I am a single mom of a 4 year old & in Sept 2006 my exhusband decided that he wasn't going to pay child support. Being that I had just divorced a very abuse alcoholic that never worked very much & ruined my credit & I had to file bankruptcy my finances were already in shambles & I was trying to put my life back together when he stopped paying child support. So of course I was at the mercy of a title pawn company to borrow money to pay bills & keep a roof over my child's head. My car was a 1999 Neon Sport that I had paid cash $3400 the year before with an small inheritance. I was very apprehensive about taking a loan out on my car, but when you need food & a roof over your head you really don't have much of a choice.
That afternoon when I went into Titlemax @ Austell I met with the manager Mike. I went with Titlemax because I had heard they had a good reputation & it I was going to pawn my car I wanted to deal with a reputable company. I told Mike of my apprehension, my employer had just went through a massive layoff & I had heard rumors that they would be doing more & I asked Mike that day what would happen if I was ever late with the payment. I was never told that day that the payment had to be in on the very day that it was due!!! And Mike assured me that they would work with me if I ever had to be late. He even told me that there was a guy that had lost his job & hadn't paid in about a month, but the guy kept in touch. This gave me the assurrance that I needed to go ahead and get a loan for $1300 on my car.
Two weeks (the 1st week in October 2006) later I was put in ICU for pneumonia & congestive heart failure. However, I wasn't late with my payment in October or November my health continued to deteriorate and the day before Thanksgiving I suffered a massive seizure & was taken to the hospital & the following Monday 11/26/06 my family doctor took me out of work due to many illnesses. In December I had an operation, was having a hard time getting my disability check & if it had not been for the kindness of family & friends my child would not have had christmas! However, I was only a couple of days late with my payment on my car. The people @ TitleMax gave me grief about being late just 3 days late!!
By 1/1/07 I was so sick that a family member had to move in with me to take care of me because I couldn't get out of bed. on 1/2/07 I suffered another massive seizure & had to be put back in the hospital. This time my heart enzimes where high & the doctors were afraid that I was going to have another heart attack & they also discovered that I have a tumor on my putuatory gland making which was causing my throid not to work & causing a great strain on my body. Even going through all that I wasn't late with my payment because I had gotten my tax return back @ the end of January.
I wasn't late in February either & was able to go back to work due to doctors adjusting my medicines & keeping close watch over me. However, since I had went back to work in February I have been in and out of the hospital or going to the all the doctors that I needed to go to & exhausted 4 weeks of vacation. Due to my still not being able to get my exhusband to pay child support & mounting doctor & medicine cost I was barely able to keep a roof over my child & myself. However, March through June if I was late @ all it was because my paycheck was at the end of the week & the payment date was in the middle of the week & I always kept in touch with the office to let them when they were going to get my payment.
Then in June of this year I had to spend 4 days in the hospital about my heart & then for the next two weeks I hardly worked at all because It was having seizures again. My payment for my car wasn't until 7/5/07. Actually it was due on the 4th but when I paid my June car payment the girl told me that day that because the payment was due on the 4th that I could just bring the payment in on the 5th of July. On 7/3/07 a woman from Titlemax called me & wanted to know where my payment was? I told her that I was told that I didn't have to make a payment until the 5th & she said ok.
That afternoon I went to my neourologist & he put me on some high powered anti-seizure medicine, took me out of work again & told me he didn't want me to drive. That was on the 3rd of this month. Around 11 am 7/05/07 Titlemax is calling wanting to know where my payment was? I told the girl about being taken out of work & couldn't drive & my check would be in the next day & I would have my daughter bring me into the office the next day. She said that was ok. No sooner then I hung up the phone started ringing again it was the manager of Titlemax and very hatefully asked where was my payment? I told her that I had just spoken with a girl in her office & she said that she knew that but it wasn't acceptable! she told me that I was to either bring in the car that day or the payment. I wasn't believing my ears. I said " You mean you can't work with me & let me bring it in one day late?" she said "No" and I proceeded to tell her that when I had first gotten the pawn, Mike had told me that Titlemax would work with me & this was the 1st time that I had ever heard of having to pay right on the day that the payment was due. That is when the manager proceeded to say that they didn't give grace periods. I told her that I would bring the payment in the next day & that was that.
