GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After Summer Lodewyk’s old car was trashed in a crash and a car dealership kept the only money she had for a down payment, a different metro Grand Rapids dealer stepped up to help her.
The day after Target 8 investigators told her story on April 28, Lodewyk got a call from another car dealer, Brandon Baker of Car City on 28th Street in Wyoming. He had seen the report on woodtv.com. He gave her credit for a down payment, got her financing and a used car.
“I was sad to see what happened to Summer,” Baker said. “And sadly it happens to some customers. Bad dealers give us a bad rep. … We had an opportunity to make something right and hopefully this helps the good car dealers out there and it helps the bad car dealers maybe go away.”
Three days later, Lodewyk got a call from the dealer who was holding her down payment. She was told she could come pick up a check.
“It felt really good, actually,” she said.
That car dealership, Allstate Auto Sales on South Division Avenue in Kentwood, handed her a check for $1,000. She said it should have been for $1,500 because she gave a salesman another $500 beyond her initial down payment — but she didn’t get a receipt and couldn’t prove it.
“I felt like Al had made a big accomplishment even though they won’t admit to the $1,500,” she said. “A thousand is something.”
She was referring to Alan Anderson, who runs Allstate Auto Sales. He told Target 8 he was always planning to give Lodewyk her down payment back. He said his team was expecting her to come get a car because they had worked out financing for her, which is why they were holding the money.
But Lodewyk complained that the dealer failed to get her a loan and was keeping her down payment anyway. She even called police for help. According to a report from the Kentwood Police Department, Anderson initially told officers a different story than what he told Target 8.
“Anderson reiterated that the business tried numerous financial institutions to seek financing for Lodewyk, however they were having a difficult time,” the report says in part.
The officer wrote that Anderson said there was a clause in the sales contract Lodewyk signed that “states the deposit is to allow the company to attempt to acquire financing and is not refundable.”
According to the Better Business Bureau, state law allows a business to keep a down payment if the buyer backs out of a deal, but that a car dealer should return a deposit if it cannot get the buyer a loan.