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CHUCK'S CORNER

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8 YEAR CAR LOAN?
By Chuck Wells

As you know, car leases in New York State are pretty much history now. That is because our generous state laws allowed people to sue car manufacturers along with people who had leases after car accidents. Since the manufacturer technically owns the car until the lease is paid up, New York State thought they should be responsible for damages done when people had accidents. There was legislation correcting this lawyer feeding frenzy but it did not get through to become law so the car manufacturers said forget leases. I don’t blame them.

Well, now some car outfits are making loans for 8 years. That’s right; if your car can make it 8 years, you can pay a loan for that time too. Of course, it appeals to people who “just have to get that car” but can’t afford the monthly payments. Just like leases, these loans offer lower monthly payments but you have to pay until you need Depends and Viagra.

These long car loans also charge a couple of points extra in interest to borrow for that length of time so you wind up paying much more money in interest. But who cares? As long as you can get that monthly payment down, everything will be swell.

Here is the real problem. Most people will sell the car before 8 years. On these long car loans, the balance due for about the first 5 years is more than the car is worth. That means you will roll the remaining loan onto your next new car and spread payments out again. You will be “upside down” on this loan.

Once again, who cares? Most people feel upside down most of the time anyway!

The problem comes when you total out your car because you ran off the road while talking on your cell phone. You’ve got a $20,000 loan with a $10,000 car. Do you think the insurance company is going to give you enough money to pay off your loan? Right. They will give you the $10,000 and you get to pay off the rest of your loan and you have no car. The insurance company is NOT responsible, nor does it care, for your loans. But you did have low monthly payments.

I can’t tell you how many people have complained to me after accidents that they were not getting enough money to pay off their loans.

The bottom line? Buy a car you can afford with monthly payments not longer than 4 years and don’t be “upside down” or you will be S.O.L.

WOMAN SUES RESTAURANT

Amber Carson sued a Philadelphia restaurant after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). She thought the restaurant was liable and should give her some money. The spill was caused by Carson herself who through her drink at her boyfriend 30 seconds before she fell. The court ordered the restaurant to pay her $113,500.

DON’T LET KIDS LOSE

I have always disagreed with schools or sports clubs which set up competitions and don’t keep score because kids might feel like losers. It’s good for kids to experience losing so they know it is no big deal and they will also learn to bounce back and win. I know it is not “politically correct” in this politically correct obsessive society. Well, a primary school in Birmingham, England banned parents from its annual sports day so that the kids who did not win contests and races would not “feel so bad.” What a crock.

NUDE BUFFET?

Meeting planners in New York and Los Angeles are planning upscale gourmet buffets featuring food served on the body of a young nude woman who lies on the buffet table for up to 3 hours. Sushi is the favorite food to be tasted from the nude buffet. Cost is $700 per person. Don’t know what they serve for dessert.

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