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Dealers Still Waiting For Clunker Cash

August 31, 2009, 4:59 PM by Don Jorgensen

Dealers Still Waiting For Clunker Cash
Auto makers will release their monthly sales reports Tuesday and they're expected to show the first year-to-year increase since 2007.  While the Cash for Clunkers program is getting all the credit, local car dealers are still waiting for their cash.

During the month long program, Billion Automotive sold close to a thousand vehicles but has only been reimbursed for 272 of them.  Vern Eide sold over 200 cars and has only been paid for 27 of them, and that's fueling lots of concerns in the auto industry.

Billion Automotive cashed in during Cash for Clunkers, but owner Dave Billion is still waiting for the rest of his money from the government run program, $3.2 million. 

"I wonder how long they'd wait if I owed them $3.2 million.  I think they'd be at my door or at least my banker's door," Billion said.

Even though Billion is beginning to get some of his reimbursement money, he's still concerned because he says there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the program.

When Cash for Clunkers was first announced, dealers were supposed to be reimbursed within 10 days of a sale. Billion says that hasn't happened. 

"The program started in July and we haven't gotten paid for cars we sold back then, but then on the other hand we got paid for a car we sold last week.  They don't have an accurate format.  It's not like they're taking the first deals that were submitted and working those.  I don't know how they're doing it, no idea.  I know it's very random" Billion said.

Plus, he's had problems getting some vehicles qualified. 

"We had a situation where we had a submission, they rejected it for multiple reasons.  We didn't see anything wrong with it, so we resubmitted it.  They rejected, we resubmitted it.  They rejected it, seven times and finally they paid it, and we never changed a single thing on it," Billion said.

But Billion thinks he'll get his money eventually, it just may take longer than what the government first said.

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