Seminole woman struggled to get information about late husband’s loan and shares what she learned
Because her name was not on the loan, the credit union did not issue statements as it continued to make monthly payments
SEMINOLE, Fla. (WFLA) – When Sam Crafa’s husband Paul Crafa battled stage 4 colon cancer, the couple thought their affairs were in order.
The one thing she didn’t address: Paul’s Jeep Patriot and the fact that his car loan was in his name only.
“It’s about having hope when you have a terminal illness, and I didn’t want to take that hope with it,” she said.
She thought she had the right documents in place to fix the problem later.
“I am his wife. I am the executor, ”she said. “I have the papers to prove that I am.”
Under Florida law, property like a car goes to a surviving spouse, but it’s complicated when there is a loan.
Sam tells me that Achieva Credit Union explained that as soon as the loan was paid off, they would release the title and the DMV could transfer the Jeep to her name.
Here’s the problem: Sam has continued to make monthly payments faithfully for a year and she wants to receive statements as to where she is on the loan.
“When is the last payment due because I have no idea.” How much do I have to pay for the principal? What interest do I have to pay on each payment? “
Frustrated, she called Better Call Behnken to help her figure out what to do next. Shannon Behnken went to her local Achieva branch and hours later the VP of Loss Prevention called to explain that since her name was not on the loan they couldn’t share statements due to confidentiality procedures.
But they found a solution: From now on, every time she makes a payment, she will receive a history of that payment which includes a breakdown of her payment and how much more she has to pay.
The lesson here is to pay attention to loans. Often married people assume that their spouse will receive property, such as a car. But if there is a loan, it must first be satisfied.
You may want to consider adding a spouse to the loan early on.
As for Crafa, she says she already has the information she wanted and can put that behind her.