I took out a loan in October, 1999, at an absolutely ridiculous interest rate in the high teens, but my credit wasn’t good and my income was also not high. I needed the car, I had a teenage son getting ready to drive and wanted him in a safe car.
From time to time, I ran into problems with payments, called them and they worked it out (the interest kept accumulating, but that was my fault since I couldn’t pay on time). Two months ago, I called Americredit and told them I was going to be filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy but per my attorney I couldn’t send in more than a certain dollar amount as the courts wouldn’t look favorably upon that.
The gentleman I spoke with said it wouldn’t be a problem and I told him I would try to get $1000 in within one week. It actually took my about 11 days to get the whole thing in, but I did send in money in the meantime. I did make one major screw-up and sent the balance to my son in the Army in Korea via Western Union instead of Americredit, but as soon as he received it, he sent it back to me. On Wednesday night this week, somewhere around 9 p.m.
I think since I was sleeeping, someone pounded on my bedroom windows yelling my name out loud. I met them at the front door and they told me Americredit had sent them to TAKE PICTURES OF THE CAR just to prove that it did still exist at this location. I asked for a business card of this tattooed individual but he didn’t have any. All he had was a laminated car from the State of Florida saying he was licensed to locate cars. He told me I could photostat it if I wished, but I don’t have a copy machine here at home.
But, being a basically honest person, I believed them and allowed them to enter my garage and move the car so they could take the pictures. As they were pulling away, I was chasing after them, asking where my car was going and when it would be back.
I was told I could pick it up in West Palm Beach at 9:15 a.m. the following morning….I had remembered the man’s name and looked him up on an internet telephone directory and discovered he was not even from West Palm Beach, he was from Port St. Lucie (1-1/2 to 2 hours away). Naturally, Americredit was closed for the night. So, Thursday morning I called the man I had been speaking with at Americredit only to be told that I had now been turned over to “Recovery” and he wasn’t permitted to speak with me.
Apparently, there are a total of two people that work in that department, a Renee who was absent that day and a Belinda who never answers phones, just has an answering machine. When I finally reached Belinda sometime that evening, she told me that they now wanted the entire balance of $1968 plus late fees of $211.92 PLUS $420 for the cost of repossessing my car.
Now, I had sent them in a total in the past two weeks of $75, $175, $400, $600, and $850 which brings my payments to $2100! Need I point out that this amount is higher than the $1968 they wanted in past due fees? She was willing to waive my November 15th payment (allowing me to pay it on the due date instead of a month early) but since they only post Western Union payments the following day, the soonest they would post any payments of mine would be Friday and then, even if I wanted to pay the $211.92 plus $420, they wouldn’t be able to post it till Monday.
So, here I am without a car until at least Monday unless I rent one and there goes the money I would have used to “rebuy” my own car. Oh, did I tell you that the “repo” man (and I use the term man loosely) closes his yard at 4 p.m. and isn’t open on weekends; so if and when Americredit gets their act together on Monday and faxes me the paperwork with all the details, I have to PRAY that it gets to me before 2 p.m. so that I can try to get to Port St. Lucie prior to their time of closing.
By the way, when they were driving my car away, they asked if I had any personal items in the car — who could think while I was standing there in a nightshirt trying to figure out what the hell was going on? I have no clue what was in the trunk, my car registration and insurance forms were in the console and my garage door opener is in the car (like I have use for that now anyway. My cellphone charger and headset are in the car (I just realized that today) and I just feel this was handled in a very poor manner, what ever happened to Communication?
W Palm Beach, Florida