I financed a second automobile with Chase Auto Finance in 2004. I decided to return to college and my girlfriend was going to make ends meet for the meantime. Everything went fine until she lost her current employment.
While my financing with Chase Auto was underway, I made most of my finance payments late (paying the late fees) - I also informed them of the situation and was told I would not have to make payments for the car at the end of the financing term (this was the only option given.)
One day, after wiring the finance payment and late fee to Chase, our vehicle was repossessed that night. We showed the tow truck driver the wire transfer, but Chase issued that we need to pay 3 months in advance to stop the repossession.
A month later, and about $5,000.00, we got our vehicile back.
It gets so much better. After two more months (which the payments were made, but late) Chase informed us they were repossessing the vehicle but could not find it. (I don't know how, it was parked in the same place every time.) I believed them, because I had witnessed three cars towed fromt he parking lot and returned the same night (the repossessors were obviously genius).
The actions that followed actually surprised me that this was the conduct of employees of JP Morgan/Chase. After I had profanities strewn at me from an agent of Chase, including the comment "Are you a f*&*&* retard? You seem pretty f*&*& stupid." I refused to speak directly to Chase.
They ran credit reports on people who were not on the financing papers for the vehicle. I know this, because - when they called my police officer mother several days after her heart surgery, they told her that my girlfriend did not have good enough credit to assume the loan.... they also told her they would take my Federal Student Aid and several other threats... then they called her mother, who also recently had heart surgery and told her the same thing.
When my girlfriend asked the agent on the phone why she ran her credit, the agent said "Because I can, that's my job." My girlfriend said, "it's ok, I ran your's too." in which the agent called her a f*&* b**&*& and spewed a lot of hateful stuff.
This went on for a little while... in the meantime, THEY CALLED EVERYONE IN MY APARTMENT COMPLEX, AND TOLD THEM OF MY FINANCIAL SITUATIONS!
I know anyone with a legal background is already checking off the list of illegal practices here - and this was not a collection agency, this was employees of JP Morgan/Chase.
Finally, I talked to a "manager" although, who knows if it was really a manager, all the lies they had already told me led me to not believe much, but I wanted this nightmare to be over. My mother was trying to recover from heart surgery, I was trying to finish my college education, already having to swallow my pride in folding my own business to return to school - it's pretty hard to pass a Mandarin exam with all this in the back of your mind - so, I told this guy that I just wanted it over.
He told me, if I paid some unrealistically high amount, I could continue the financing... otherwise, I could return the car to them.
After a day, I didn't have enough to pay the several thousand dollars, (which they knew) and they removed the offer before I could tell them, and I offered to voluntarily turn over the vehicle. They would not give me anything in writing, but agreed on recording that this would be the end of the Chase Auto situation.
Several months go by - I moved because in the whole time of that fiasco, I was fighting my slum lord in court (and won) - and I get a call from my mother that Chase contacted her. I tried to call them back, but I had no opportunity to contact them before they closed. - I get a letter in the mail, from Chase Auto, telling me basically to pay $10,000.00 or else.
Finally, I get to answer the phone when they call. This guy that sounds like the lion from the wizard of Oz starts getting loud with me...from my previous experiences, I lost my temper and hung up. When he called back, I explained that I lost my temper because of I expected them to act less then civilized with me.
I wanted to talk to this guy to find out what was going on and if this was an error (they also sent me a letter telling me to pay my bounced check fee for my boat to the DMV - I lost my checkbook about 5 years ago, and I don't have a boat).
To summarize the 1 hour conversation on my peak minutes, I'll try to just hit the points I think cover their ideology:
- He told me, "Congress, the FTC and the Better Business Bureau have no say in how Chase does business!"
- Over the 60 minutes, I repeatedly stated, I was NOT refusing to pay, but needed written verification of the amount I owed and why - in which he basically said there is no written statement.
- I was told that a "small person" like me will never "beat a corporation like Chase in court."
(this is when it clicked that they are manipulating the court system for their own benefit - he was willing to reduce the amount owed, but only if i agreed to pay - in which, i would have no legal recourse - Also, i'm not a math major, but I can see the picture: they are either compounding interest on a no longer functioning loan [illegal] or they are raising the amount above what I owed to skip small claims court.)
I was told that I had no right to demand anything in writing.
I was told that I had no rights against Chase.
I was told that there was nothing contacting my congressmen can do to help me.
I was told that even though their collection practices have put me in therapy, there's no way I can fight them in court (again this card was played.... basically it was an hour of him telling me Chase is bigger then me and i'll lose anyway.)
I informed the agent on the phone that I'm going to be in college for at least 7 more years, considering graduate school and such, and I'm not really concerned too much about it's appearance on my credit report. Also, this is only $10,000 - my starting salary after graduation is an average of $150,000 - what is 10K? I was contesting on principle against this matter.
Eventually, the agent said he was going to write that I would not agree to pay anything. I told the agent that I can't stop him from putting anything down, but I never refused to pay any money I owed.
Last week, I got a letter from a collection agent. I am sending in a dispute for this collection.
I will fight this amount all the way until the end - and I will use every outlet I can to talk about Chase's illegal practices...
Their agent may have been right, there may be nothing I can do to win against them, and I'm prepared to have the full $10,000 slapped on my credit report - I don't even care if they put a bill for $10,000 on my grave - I will never concede that these were not lying and theiving practices.
Sorry my post was so long, I didn't even cover everything I'm sure - I am quite proud that I caused a collection agent to give up - he had nothing to say other then threats and talk of violating my rights.
By the employees I have dealt with from this company, I guess JP Morgan/Chase feels as though anyone that is not a CEO or top level executive "doesn't have any rights."
Pleasant Hilll, California
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