• Report: #336442

Complaint Review: TitleMax

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  • Submitted: Mon, June 02, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, November 08, 2012

  • Reported By:knoxville Tennessee
TitleMax
2617 North Roan Street Johnson City, Tennessee U.S.A.

TitleMax SCAM, Former employee testimonial ******must read***** Johnson City Tennessee

*General Comment: So glad I saw this

*Consumer Comment: Always other options?

*General Comment: Please really know your customers

*Consumer Comment: Further breakdown of repo and other things

*Consumer Comment: TN LAWS ON TITLE LOANS

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Collecting after your car is repossesed

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Dont use TitleMax unless you want to get harassed.

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: This is not True

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: For blessed in Ga

*Consumer Comment: Length of recovery procedures

*Consumer Comment: No one forces you to walk into Titlemax

*Consumer Suggestion: MORE ON REAL TALK

*UPDATE Employee: Personal Responsibilty

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Buyer beware, I am a former employee of Titlemax of TN and I felt that I should share a few things. Titlemax uses catchy TV commercials and print advertisement to seduce hard working lower middle class people into pawning their vehicle. They tell you over the phone that they charge "about half" of what others charge. This is true. The interest rate(and fee's) come to 12.9% MONTHLY ( which is 154.8% APR). Wow what a deal.

By TN state law you can renew the pawn up to 22 times ( or 22 months ) . Your first two payments are interest and fee's only and the third payment goes up. On the third payment TitleMax requires that you pay at least 5% of the principal balance.. For example , if you pawn your car for $1,000.00 your first two payments will be 129.xx each a total of 258.xx .

Assuming you make only the minimum payment your third payment will be 179.xx, So over 90 days you would have paid a total of 437.xx and only 50.00 of that has gone to principle, Remember you still have 19 payments to make.... Now when you go in to do the pawn they tell you that titlemax does not have a grace period and to make payment on the due date, they will also tell you that if there is a emergency and you cannot make payment on the due date then come into the office to "discuss your options". They are referring to three options that they give you if you are late and come into the office..

The options are as follows: 1. Make your minimum payment. 2. Pay the account balance in full. 3.Surrender your vehicle and we will hold it for 30 days until you make your payment.. The funny thing about this is that titlemax will not take your vehicle until your pawn is over 30 days past due ( employees will not tell you this ). If your pawn does go 31 days past due then they will attempt to recover the vehicle. Once the vehicle is repossessed they will give you a last chance to pay the account in full or send it to a auto auction or sell it to a dealer..

Titlemax does not care about people.. Titlemax is a multimillion dollar corporation and they don't care what happens to you as long as they get their money! They do their employees and customers wrong. I felt compelled to share this information and hope that it saves at least 1 person from making a big mistake!

John
knoxville, Tennessee
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/02/2008 02:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/TitleMax/Johnson-City-Tennessee-37601/TitleMax-SCAM-Former-employee-testimonial-must-read-Johnson-City-Tennessee-336442. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

So glad I saw this

AUTHOR: TaylorA17 - ()

So glad I saw this, I was considering going to title max in kingsport tn, because I am low on cash I have once before gotten a car repoed from a title loan place and now I know I definitely should not get one with title max even though I was only going to try and get one for about 350. Thanks for the heads up!

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#2 Consumer Comment

Always other options?

AUTHOR: Canofworms - ()

I realize this post is almost ten years old but it infuriated me. 

I just did the math on what I'm paying TitieMax and in 8 months, I have paid $2600 on a $1500 loan. When I got the loan, my intent was to pay it off with a refund I was due and it was an absolute last resort. I am a single mother with 3 children, I receive no child support and our rent was past due. It was either this or living in my car as I have no family or friends here. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of my control, the refund never came and I've had to struggle to pay the monthly fee for this ridiculous loan. And guess what, oh preachers of Dave Ramsay and budgeting?! I don't have a husband or a second income to fall back on, so, NO, there IS NOT always another option!

not every borrower is an irresponsible, credit card maxing lunatic. I have no credit cards, I clip coupons, we buy second hand and I've always lived frugally with my children. As much as I would love to say I have six months worth of emergency money in savings, it simply isn't a reality when you're raising children on your own with NO help from the father and no repercussions from the state. As I said, I have no family and I quite literally work too much to have time for friends, so where was I supposed to turn? Because I pay cash, I have no credit so a traditional loan wasn't an option for me.

think before you make blanket statements about people. Good for you both but your situation is much more flexible than the single parents. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#3 General Comment

Please really know your customers

AUTHOR: Kyall99 - (U.S.A.)

