• Report: #171556

Complaint Review: DRIVETIME - UGLY DUCKLING

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  • Submitted: Thu, January 12, 2006
  • Updated: Fri, March 24, 2006

  • Reported By:oxnard California
DRIVETIME - UGLY DUCKLING
2439 S Victoria Ave Ventura, California U.S.A.

DRIVETIME - UGLY DUCKLING company ripoff treats customers like trash Ventura California

*Consumer Suggestion: Subpeona the Girlfriends dispute

*Consumer Comment: thanx so much for your help

*Consumer Suggestion: find out exactly who the alleged creditor is. Companies like DriveTime often have multiple entities with similar names

*Author of original report: I definately will take your advice

*Consumer Suggestion: Why didn't they give you notice?

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Back in 2001 my live-in boyfriend (now ex) wanted to purchase a car from drivetime. He went and filled out some papers and I went with him the next time he went and they told me it would be a good idea to be on the paperwork also to build my credit. I was hesitant but he convinced me that it would be the best for me in the long run. I was 20 years old at the time and had barely any credit. I went ahead and signed for a car with him and a few weeks later they called again to do some more paperwork but I didn't go that time.

We had some problems with the car but nothing major. A year later me and my boyfriend split up and I called Drivetime to make sure payments were being made to the car. They told me I wasn't on the account. I called back several times and talked to several different people and they all told me I wasn't anywhere on his account. They said that maybe he ended up signing the papers in his name only. I called back a few months later and one of the finance managers told me that there was a different girl on the account with him (his new girlfriend)and that I was still nowhere on the account. I asked them if they can look at the original contract to make sure. He said he would call the office in AZ where they keep the originals and have it sent to him. He said that if I'm on the contract he would give me a call but if I didn't get a call from him then I wasn't on the contract. He never called me back but of course I called them back a couple months later. I spoke to another finance manager named Walter. He told me that I was not on the contract and that he could not tell me about any information on the account including payments. I asked if he was absolutely certain that I was not on the contract. He said I was not and I asked if my credit would be affected if anything went wrong with the account. He said that I would not be affected in any way because I was not on the account. I asked him to note in the account that I called but he said that since I had nothing to do with the account he could not put that in the notes. I ended up calling the corporate office to try and see a copy of the contract for myself but they also told me that I was not on the account and that they could not send me a copy.

I left it alone after that but a year later in 2004 I applied for a credit card and got denied. I got copies of my credit report and a repo from drivetime was on there! I called the corporate office and after a lot of voicemails and call transfers I found out that the contract they have on file is the one I signed. They said that my ex bought a car from there with his new girlfriend and for some reason her name replaced mine on his other account too. My name was put back on the account after the girlfriend filed a dispute a few months after the car was repossesed. I explained how every employee I spoke to in the past told me that I was not on the account or on the contract. They said there was nothing they can do.

I went into the Drivetime that we bought the car at and they were familiar with this account. They said they were sorry and it was a "computer glitch". I made sure they noted everything my visit there in the account. They gave me the name to someone I could speak with at the corporate office. I called them and they pretty much told me that I could go ahead and take them to court and they would go there with the signed contract and I would have no proof of their error. He also told me that if I took them to court they would win and would order payments to be garnished out of my paycheck. They said that I could give them $1300 and they would call it even and I could try to dispute it with the credit agency later. I didnt have that kind of money and now i'm stuck with it on my credit.

I called the county bar association where they will let you talk to a lawyer for $35 and if they choose to take your case it would be at a low charge. The lawyer much told me that since they have that contract I couldn't really do anything about it and I should just wait until it comes off my credit.

A few months later I got a call from a collections agency. I told them the situation and that if they wanted a payment they should contact the primary on the contract. They said drivetime said I was primary. I told them I was not and that I have never even driven that car. I told them how Drivetime screwed me over. The lady was very understanding and said she would give me a call back to see if I had any other information. She never called me back.

I know now that I should have never co-signed with him and at the time i was young and stupid. If anyone knows anything else I can do about my situation please let me know.

L
oxnard, California
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Drive Time, formally known as Ugly Duckling which is registered under the same ownership.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/12/2006 08:13 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/DRIVETIME-UGLY-DUCKLING/Ventura-California-93003/DRIVETIME-UGLY-DUCKLING-company-ripoff-treats-customers-like-trash-Ventura-California-171556. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Subpeona the Girlfriends dispute

AUTHOR: Dan - (U.S.A.)

