On December 11, 2005, I bought a 1999 Lexus RX300 from my local Toyota dealer, Kings Toyota in the Kings Automall in Cincinnati, OH. I had originally applied for a loan with my friend as a co-signer, and then decided to have my mother to co-sign.
About 2 months after I had purchased the car, I had not received a bill. I called Lexus Financial Services in order to find out what was going on. They told me they did not have me in their system and it was possible that my loan had gone through Toyota Financial instead. (I was under the impression that these were both the same company.) I called Toyota Financial Services and they said I was not in their system either and to try again with Lexus Financial Services in a week, as sometimes it takes up to 8 weeks to show up in the system.
I called Lexus Financial back a few days later, and I was told that they would not be able to speak with me since I was not the purchaser of the vehicle. I explained I had just recently bought the truck and they could not previously find me in the system. The customer service rep. then went on to explain that in fact I was not the purchaser, but the co-signer, and that they had my mother listed as the purchaser. They would not speak to me further. I called my mother, and we called Kings Toyota and talked to the financial representative who had done the paperwork for our loan. She blatantly lied to both of us, stating she explained that my mother was to be the purchaser of the vehicle and therefore had us sign in the appropriate places.
I explained that I had a Vehicle Purchase Contract with myself listed as the purchaser and the title was in my name, and it was always understood that I was the purchaser. She told me there was nothing she could do and to just continue making the payments. I then talked to the salesperson for my truck, and he agreed that the understanding was that I was to be the purchaser and my mother to be the co-signer, and even brought up the point that I had applied for this loan previously with another person as the co-applicant.
My mother called Lexus Financial Services and had me authorized to speak to them. I then talked to a customer service rep., explained the situation, was called a liar and told that the papers were signed so that I was the co-signer. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and after 10 minutes of arguing with the representative, she finally transferred me. I submitted a check by phone through the supervisor for the two months.
My check, unfortunately, bounced two weeks later (my daughter is currently having medical problems and a doctor bill had gone through the account before Lexus withdrew anything). I immediately called them and explained the situation, and told them I would be getting a payment out to them in the next few days, and that I was not trying to evade payment. The rep advised me my account was 3 months past due because that payment had not gone through, but explained they would work with me, and they were not close to repossessing the vehicle.
Just days later on April 6, 2006, I woke up at 7:00 am to hear a tow truck outside taking my truck away. I called Lexus later that day, and was told I could not be released any information because a letter had to be generated in their system. When I inquired as to what the letter was to entail, I again was told that no other information would be given to me, and to call the next day after 3:00 PM. I immediately hung up and called the impound lot, who again, could not give me many details other than the fact that they charge per day.
I called Lexus the next day, and the rep told me that the letter stated that I would have to make a full payment of the entire loan of $17,000 to them. She would not give me any details and told me that she was not the right person to speak to on this matter. I asked her to please transfer me, and she replied that the office that I needed to speak to, the Reinstatement Department, could not be reached until Monday morning She said there was nothing she could do to work out a payment plan for me, even though I was willing at that moment to pay the $1,400 I owed.
I explained that every day my vehicle was in the impound lot, I was to pay more and more, and I wanted to resolve this issue ASAP. I explained I had no issues paying what I owed for the past 3 months as well as for the month of April on the truck immediately. She continued to be rude, told me to call on Monday, and hung up on me.
Lexus Financial Services had a lawsuit against them by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Florida, as well as cases of being engaged in accounting fraud, collections harassment, violations of credit reporting law, and unlawful repossession. The CFTC complaint also states that the respondents violated CFTC regulations by failing to supervise diligently the sales force employed by Lexus, which obviously has happened to me as the entire loan was mismanaged and set up deceivingly.
I understand that by my check bouncing, I breeched the contract, but the contract I signed with my mother was not set up according to what we were told anyway. I am extremely disappointed that no one from Lexus called prior to repossession, and I was lied to and told that my vehicle was not to be repossessed as long as I worked out a payment plan with them. I hope to resolve this with them, but WILL NEVER buy a Lexus again. I have sent letters to the Ohio Attorney General's Department of Consumer Affairs, the Office of the Attorney General in the State of California, the County of Los Angeles's Department of Consumer Affairs, Senator Robert Schuler of Ohio, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the Better Business Bureau as well.
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