I have read Dave Ramsey.  I cut up all my credit card and only purchase items I can afford.  I do not impulse buy.  I had to use Titlemax and was led to believe that I was paying the majority of the interest in the first two days.  I had lost my job due to illness and would be evicted because my unemployment didn't cover half my income and I didn't qualify for worker's comp.  I needed my rent covered until someone else in my family could find something other than part time.  Where I live jobs are very hard to find.  I trusted the person who told me the numbers because I was still very sick and the medication was making me thick headed.  It was not until I got home and read the documents for myself that this was worse than going to someplace that was a little longer to pay.  I wanted something quick and affordable that I could pay off at income tax time and that was what I was told I was getting.  If I had known how much double speak is used at Titlemax, I would have taken someone with me but I needed to do it immediately and they were all at work or school.  My first impulse was Titlemax, so thank you Titlemax.  I now also don't impulse borrow. Also they will call you and threaten to come and take your car the moment you don't have your payment on the date shown.  They are like thugs from the mob.  Thankfully I did know my rights by then and ignored their threats and payed within a week and a half after I was late.  They sent my payment back, so I sent it thru USPS to have a confirmation signature.  If you owe them don't let them bully you.  Know your rights and pay more than you have to to get out of debt with them as quick as possible.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Further breakdown of repo and other things

AUTHOR: 45ACP1911 - (United States of America)

First, someone mentioned the rates.  in TN the interest rate is based on 30 day renewal cycles.  If they sell you on 12.99% that's your monthly rate... you pay 12.99% of your balance as interest and fees.  (2% interest, 10.99% fees).  This is every 30 days, not APR.  It's like 158% APR if minimum payments are made.  State max is 22% total (267% APR) breaking into 2% interest and 20% fees.

I worked for a competitor of this company and we actually showed customers a list of payments.  This sheet showed exactly how much each payment would be, the date it would be due, the payoff on that date, and the total amount paid if they paid minimum payments up to that point or beyond.  It's a real eye opener seeing your $1000 loan turn into $2400 or more, and people become more responsible with their money.  That being said, i still in good faith cannot recommend a title loan  on any level to anyone for any reason.  I understand that people may be in a bind and have no other option.

When your vehicle is repo'ed (either voluntary or involuntary) titlemax cleans the vehicle and prepares for sale immediately.  They cannot sell it until the 21st day after repo, but they prepare it regardless.  This involves removing everything not part of the vehicle from the vehicle.  Personal belongings, trash, food, etc etc all gets thrown together in a garbage bag and returned to the titlemax you had your loan with.  They then send you a letter stating what charges there are (balance, interest and fees, repo fees, prepare for sale fees) and from that point you no longer incur any additional charges.

Keep in mind that not only do you owe your principal balance, you owe the 30 days of interest and fees that are past due, as well as the repo bill.  Most repo companies charge $100-300.  Some loan companies have their own repo companies under a different name, and therefore a large amount and make up false invoices.  This is because the loan companies in TN can only collect the total balance at the time of repo and the repo fees from the sale of the repo.  The rest is returned to the customer via check mailed to address the account was set up from.  They will make no extra attempt to get the check in your hands, so you will need to make sure you get with them to get your paperwork.  The loan company has 60 days from the expiration of the redeem period to sell your vehicle.  

Some title loan companies in TN even own their own car lots under different business names and usually out of state.  This is unethical but not illegal.  They can loan you money on your vehicle, repo your vehicle (using their own company for free, yet billing you $300+), sell it to themselves (using the car lot business name), and then finance said vehicle to someone else and start the chain all over again.  The reason i mention this is because if you are repossessed and your vehicle is worth more than the total balance, don't expect to get a surplus check.  Say your balance was $500, they would rather scrap it for $300 than sell it for $1000 and return a check to you.
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#5 Consumer Comment

TN LAWS ON TITLE LOANS

AUTHOR: JOHN S. - (United States of America)

I WORK FOR TITLE LOAN COMPANY IN TN...IN TENN WHEN YOUR CAR GETS REPOSSED YOU HAVE 20 DAYS TO GET YOUR AUTO BACK IF YOU PAY ALL REPO FEES AND THE LOAN AMT.(EXAMPLE) IF THE AUCTION SELLS YOUR CAR THAT YOU OWED 1000.00 AND THEY GET A CHECK FOR $1500 FROM THE AUCTION THIS IS CALLED A SURPLUS BY TN LAW THEY MUST PAY THE CUSTOMER THE SURPLUS IN THIS CASE IS 500.00. ONCE THEY REPO YOUR CAR IN TN YOUR NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR LOAN. IF YOU ARE A CUSTOMER AND THINK YOU HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF BY TITLEMAX OR ANY OTHER TITLE LOAN CO. IN TN ..CALL THE TENN. DEPT OF FIN INST(1-615-741-3186) AND TELL THEM YOU WANT TO FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST THE COMPANY.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Collecting after your car is repossesed

