My father and I purchased a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country Van from Motor Maxx on Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL. I paid $3000.00 via debit card. I agreed to finance the Tax, title and Tag for a monthly amount of $75.00 a month. Upon signing paperwork, it was disclosed that the Tag was not included, but that a 498.00 Dealer Fee was. We still agreed. We were told that upon the Tag coming in we had to pick it up within 2 weeks.
We took the vehicle and left. About 2 weeks later, I was going over the paperwork and realized the 1st of the $75.00 payments was actually due 3/9, NOT 4/9. Which, was my error, I did not think that with purchasing the vehicle on the 2nd that another payment was due in that same month. I immediately went to Winn Dixie purchased Money Order as instructed by Motor Maxx, all payments were to be Money Order or Certified Check and mailed to PO Box address they provided. I went to Westside Post office on Verna Avenue and purchased stamp and mailed out payment.
On Friday March 22, 2013 I was at work, and had to leave unexpectedly and ended up being admitted to Baptist hospital and having surgery the following day. My vehicle remained at work. I was in the hospital for a week, and then came home and was not at work the following week. On Wednesday April 3, 2013, my father received a certified letter advising that my van had been repossessed and to call the number. I called 2 times that day, leaving messages both times, trying to find out what the issue was. On the outgoing message it states that calls after 3:30 pm will be returned the next business day. The following day, I called again, and while indisposed I missed a call, however, no message. I immediately called back and again got the machine. Left another message, and never got another call, that day, nor on Friday.
On Saturday April 6, my father and I went directly there to find out what the problem was. We were greeted by one man who was at the time the only one there. He advised us that his manager Ashley would be back in a few hours, we asked if there was a way to contact her sooner, and told no. We left for an hour and came back to see her. Once in the office she advised that my vehicle was taken since the payment was not received. I provided her with my receipt, and she told me it was not received, and that even it had been they would have still taken the car since we did not come and pick up the Tag. Neither of us was notified that the tag came in, and her answer to that was that the contract does not say they will call, and they do not have to call to notify us it is in. I then said well if we had 2 weeks then the car should not have been picked up until April 5, and you picked it up the 1st.
I asked why no one called to 1) tell us about the Tag, 2) to ask about payment because this could have all been avoided, I did not pay cash for a car to have it repossessed not even a month later. She stated they do not have to call us. We then asked the amount to get the car back today. Ashley wrote down on the back of her card $ 467.15, which was the $75.00 past due and 388.40 tag payment (which if you add up is only 463.40); she included the $75.00 payment that was coming due on 4/9, and a $595.00 Repo fee. She advised that storage was NOT being charged as they did not even have the vehicle yet.
Making it a total due of $1137.15. We asked if we could pay it today to get car back today. She said yes, we could pay it, but could not get car today as they did not have it and it was still at Repo company. We then asked if we could call the company, and she told us that they were closed on the weekends, and we asked her to call anyway just to see. She dialed number, than realized it was then still hooked up to her Bluetooth, she then tried again and said no they are closed. We then had to ask 3 more time for the name of the company and she finally wrote the information down on another business card.
She asked me where I purchased the money order, and I advised her it was Western Union from Winn Dixie, and she said well they can track it to see what the endorsement was. It should say Ocean Auto sales if it was cashed by them. I asked her what happens if it was cashed by them and just misapplied, and I was told I will NOT get a refund of Repo fees as they still had right to get car due to the tag issue, I again reminded her that they picked it up prior to the 2 weeks. She then asked me where I mailed them from and I told her, she then said well, we see this all the time, you should go to the Beach Blvd Post Office, as that is where the PO box is, and there will be no problems. I advised that this was on the other side of town. I asked if I could bring the money to office, and was told no.
While standing in the office there was a knock and a police officer came in, and advised that there was a gentleman whom they had arrested for Tress passing here to attempt again to pick up his car they took. Ashley then told the cop well we did not get the money orders. All this shows is that he bought them, which does not prove he sent them. As we were waiting for the Officer to finish my father happened to look out the window, and on window sill was his Drivers License, they had it for almost a month and never called to let him know. He had been looking all over for it. Ashley got very defensive and snippy when we told her that something does not seem legit, and when I said I was going to contact an attorney she said... HA HA GOOD LUCK HONEY.
Once outside I went over to the Police there was now two of them, a man and woman, and was asking the man Mr. Fuce, if he would tell me what happened. He proceeded to tell me almost the same exact story as my situation. He had a police report from where he was trying to speak to the manager about his issue and they had him arrested. He stated that when he purchased the car the paperwork they gave him with the address to send payment to had the WRONG PO box address. Even though this was not his issue, they still came and took the car.
He then got the correct address and went to the Beach Blvd Post Office and dropped off payments and was still told they were not received. He stated to me that he spoke to Ms. Bernice the supervisor at the Post Office who confirmed they have had plenty of issues regarding these same allegations against this company. He also told me that he filed a complaint with a Government entity (not sure of the name) and that he was told that there were 15 other complaints filed with them already. I have his contact information.
That afternoon, on the way home, I called the Repo Company and spoke to Bill the Manager at Southeastern Towing and Recovery and was told that yes they are open, and would have been able to release vehicle to me, if he got the paperwork faxed over from Motor Maxx. The reason I was not able to that day was I would exceed my daily transaction amount via ATM machine.
On Monday April 8, 2013 my father went to make the payment and have car released and when he got there he was told by Laurie and Ashley that he could not make the payment there. He asked Ashley why she was going to take it on Saturday, and she flat out lied and said she never said that. He then asked her why she told us, that the place was closed, when we called as we left, we were able to talk to Bill the Manager. She said that she never told us that either.
She then told my father that he would need to send a money order to the PO Box and we would have to wait until the money order was cashed to get my vehicle all the while collecting storage fees at $35.00 a day. The amount that she quoted on this day was 210.00 more than on Saturday. She added 210.00 in storage fees, after tell us on Sat that the car was not in their possession. So we sent off a $1347.15 money order 1 in the amount of 950.00 and the other in the amount of 397.15 and we sent it return receipt requested. I also wanted to mention that as my father was pulling in to the dealership on Monday... cops were leaving AGAIN.
Something is not right with how this is. They do not return calls, and now I am concerned as per the letter I received that within 10 days of the letter my car would be sold. The letter was dated 4/2/2013. I firmly believe that they pull this regularly, and we can do nothing about it. I want to know what is going to ensure other than trying now to come up with the money to pay off the tax, title and dealer fees that this is not going to happen again. I am a single mom, who now has to pay her rent late in order to get MY car back in the 1st place.