I feel like I’ve read about what happened to me before…last year when the banks were being exposed for rushing foreclosure procedures and using legal loopholes to swindle people out of their houses. Only difference is, this happened to my car loan. I had two unpaid speeding tickets which led to a suspended license back on 7/23. I got pulled over for ‘failure to indicate my turn 100′ prior to initiating it’, they ran my license, and impounded my car around 11-11:30pm Saturday night. From 7/23 to 8/2, I did everything I could to pay off the tickets, reinstate my license, and get my car completely legal again as soon as possible – all told, it was around 00. I don’t make a lot of money, so coming up with over half my monthly income in just a week is quite a challenge, to say the least. When I got to the Police impound department for my appointment on 8/2 at 2:30, with all the documentation and money they requested to release the vehicle to me, the clerk said "Oh, your bank didn’t call you? They repossesed your vehicle this morning." WHAT?!? I have had a near perfect payment history on my loan, never falling a full payment behind…except for last month, when I had to make a payment arrangement with the credit union’s risk management department for the half payment ( of the 7 I pay bi-weekly) that I had to put off because I had just renewed my registration and paid rent. I haven’t even been behind for a full pay cycle (30 days), but when I called my credit union’s repossesion dept, they said it was enough to deem it a ‘risk to the asset’ and they weren’t required to notify me that they would impound it. Their solution to minimize the ‘risk’ was to tack on a 4 repossesion fee, not to mention the damage that will do to my credit, the impound and Tempe Police fee (I have no problem with those two items) plus demand that I come current on my loan including the upcoming payment for this week, despite my payment arrangements. I incredulously asked if they even give people time to work things like this out themself, and was told there’s 10 days normally, but they don’t have to give me the full 10 days or notice of repossession, which is why they repo-ed it after only 9 days. So the past 2 1/2 years of loan history, the fact that I have a payment arrangement with THEIR in-house risk management, and the fact that I had an appoinment that very day to get the car out myself, made no difference. In fact, Jorge, the first person I spoke to, seemed to take pleasure in the fact that I was upset, and gave me useful gems like ‘its not the banks fault you’re in this situation. We aren’t responsible for your finacial problems, and ‘it looks like you got yourself in this situation’, and what’s done is done. Its in your contract, if you read it you would know.’ And ;If you want your car back, you need to fulfill your financial responsibility’. What a waste of humanity that person is…who purposefully says things like that to an obviously distraught (soon to be former) customer?? I have been treated as if I am some delinquent bill dodger, when my only fault was failing to deal with a few speeding tickets as quickly as I should have. I’m not asking for the credit union to wipe the slate clean. I’m only asking for someone to look at the whole picture instead of a small part. I am shocked, bewildered, and angry that for the past 4 years that I’ve had accounts with them(checking, savings, car loan and line of credit) I’ve never had any indication of such shady dealings, and have been on the credit union versus big banks bandwagon for as long as I can remember. This incident, regardless of how it turns out, has completely shaken my trust in any financial institution. If anyone has any advice, I’d welcome it. I have 7 days before they sell my car at auction.
To Common Sense…if you read my entire statement, you’ll see that I’m not denying that I fell behind, or that I didn’t meet my financial obligation. My issue is that for the first time in the 2 1/2 years I’ve had the loan, this is the first problem I’ve had, yet it seems like the maximum punishment is being doled out. If you break the law the first time, whether its jaywalking or murder, there are different levels of consideration that are taken into account before you are sentenced.
Your response is geared toward someone who is just whining about their problems…which I am not. I am outlining a situation where I feel I was punished far beyond what the situation called for. I wasn’t several months behind, I was less than two weeks into being a month behind, with payment arrangements made to catch up.
Before you get on your high and mighty horse, have some consideration for the fact that some people fall on financial difficulties at one point or another in their lives, des
*despite their best efforts.