AUTHOR: George - (United States of America)

TitleMax will call you after they sold your car to recover any amounts they did not recover. If you owe $2,500, they repo the car and sell it at an auction for $2,000, they will call you to collect the $500. What people don't know, and TitleMax wont tell customers, is that the loan is a Non-Recourse loan, which means that once the collateral (i.e., car is repossesed and sold) the customer is no longer obligated to pay the balance. However, they will still try to collect. 

All TitleMax loans are never reported to credit agencies. So if your car is repossesed and sold, you no longer owe the balance and it has no impact at all on your credit report.  
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Dont use TitleMax unless you want to get harassed.

AUTHOR: George - (United States of America)

Titlemax is a total ripoff. They constantly call their customers starting with the first day they miss a payment.  Then they will start calling your employer and references and if you don't respond, they will come to your home. Even a bank, credit card company or other traditional type of lender will not contact you until 30 days after you missed a payment. TitleMax's philosophy is to persist until you give in, at least that's what they think. Customers who are having a hard time paying don't appreciate being harassed and having all their contacts called. I don't blame some of the people who stop paying because TitleMax is relentess in their "collections process". They will call good paying customers who pay on time everytime the follow day if they missed a payment to see why they missed their payment.

If a customers payment date falls on a Sunday when the store is closed, they will call the customer Monday morning. They wont even give the person a chance to come in and pay. Also, after they call you and leave a message, they will immediatley start calling the customers employer and references. A lot of people work during the day and cannot answer their phone. The stores close at 7:00PM on week nights. One night I was working until 7:30 to close and my manager had me calling the people who were due to pay on the same date and never showed up.

I also think the goverment should regulate the interest rates they charge. 110% APR is just insane. If you borrow $4,000 your minimum monthley payment will be near $418. All loans are for 24 months. If you make the minium payment x 24 months, you will pay $10,032 in total. The less you borrow, the higher the rate. $1000 would be at %150 APR. $1000 would be $133 per month x 24 $3192.
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#8 REBUTTAL Individual responds

This is not True

AUTHOR: Robert - (United States of America)

This is not true in what he is saying. My loan was 2018, including Title. Next month loan went to 2189. and on up. I paid this loan off. It is not 25 % but 125% and they are getting away with it. 
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

For blessed in Ga

AUTHOR: Briana Riche - (U.S.A.)

I would suggest that you contact the corp office (can get the number by calling a titlemax office and asking for it) and trying to work out something. They will continue for many years to try and find this. The repo co will cont skip trace and try to find this vehicle. As manager i had a repo co pick up a vehicle that we were looking for almost a year. If they repo it you will have to pay it in full plus the repo fee or they will sell the car
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#10 Consumer Comment

Length of recovery procedures

AUTHOR: Blessed - (U.S.A.)

I would like to know, how long will Titlemax continue recovery procedures? Will they sell the account to another entity, and if so are you still bound to the original Pawn contract signed with Titlemax? Will Titlemax or the other entity (if any) report the matter to the credit reporting agencies and is there anyway to get out of a Pawn transaction without paying the large amount of interest? I have been avoiding my car being repossed due to a pawn transaction with Titlemax for over a year. Any help would be highly appreciated!
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#11 Consumer Comment

No one forces you to walk into Titlemax

AUTHOR: Storm - (U.S.A.)

As a listener of Dave Ramsey, I agree : Don't borrow money,don't live off credit cards, and pay cash.
That being said, TitleMax doesn't force anyone to go into their office to make a title pawn. Just like no one is forced to go into a check advance office or a personal loan company.
If you do feel the need to do business with one of these places, READ EVERYTHING. If you have a question or don't understand something, ask for clarification. And if you go into one of these places,PAY THE DAMN NOTE! Pay over the minimum amount due and make sure it goes towards the principle.
I've worked for a finance company for over 10 years and the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how people are just chomping at the bit to get the check. I have told customers over and over again "Do you understand that your payment is due ON or BEFORE the due date? And if you are late that you will be charged a late fee?". All of them will quickly say,"Yes", grab the check, then walk out the door. Then, 30-45 days later, they get upset when you call them ,asking where their payment is.
Then, the excuses come out of the woodwork. They are short on hours, their paycheck is late in getting to them, they don't have a ride to the office {yet, they have the way to get to my office for the money}.With my company, if you do not pay the loan, we will file a garnishment against you and we will get our money.
It's very simple.
If you don't pay your electric bill, your power will be turned off. If you don't pay your rent/mortgage, you will get evicted or foreclosed.If you don't pay your car note, your car will be repossessed.
And,I'm sure that if you have a TITLE pawn with Titlemax and do not pay the monthly note, they will come and get your car.
So, pay the loan off as quickly as possible, budget your money, and never go back to TitleMax if you don't like the way they do business.
Storm
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

MORE ON REAL TALK

AUTHOR: Cat - (U.S.A.)

