TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Hillsborough County family finally has their down payment back after Off Lease Only, a popular used car dealership, abruptly closed last month, laying off hundreds of employees and leaving customers in a lurch. All it took was a little Better Call Behnken intervention.
“I thought wow, last resort, I called you and you responded. I couldn’t believe it,” Berger said.
Bill and Misty Berger helped their 16-year-old son buy a 2012 Hyundai Elantra from Off Lease Only in Bradenton.
On Sept. 4, they plunked down $3,200 for the down payment, and the car was supposed to be delivered to their home a few days later.
Instead, three days later, they saw a note on the dealership website: it closed and filed for bankruptcy.
“You have to know as a company that you may be filing bankruptcy, something’s wrong. Why would you take my money?”
The next day, their $3,200 check cleared the bank.
Off Lease Only was based in South Florida and had five dealerships throughout the state, including the one in Bradenton.
The company disclosed assets and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million, and between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors, according to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
Consumer Investigator Shannon Behnken reached out to a public relations firm working with the company and was told the company is working to return deposits for deals that weren’t financed yet.
Days later, the Bergers received their money back.
“Monday morning the refund was there in the account so I couldn’t have been happier,” Berger said. “My wife and I, Misty, we’re thrilled and appreciate that it was there. So we really appreciate everything you’ve done for us. You were there for us. You were there, so we appreciate it.”