What started as a fun getaway weekend has turned into a financial nightmare for a Dartmouth, N.S., woman who's now facing a huge bill she can't afford to pay.

It's all over a Ford Mustang that was stolen after she returned it to an Enterprise rental lot.

Back in October, Kristen Cockerill treated herself and her partner to a Mustang convertible for a day trip to the South Shore.

“It was nice. It was a Mustang GT convertible. Yeah, I don't know Mustangs the way that other people might, but it was a nice car,” she said.

At the end of the two-day rental, Cockerill returned the car to the Enterprise rental lot on Portland Street in Dartmouth.

She dropped the car off on a Sunday. Most Enterprise locations in the Halifax region are closed on Sundays and people who need to return vehicles that day are instructed to leave the key in a secure drop box.

The next day, Enterprise called Cockerill. The company had the keys, but no Mustang.

“I was pretty panicked, wondering where this car went, and actually went in to the shop that evening after work just to speak to [the clerk] in person and kind of find out what's happening here,” she said.

Police investigated and determined the vehicle was stolen. That appeared to be the end of it until Monday when Cockerill got a bill from Enterprise for $47,000, the replacement value of the Mustang.

Cockerill's insurer said the car wasn't in her control, so it shouldn't be her problem.  

Enterprise, however, said that if her insurance doesn't cover it, they'll bill the $47,000 to the credit card she used to rent the Mustang. The charge won't go through, but it could cause her serious financial problems.

CBC News contacted Enterprise, which said it is working on a response to Cockerill's concerns.

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