect a local car dealer is committing fraud by knowingly selling a flood car or a salvaged vehicle as a good-condition used car, contact your auto insurance company, local law enforcement agency or the National Insurance Crime Bureau at (800) TEL-NICB (835-6422).

Of course, the best advice when trying to avoid a flood-damaged vehicle is the adage you’ve heard so often: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Totally carless… shopping the local area for a used vehicle…

My wife is away for two days and I’m home without transportation (John will pick me up for tonite’s show at Full Circle Theater). Meanwhile, I’m perusing the internet and making phone calls concerning used vehicles. Late Tuesday afternoon I’m probably going to have my wife drive me down to a shop near Winchester, VA, where a guy has an ’88 pickup truck (with only 100,000 miles on it and, he says, in good shape and well maintained) for $1000.00. He doesn’t care who we have look at it to evaluate it’s reliability (I suggested Brown’s and he said it was fine with him)… I wanted to call my wife and tell her I set this up, but when I did, her cell phone started ringing upstairs…which means she didn’t take it with her. I’ll have to wait until she gets back later tonite, or calls me from wherever she is today.

I also have to figure out how I’m going to pay for this. If I were going to a dealer, I’d put it on a credit card (instant loan) or try to get a bank loan. From an individual I have to come up with cash. It’s possible… if the total cost is less than my monthly Social Security income, I should be all right. I’m also looking into selling my dead car for parts… and that could go into the used car‘s cost.

Needless to say, this has not caused much of a release for the depression I’ve been in for the last few days. Even with my medication I am incredibly down… for hours at a time I have found it hard to physically move off my recliner. At least the computer and internet continue to be active things while everything else is frozen.

Life keeps shrinking… and adding to the blog is becoming more like work than fun… work that doesn’t earn any income, nor does it seem to lead to anything else. I’m also finding it hard to work on my other sites, Panhandle Vegan and UTF Type Foundry.  And the theatre is now no more than running lights. There’s nothing in the near…or far…future to direct, which I would still be interested in doing. At least I still have John Case and the Friday morning radio show.