Citifinancial auto has put me through 2 1/2 years of harassing calls, bloated fees, condescending representatives, and false promises. Like most people, I have been having financial difficulties over the past year.
In late June 2007, I contacted them to advise I would be catching up my account by July 6th. At that time I was just over 90 days behind. I had a reimbursement + pay coming that would enable me to pay off the past due balance and the upcoming payment. The rep stated "that is not good enough. it has to be paid by the end of the month or else" and "why are you past due, whats going on that you are so late". The guy was so condescending and rude that I just gave up and hung up the phone.
So the following week, Monday morning I go downstairs and my car is gone. I call them up and they demand almost $3000 to get my car back. Let's do the math: my payment is $441/mo. I was 3 payments behind, plus the one coming due for July 26th. That't about $1764. This + interest + citi charged me $500 in repo fees, then the local company that picked up the car had their own charge of $400. It was INSANE! I called them about the payment and they picked up my car anyway. I managed to get some family to help w/ the fees and was able to get the car back.
In Jan 2008 I started falling behind again. This time I kept making payments for whatever I could. $300, $250, whatever I could, whenever I could. My auto insurance lapsed and they were notified. I got insurance again, but citi started charging me $115/mo for "insurance". When I contacted them about this, they refused to remove the charges. So now my $441 payment is $556. I struggled along with the payments but managed to keep it from being more than 60 days past due.
In early September 2008 it was close to 60 past due and I knew the 9/26 payment was due. I contacted them b/c I had a large medical expense coming up and knew I would be falling behind again. They offered me a payment extension for 2 months extension if I paid the July & August payments that were past due. The rep told me how much to pay, I paid it, and was told my Sept & Oct payments were deferred. So you can imagine my shock when my car was repo'd AGAIN the Wednesday before THANKSGIVING!!
When I spoke with the recovery department they even admitted seeing the notes in the system from the rep about the payments being deferred. I actually had the money for the Sept & Oct payments and could have paid them, but they didn't care AT ALL! So the recovery people tell me I have to pay the full amount of the loan, about $22K to get the car back. What??!?! So I tell them to keep the car.
Trying to get my personal effects and tag from the car was a nightmare. The place is only open 10a-4p (and yeah they take a lunch break) and I had make an appointment and pay them $85. I was able to finance another car - folks, the other lenders KNOW how horrible Citi is, I had no problem getting another loan. So the new lender just wanted a letter from Citi stating that I truly do not have that loan/car anymore. Citi refused to fax the letter or any kind of statement expressing that I do not have the car anymore. Their excuse is they have to send the letter through the legal department? Ok I can't be the first person to get another car and need a letter clarifying my loan status with their company. Personally I think they were just giving me a hard time because I said I needed it for my NEW CAR!
I hate that I now have a repo on my credit, but I guess in some ways it was a blessing in disguise. I got a better car, with a much better payment, and I had financed with this company in the past and never had issues, so I really look forward to being back with them now. While with citi, is soon as I was 1 day late, their autodialer would ring my phone up to ten times a day, starting at 8:30a-830p. If you answer, it would hang up. When you call back the number it would answer citifinancial. Then they would call my friends & family. They would call my office. If I did not answer, the would hit 0 and tell the receptionist who they were and that "it is an urgent matter, please find her now". I found out that the Fair Credit & Collections Act states that if you can specify when/where a collector contacts you.
When I called them and said the multiple calls/day and calling me office were unacceptible they at first denied doing it, then said they have the right to do it. So I sent the FCCA info to them in mail and fax and said if they call my job one more time, I'm suing. If they call my family & friends one more time, I'm suing. If they call my phone more than once per day, I'm suing. So then suddenly they are able to take my work phone and reference #'s off their system. By the way, whoever you provided as references when you got the loan, they will call them when you are more than 30 days past due. They call your friends and family and tell them that they need to speak with you urgently about your car. They are in it to humiliate and harass you.
My suggestion is that if you do not intend to keep you payments paid on time, and mean paid as soon as the bill hits the mail, then don't go with citi. the moment you fall behind they treat you like trash and take advantage with interest, fees, and repo's.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on citifinancial