I bought a beautiful car in January of 2009. The dealer put me with Lobel. The dealership themselves were scam artists and after having me sign my first contract that I read over, kept telling that they made a mistake and had to redo and had me sign three different times. I stopped reading and just signed because I was anxious to take my new car home. They ultimately scammed me for over $3000.
I was told by the dealer that my down payment was to be $2500 and my loan would be for 36 months. Then out of nowhere he changed it telling me that Lobel was requiring $3500 from me instead and 27 months. I agreed and then I was required to talk to Lobel on the phone and tell them odd information about myself, the dealer and some personal things.
After the phone call, I was informed by the dealer that I had to provide proof of insurance and that I had three days to acquire it. I bought the car on a Saturday and the following Monday I had the proof in the dealer's office and the guy faxed it to Lobel. I also had the proof faxed to them by the insurance company.
My first payment was due 45 days after the purchase. When I received my first bill everything seemed to be fine. A day later I received another bill for almost $100 more with an attachment stating that I did not have insurance and they were adding the price of the insurance they were providing to my monthly payment.
I disregarded this letter thinking it may have been sent in error. Less than a week later I received another letter stating that the payment needed to be made immediately and that I needed to provide proof of insurance.
I called the office right away. I was hung up on several times and transferred several times as well. I tried several more days to contact someone and either they had no idea what I was talking about or they were very rude and left me on hold or hung up on me.
It came time for me to make my payment. I paid only the original amount of payment and tried again to contact someone. I mailed the payment to them. A couple weeks later I received my second bill and this time it still showed me owing insurance and a late fee as well.
I called again and I finally reached someone willing to talk to me. She reviewed my account and it did show that I had insurance all along and she removed the extra amount from my payment and the late fee. I was informed at this time however, that my insurance coverage was not acceptable due to my $1000 deductible and that I would have to change it to $500 or they would begin charging me again for their insurance. I changed it and increased my insurance payment significantly.
Next thing I know the catalitic converter went out and I had to pay over $500 to fix it. I am a single mom and that was my car payment plus some. I missed that payment but talked to a guy named Louis and told him what happened and he told me to fax him a copy of the repair statement and he would allow the late payment next month.
That went well. No problems. Then it came time to renew my insurance. I change policy holders and had the proof faxed to Lobel. The same thing happened, only this time there was no reasoning with them. I was only able to speak with a woman named Maria. She informed me that I owed $55 for being non-insured. I argued the point and let her know that proof had been faxed and there had been no lapse in coverage and I was indeed covered. I personally faxed proof again to the number she provided.
She also informed me that I had numerous late fees and those needed to be paid immediately. I asked her for what and she told me that I had been consistently late. I assumed it was my fault for mailing them so I decided to start paying by money gram which by the way costs $9.95. Then I had proof that they received it on the day it was sent.
I heard back from her in a couple weeks still maintaining that I owed the insurance money. I still argued and told her I had faxed her the proof again. She told me she never received it. I faxed it once more and had my carrier do the same.
I decided to go to a local office to make a payment instead of paying the extra to money gram and the ladies....and I use the word loosely, in the office were extremely rude and uncooperative. I was informed that my account was 40 days late and that I owed over $500 when my payments were $385. I disputed that and told them I was paying only what I owed. the extra $150 or so was for insurance. Then I couldn't make the payment there because they did not accept cash. So I ultimately paid by money gram once more.
I found out later that the refusal to pay the insurance was the same as a refusal to pay my monthly payment due to it being a part of the payment. During this time and for a few weeks more I and my family and my co-workers received multiple harassing phone calls from Maria. They were abusive, accusatory and she disclosed personal information to them and tried to have them make me pay. These calls began at 8am and didn't stop until 10pm everyday. She was reprimanded by several co-workers and from family members but she did not stop calling.
I began refusing all calls, but I also had a bad feeling. I told a co-worker that I was just going to pay what they wanted to get them off my back. I was afraid they would take my car.
Later that same day, in the parking lot of my place of employment, my car was repoed by a very mean and aggressive man with a Boston accent who became very threatening when I went near my car. He got between me and the car and he was holding some metal object with wheels on it and he pushed it towards me and yelled at me to get away from "his" car. I complied and finally he calmed down and after making me give him my key he allowed me to get all of my belongings out of the car. He refused to tell me the name of his company and where my car was being towed to, but he did inform me that my car would be sold at auction. He made very sure I was aware that the vehicle was no longer mine.
Lobel called me about 1/2 hour later and when I answered they hung up on me. I tried calling several times and finally Maria answered and informed me she no longer had my account that it was with the Redemption Department and they were closed.
I called back the next day, which incidentally is today, and for the biggest part of the day nobody would answer the phone. I then called from my boss's cell phone and they answered right away. Just so happened to be Maria. I told her who I was and she promptly transferred me to the other department. Nobody picked up. I called back several more times and finally got Maria again. She gave me a direct number to reach my new account manager in the other department.
I called several times to no avail. I left several messages and received no response. So, my car was re-possessed for non-payment of something I never owed and now after reading all of these horror stories I believe I will not be getting my car back.
I also did a credit check on myself just to find out that the original agreement of $10,800 for 27 months had been changed to $16,000 for 36 months according to the three credit reports I checked. My balance history was very erratic and jumped around all over the place, also showing a late payment for March, which I have proof I paid. I also still have coverage on it, but I believe I am going to cancel it now.
This story isn't over yet. The saga will continue. I now have no way to get my kids to school or to get to work without paying people to shuttle us around. I am at a loss here now. They know they have people over a barrel and they use every tactic in the seedy underworld of finance companies to screw people over with little to no recourse. Sorry this was so long, but I just felt the need to vent and inform.