Real :You are right on a couple of things. That people need to take personal responsiblity and live on a budget. Cudoos to listening to Dave, but you are not teaching and or living the way he teaches. You know he teaches people to stay away from these type of lending places and you know why. You also know that trying to improve your credit score and doing it at a place like Titlemax is also not what he teaches and you know why! I actually took his 13 week course when he taught it live and in person, many moons ago. So I have been learning from him for a long time. I also go to his church, so I know his principles quite well. That said, I have learned to stay out of debt and do not care what my credit score is! Cash works wonders and people will have that if they STOP looking for ways for a short term "fix". You know why I say that, if as you say, you listen to Dave.

You may be the exception of the rule in trying to go over a perspective clients budget, but you are not the rule. Most who work in your type of company only want the customer and you know that most get locked in a perpertual cycle of debt and have a difficult time getting out. If you do not believe me run a check on complaints on your company, call Dave and then get back with me.

There is always a way out other than going through Titlemax. I have had my share of financial difficulties, but my husband and I live on a plan ,a budget, we do not have credit cards and we stay away from places like Titlemax. We live within our means and we use CASH! It works wonders and people would have it if they stopped trying to get loans.

I am pleased you seem to "get it" at such a young age, but if you truly do honor Dave's plan then lead people away from Titlemax and teach them to use CASH. That would be an honorable way to teach and lead them away from using debt no matter how much you think you are "helping" them now. True help is not leading them into debt, it is leading them away from it.

Peace my friend,

Cat
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#13 UPDATE Employee

Personal Responsibilty

AUTHOR: Real Talk - (U.S.A.)

Ok I am a current employee of Titlemax in Tennessee and I also have some advice. First off Titlemax is not a rip-off unless you are a person who knows nothing about personal responsibility. I never loan anyone money at my store without going over in depth how it works and also explaining that it is not intended to meet long term financial goals. That is why you pay your bills on time and work hard to establish a good credit score and borrow from your bank. People seem to forget that the reason they come see us in the first place is because they obviously can not obtain traditionally financing.

I go over every payment before I have a customer sign anything and I also tell them that they do not have to carry the loan out for 22 months. Lets say someone wants to borrow 200 bucks ok take 12.99% and multiply that times your principal of 200. That gives you a finance charge of 25.98. Ok so you pay it off in the first 30 days and payback 225.98. Or if you pay it off in 90 days then you would pay a total of 251.96. You see you will obviously pay a lot of money if you only pay the minimum payment and drag it out .

So what I am saying is you should understand that it is not meant to be a long term thing and if you come in with that understanding then you will be better off. People always want to pay the minimum and then complain 6 months down the road well you should only borrow money if you really need it and if someone will lend it to you when your banker, friends, and family will not then you have to understand the reason why they will not and the risk we take on our end. I do not have perfect credit myself and I even had to do a check advance at a check place. I know the interest and guess what I paid it off as soon as I could. I did not borrow the money because I wanted to shop or because I wanted to pay off another debt. I borrowed that money because my car broke down and I had to fix it.

People need to think before they act and ask there self if they really need the money and how fast they can pay it off. I have some customers that borrow and pay it off fast and those are the ones who thank me every time. Here is my advice read some Dave Ramsey and start putting your finances in order. I am 24 and just now understanding how credit and borrowing money works. Especially now with the economy in a mess think about your spending and make yourself a budget.

If you do ever have an emergency and you go to a Titlemax to borrow money go in with the realization that hey I am going to pay this off as soon as possible and do not be afraid to say hey you know what let me look over all my bills and if I decide I can afford to do this and pay you back then I will get back with you. Americans must stand up and take personal responsibility and believe me I have it hard like everyone else I have a daughter and one on the way and now I work a 3rd shift on top of Titlemax so believe me when I say I understand how customers feel. I know sometimes when we are broke we do not think before we sign a contract because someone offers us some money but trust me you might want to really think to yourself is this right for me.
God bless.
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