Back in May of 2007, I financed a car with Suntrust Bank. It was a 2007 Chevy Cobalt that was stickered at approximately $15,000. About 2 weeks after I purchased the car, I found out that I was pregnant. Not just pregnant, but extremely sick from being pregnant. I spent time in the hospital and time in the emergency room. I ultimately ended up missing an entire month of work due to being so sick.
Even pregnant, I lost 30 pounds in about 10 weeks and had apparently pregnant with twins, but lost one due to my illness. Needless to say, my health was in the toilet. I had no energy to answer my phone or to really read my mail. I started working at the end of July again and quickly found out that my job had become a victim of the economy and instead of 40 hours, I was being cut to 32 hours a week.
By August, I was starting to feel somewhat better as the home health care that I was receiving (IV fluids at home and IV medications) was beginning to do what it was intended to do. I was TRYING to get started back into graduate school at the same time as I realize that I need to increase my level of education in order to better provide for my child. One Saturday when I was on my way to class, I came down the stairs to find my car gone. I don't live in the best neighborhood, but I knew that I was behind on my payments due to not working, so I called Suntrust to find out if they had taken it instead of calling the police to report it stolen.
The individual that I got on the phone couldn't tell me if my car had been repossessed or not. So, on Monday, I called again. This is when I learned that my car had been repossessed. I had just reached the point of being 2 months behind and had gotten some money together and had intended on making a payment. I spoke to someone who couldn't give me any answers, so I asked to speak to their supervisor. When I asked if there was some sort of payment plan we could work out to get me caught back up and get my car back, she said that the only way I could get my car back would be to pay over $19,000 in less than a month.
I was flabbergasted and told the woman that if I had $19,000, then I wouldn't have had the need to finance a $15,000 car. She then asked why I was late. When I informed her of my health situation and the job situation with my hours being cut and that I had missed a month of work, she actually said, "That's not our problem." I couldnt believe the lack of humanity.
Fast forward to this month. I get a paycheck from my job that is ridiculously smaller than it should be. And, come to find out, Suntrust has decided to garnish my wages for the amount that is left over from the $19,000 that I owed. The next day, I got the letter from Suntrust in one of those little envelopes from the Post Office that said, "Ooops, we messed up your mail."
While I admit, I should pay for the car. I'm not denying that. They werent' "out" the money for the finance fees. They ended up losing that $5,000 as the car was auctioned for $10,000. I spoke to an attorney, and they are within their rights to garnish my wages. I just find it EXTREMELY bad business for them to handle this situation with such a lack of common decency and understanding of "life happens" in their fellow humans. Now that they are garnishing these wages, I now must chose during my paychecks if I'm going to pay my rent or if I'm going to buy food for my son and I.
His father pays for his day care, which for an infant is $125/week just so I can go to work everyday and TRY to pay some rent. I have tried unsucessfully to get on the WIC program for my son because they look at the gross income and based on my gross, I make $20 everypay period too much. However, thanks to the 25% of my check that Suntrust makes, I barely clear $400 every 2 weeks. The amount that they are taking out of my check with the 25% is actually MORE than the monthly payments were....the monthly payments that I ended up not being able to afford.
I highly recommend that people do not do business with Suntrust. While they are following the "law", they DEFINATELY have a lack of humanity when dealing with customers in crisis. All I can do is pray that none of their employees ever have "life" happen to them. But, Karma is a #@$%^ and tends to "take care of people" who do others wrong.
Virginia Beach, Virginia