Almost a year ago, I traded in my 2005 Chevy Cavalier Coupe (it was financed through United Finance and was always paid on time) for a four door car since putting a newborn into a car seat in a two door vehicle is beyond difficult. I went through a used car dealership since, beyond my trade in, I only had $900 for a down payment. At this point, I had never even heard of Reliable Credit. I wish I never had now.
While I was still at the dealership, I spoke on the phone with my new financial institution and they informed me that my payment date would be on the first of every month and asked me if that was acceptible. I disputed that because my job at the time only paid me once a month on the 15th and they informed me that they were understanding and would change my payment date to the 15th (my first payment being due on the 15th of August).
August 1 came and I received a call reminding me that my first payment was due soon (it was an automated recording). A few days later, I began receiving 5-6 calls a day (when I was working) for about a week and then, on the 13th, Reliable Credit began calling all my references and my job, claiming that my payment was late. On that day, I was home from work and was able to answer the phone when they called me. I was informed that I was speaking to the "legal department" and that my payment was delinquent for 12 days and that if I did not make the payment within 3 days (in person, check or money order only) that my car would be repossessed. Dumbfounded, I explained to this woman that I had originally arranged and that even the verification they had sent me stated that my payment was not due until the 15th, thus meaning my payment was not even due yet. She began to argue with me, stating her records showed that my payment was due on the first and that I should be responsible and make the payment. Finally, I told her that I would be coming into the office on Monday to make the payment and I asked her to please note on my account that my payment date is the 15th. She agreed and stated that my payment date would be fixed in their records.
September came, and the same cycle of harrassing calls continued to fill up my answer machine while I was at work, stating that my payment was delinquent and again I got a call from the legal department, this time on the 4th. I called them back on my day off and again, the same woman told me that my car was in line to be repossessed due to a delinquent payment. And again, I told her that SHE had even told me that my payment date was the 15th and that SHE was going to fix the information. I then kindly asked her to stop calling my friends and family members and giving them information about my account. She snapped at me that if I wanted my payment date changed, that I would have to submit it in writing with my next payment and then she hung up.
On the fifteenth, I went into the office at 10 A.M. and handed the teller an envelope containing my monthly payment as well as a handwritten, signed, and dated letter, expressing my need to fix the issue that had plagued me and my references for two months now. I stayed with the woman as she opened the envelope and discarded EVERYTHING but the check. I then politely said to her that I had also enclosed a letter stating that I wanted my payment date to be set for the 15th of every month. She looked up my account on the computer and said that the system already stated that my payment date was the fifteenth, but again in October, the same cycle repeated.
In November, I paid my payment on the 10th and enclosed a formal letter stating that I would pursue lidigation if the harrassment and incompitence on the part of their establishment did not stop. I also stated that if any statements had been submitted to the credit bureau about my "late payments" that I would also pursue a fraud case against them if they did not fix the problem. Even though my payment was 5 days early, I received a letter (a first) from them on the 20th telling me that my payment, due on the 15th, had been three days late and I was responsible for a $22 late fee. I called them, furious, and demanded that they explain the charge. The man I spoke to stated that my payment had not been submitted until the 18th and I would have to pay a $22 late fee to cover their inconvenience. I was flabbergasted and immediately contacted bank to issue a stop payment, only to find out that the check had already gone through on the 14th (a day before my payment was due and 4 days before they claimed the payment was submitted). I called Reliable Credit back and spoke to someone completely different who kindly explained that the error must have been a typing mistake on the part of one of their tellers and that she would revoke the $22 charge.
In December, my vehicle became snowed and iced in at my job and so I had no use of it and the only way I could commute was the limited lines Tri-met still had available after the snow storm. I checked the routes and discovered that the line that would take me to Milwaukie had been close due to road conditions. Paying extra for a two day delivery guarantee, I decided to mail in my payment due to lack of transportation. On the 17th, I received my check back, returned to me uncashed because Reliable Credit claimed that they did not accept payments by mail and I would have to come into the office to make my payment. I called them once again and asked them if it would be ok if I came in once transportation was available due to the weather. They said it would be fine.
A few days after Christmas, I went into the office and made my payment. Within a few days, the check cleared my bank, leaving my balance at $67 in my bank account. Three days later, I received a letter claiming that check had been returned and that I owed them the $285 car payment plus a $50 returned check fee and a $22 late fee. I was also informed, via this letter, that starting in January, my car payment would be increased due to a higher interest rate incured by my several missed or late payments. I called them for the second time in December, angry that they we claiming my check had been returned when my bank account said it had cleared AND my account was still in the positive as well as wanting to dispute the higher interest rate. The rep told me that her records we showing that my check was returned and if I had proof otherwise, that I would have to submit it in person. She also informed me that the notations on my account stated that every payment I had made had been almost a month late. I had heard enough.
I spent a couple of weeks gathering all the information that I needed to go into the office, guns ready, including phone records, copies of all the letters both to and from Reliable Credit, copies of all the checks that had cleared my account as well as the statements prooving that they had cleared, and my original agreements with the car dealership. I also had saved several of the threatening messages left on my voicemail and statements from my employer and references about the harrassing calls that they had received. By the time I had all of that together, it was January 12, 2009 (a day I had off from work). I was awoken by my husband at 10 A.M. telling me that some men were at the door, wanting to know where my car was. I scurried out of bed and walked out to find that the men had already opened my garage door, emptied my belongings onto the ground, and we looking for a way to hook it up to their makeshift tow truck (it wasn't even an official tow truck??).
Seeing this, I ran inside to call Reliable Credit. I got a young man on the phone who refused to give me information about my own account. I hung up and my husband called them to demand answers. The young man that he spoke to claimed that my payment for December and January were delinquent and that I needed to pay $3000 cash (my loan was only for $3000??) or my car would be auctioned in 15 days.
My monthly payment was $285 and I had payed it for 5 months. That's $1485 I paid them that they are pretty much saying never was credited towards my balance. My January payment was not due yet and I had more than adequate proof that my December payment had been made. I went into the office, yet again, and brought my arsenal of documents and evidence against them. They claimed that my records were fabricated and that I owed them a lot of money. This particular teller told me that I had only made two payments and that they only covered my late fees. She refused to look at the statements from my bank that showed, without a doubt, that the money had been deducted from my account every month. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she said that her supervisor would be out for two weeks.
Needless to say, I couldn't pay the $3000 up front because I had to pay my mortgage. I discovered this site not too long ago and was relieved and horrified that so many others had had bad experiences with this company.