Well my luck couldn't have gotten any worse my employer fedexed my paycheck & because of my not being at work to check my time I was missing quite a few hours on my check & the check was only $49 & when I spoke to my employer they said that it would probably be the next pay period before I got the rest of my pay & I knew Titlemax would not wait until then. I called Titlemax & spoke to the manager & she exploded, she was so rude! I told her that I couldn't believe that they knowing what I was going through & that they had never had a problem with me before that they were acting the way they were. So she told me that I had until Tuesday or Wednesday of the next week.
Try as I might, I tried to come up with the money & my being very sick @ the same time. I only have 2 sisters & they didn't have the money to give it to me. However, I did have some promises of money in the works I just didn't know exactly when I would be receiving the money. So I called Titlemax again on Wednesday of that week told them of the problem & they said that they were going to repo the car. So I called the coporate office thinking that I could get someone that would be more sympathic to my plight.
Wrong!!! I was told that I would be speaking to the District Manager. Attitude the minute he came to the phone. He intoduce himself as Calb & proceeded that Titlemax wasn't a loan company. I told him what I was told the 1st day that took out the pawn & he told me the same thing that the manager @ the Austell told me that is why Mike wasn't there anymore because he was fired. I proceeded to say that I couldn't believe with what I was going through & Titlemax being the big company that they were in Georgia that they wouldn't be more compassionate. For crying out loud I was only 6 days late. So he asked me when do you think that you will have the payment in? I said this Friday or Monday @ the latest. He said Friday & I said no Monday is probably when I will get the payment in & left it @ that.
Saturday night @ about 12 am I was awoken to the sound of my car being cranked up. I ran to the door to the sound of a man yelling "Repo Man!" and that was that. He didn't come to the door to let me know that he was there the car was @ my residence so it wasn't like I was hiding the car & he didn't give me time to even get my things out of the car. Here it was 7/15/07 ...10 days late on the payment & Titlemax repo'd my car!! And the sad part of it all I had talked my sister into letting me borrow the money & I was going into the Austell office on Monday to pay the payment.
I understand in the state of Georgia that title pawns are like regular pawns after 30 days you come in and pay the interest on the car or pay the car off. However, over the years I have delt with pawn shops & they have never took the items I pawned back because I didn't pay right on the day that a payment was due. I have also contacted several other title pawn companies & inquired if this was their practice of reposessing the car after 10 days. All of them told me no that they would work with their customers.
But this is not the case with Titlemax when I called the corporate office & told the receptionist that I didn't want to speak to the same person that I had last week. I left my number & sure enough Calb (Mr. Personality) called me back. When I asked him why my car was repossed he said that I didn't come in on Friday & he told the people @ Austell to repo my car. That they just couldn't work with me. I lost it & told him that I had told him last Wednesday that I would be in on Friday or Monday & they had never had a problem with me before & I wasn't hiding they knew where I was & I couldn't believe that they repo all the cars that were late in the Atlanta area when they didn't pay right on the due date. All he said is that Titlemax didn't have a grace period & they had the option to repo a car anytime after the due date. I told him that I had called several other title pawn companys & what they said & he said that wasn't Titlemax & I could call the Austell & get a the pay off. I told him @ that point that I was going to do everything in my power to let everyone know the truth about Titlemax & of course they wanted my car now because I had paid on my car for nine months just the interest @ $180. a month that equals $1690. & I only borrowed $1300.
So not only have I technically paid the loan back but they got my car which they will probally be able to sell for $2000 plus. And also told him that I was going to get a lawyer to look into their practices. I even told him about this website & others about what people where saying about Titlemax & he said it is not us ma'm & do what you want to do and hung up on me.
So out of curosity I called the Austell office & found out what the pay off of the car was $1823. No wonder this company has a office on just about every corner in Atlanta when they get the borrowed amount paid back & then the car to boot!! This is sheer out & out robbery!!!! They have got to be stopped!! & I will do everything I can to make sure that this happens!!! This can't continue to happen to poor people that are just trying to make a living. They got rid of payday advances in Georgia, it is time they do the same thing to title pawns & run Titlemax out of town!!
Oh and by the way I have all the medical records to back up what I have told in this report!!