IN the even this actually goes to court, be sure to have your Lawyer subpeona the dispute records filed by the girlfriend. Tell them they can black out the girlfriends name in order keep from violating privacy laws, which they will most certainly try to hide behind. This information will be critical to your defense as it not only supports your claim that you were blocked from accessing the file, but that they were negligent in handling the file information. They should have notified you when your name was removed form the contract and most certainly would have been required to notify you when it was reinstated. At any rate they should have had you on the record as a contract party. The fact that removed you in the first place is grounds to dismiss the contract. They voided the contract by removing you from it or at the very least became the caustive agent for a contractual ambiguity that made it impossible for you to meet your end of the contract.
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#2 Consumer Comment

thanx so much for your help

AUTHOR: Lora - (U.S.A.)

I'm barely getting around to sending out the letters to the company... (busy with midterms). I checked my credit report and the company name on it is "Drivetime Automotive Group, inc." they have an address on there in Gilbert, AZ. Should I send the letter there? On the Drivetime website they have the names of the CEO/President, executive vice pres/CFO, VP of risk and customer analytics, secretary/general council & VP of public relations and the chief information officer. Should I be sending the letter to any of these people? Once again thank you so much for your help! You've been the most help to me through this whole thing!
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

find out exactly who the alleged creditor is. Companies like DriveTime often have multiple entities with similar names

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

what to do next...

I would recommend making demand on the corporate office rather than the local dealership. To do that, you need to do some research.

First, you need to find out exactly who the alleged creditor is. Companies like DriveTime often have multiple entities with similar names. The dealership may operate under a name like DriveTime Auto Sales, Inc., while the financing is done through DriveTime Financial Services, Inc. (I am just making those names up, but the point is you need to find the one that is actually claiming that you owe them money.)

Once you have found out the legal name of the lender, you need to find where to serve them with a demand letter. I think DriveTime is headquartered in Phoenix, but they are probably registered in California as a foreign corporation. If they are registered, I would recommend sending your demand letter to the company in care of their California statutory agent. (A statutory agent is just a person or company whose only purpose is to serve legal notices upon.)

The appropriate sections of the California Commercial Code can be found online at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=com&group=09001-10000&file=9601-9629

I would word my demand letter something like:

On or about ____, 2001, I co-signed a loan for _[your boyfriend]_ to purchase a car from DriveTime, located at 2439 S Victoria Ave, Ventura California 93003. During the period of ________ to _________, I contacted DriveTime by telephone on several occasions to check on the status of this loan. I was told repeatedly that I was not a co-signer on this loan and was denied access to information about the loan as you said I was not a party to it. On or about ________, 2004, I discovered that you reported to the credit bureaus that the vehicle had been repossessed and sold, and that you claim that I owe you the balance of the loan. I subsequently contacted your company by telephone and was told that I was not given notice of the repossession because you did not know that I was a co-signer at that time of the repossession but that you have since decided that I was a co-signer.

Pursuant to California Commercial Code sections 9601-9629, you were required to give me notice after you repossessed the car and before you sold it. You not only did not give me notice but you also repeatedly denied my requests for information on this loan. You repeatedly denied that I was a co-signer until after you disposed of the collateral.

Due to your breach of the Commercial Code, I hereby demand that you retract any and all statements you have made to any credit bureaus. I also demand a written acknowledgement that I do not owe you any money whatsoever. If you fail to respond in a satisfactory manner to this demand I will seek redress through the courts.
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#4 Author of original report

I definately will take your advice

AUTHOR: Lora - (U.S.A.)

Thank you for the info!!!

I told them that I received no notice about any late payments or the repo or ANYTHING at all. They said this was because I was not on the account at the time and was only added after the car was already taken back and sold. Of course they said there was nothing I could do about it now and that I should just pay for it.
I definately will take your advice though! Should I send the letter to the corporate office or the branch where I live?
Thank you SOOO much for your help!
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Why didn't they give you notice?

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

When your old boyfriend defaulted on the loan, DriveTime reposessed the car and would have sold it.

Under the Uniform Commercial Code, DriveTime was required to send you notice after the repo and prior to selling the car. If they failed to send you notice, they better have a good explanation. If they sent a notice to an old address and the notice was returned they are probably off the hook, but only if they can prove that the notice was returned. The envelope, preferably unopened, with a postmark would prove that they tried to give notice. But no notice or no postmark and they got no legal claim against you.

Send them a letter by certified mail demanding that they either provide proof that they attempted to give you notice or that they notify the credit bureaus and collection agency that DriveTime has no claim against you.

The lawyer's response to your problem comes as no surprise. Lawyers just hate to admit that they have no experience in contract law (they just love chasing those meat wagons) and the last time the subject came up was three decades ago in law school. Instead, they just sit back in their chairs and pontificate on what they think the law is. In 35 years I have interviewed maybe 10 lawyers and only one ever said that he did not have a ready answer and would have to do some research before he could answer. Of course he charged me for his research time but his written advice was worth every penny I paid him.
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