Report: #248076

Complaint Review: Titlemax

  • Submitted: Thu, May 10, 2007
  • Updated: Fri, October 17, 2008
  • Reported By: Sylvan Springs Alabama
  • Titlemax
    3051 Allison Bonnett Drive
    Hueytown, Alabama

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I borrowed $3500.00 from Titlemax one year ago. I used the title of my husband's truck. At that time, I felt I would pay off the pawn and my husband would not have to know about it. I borrowed the money so my children ages 19 and 16 could go to the high school prom. My husband was disabled and denied Social Security Benefits so we were trying to live on $1112.00 per month.

I wanted this prom to be special for my children because my son was in an automobile accident on 2/8/2005 which broke his left arm, right leg and crushed his left foot. He went to the prom that year with his arm taped to a walker and only being able to hop on one foot, but he wanted to go. Fortunately, the prom in 2006 was much better for him and his sister got to go with him because a sophomore male student had asked her to go with him.

I do not regret getting the money and using it for my children. My son, age 19 now, became very ill on 1/4/2007 and was hospitalized with bleeding from his colon. They gave us the diagnosis of Crohn's disease. He had been extra thin since the automobile accident but we thought he would eat gain weight once he was back to his normal activities.

A few months ago, I fell behind on making a payment to Titlemax. They actually came to my home and told my husband about the loan. I have been told that this information was private but obviously not. They also talked to my mother-in-law and contacted my daughter-in-law and offered her $300.00 if she would give them the combination that would open the gate to our front yard. I got the payments caught up and I explained to Mr. Bell that if there any other problems that he needed to talk to me since I was the one who got the loan. I also explained to him that I was a victim of domestic violence and that my husband broke my left arm in 8/2000.

I thought he understood the problems that were going on. I am disabled due to radical cancer surgery, my son is disabled due to joint problems from the broken bones and now has Crohn's Disease added to his list of disabilities, my 16 year old daughter was born with two congenital heart defects and has underwent two heart surgeries. Myself and my children have no where else to go. If we did, I would pack everything up and leave my husband who would probably have another woman moved in with him by the time we pulled out of the driveway.

At 3:30 A.M. this morning, 5/10/2007, my husband jumped up out of bed and looked out the window. His truck was already going out the gates and down the road. He ran outside and then came back in telling me he hoped I was proud of what I did and that I had better get his truck back. They obviously cut the lock off the gate, came onto our property which is fenced and marked "no trespassing" and "beware of dog".

They obviously took the lock with them because I could not find it anywhere around the gate or driveway. I had to leave home right after my husband came into the house because I could feel my broken arm hurting just thinking about what he might do to me. I went to a neighbor's house. I have not been able to go back home. I have been calling Titlemax since 9:00 A.M. this morning. I have called two separate numbers.

I called the one advertised 1-800-Titlemax. I told the girl what was going on and she said she would have a regional manager call me. It is 1:40 P.M. central time right now and I have not received a phone call from a regional manager.

I finally found the phone number for the corporate office (1-800-804-5368) and talked to them around 12:00 P.M. Again I was promised someone would be in touch with me soon. So far, no phone call has been received. I read that Tracy Young was the CEO of Titlemax. I left a voice message for him at the 1-800-804-5368 phone number. Obviously no one cares about a woman who can't go home without this matter being resolved.

Hueytown Titlemax said that Heidi was the manager of that office. However, when the Hueytown office was contacted this morning, Heidi said that Mr. Bell was the manager and that nothing could be done concerning getting the truck back until Mr. Bell was back in the office since he was not at work today.

Please! Someone please help me find someone who can help me.

Sylvan Springs, Alabama
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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 General Comment

Get help.

AUTHOR: kmlindsey - ()

I  just  wanted to let you know that I  have been in an abusive relationship.  Actually,  more than one.  And when your scared and tired enough you will go to a shelter.  They are not perfect places but it  is definitely  better than living in an unpredictable environment.  If things are that bad you will do what you need to do to protect your children.  As  far as the loan is concerned,  you need to pay,  that's the agreement. 

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#2 Consumer Comment

Capitalism at work

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


This website's purpose is to report ripoffs. What you have reported is not a ripoff. It is a sad story and nothing else. You signed a contract and then you broke your end of the bargain. The company had every right to hire a repo man to come get the truck and they have every right to sell the truck. If no one paid back their bills, this economy would fall apart. Errr... wow, did I just simplify the crisis our country is facing in one sentence?


Ok, as for you and your daughter, contact:

Jessie's Place for Women and Children
2305 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203
(205) 323-0170

They can assist you with safe shelter, food and clothing.

Your son should contact:

Shepura Men's Center
3420 2nd Avenue North , Birmingham, AL 35222
(205) 324-2271

Both of these centers will get you out of the domestic abuse situation.

The cat should go to an animal shelter if you cannot find a friend or relative to take it in for you. Find a shelter that does not euthanize animals.

May I suggest:

(205) 744-3373
226 Glasgow Rd, Birmingham, AL 35224

I believe safety for you and your children should be your primary concern right now.
Without knowing the whole story, statistics do show that once a man has abused you, he will do it again and it will get more severe each time.

Please speak to your children about your mistakes and help them learn those important life lessons. Own up to doing the wrong thing and let them see you take responsibility for your actions.

Only you can stop the circle of abuse. Only you can save yourself.

Start today!

A caring neighbor
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#3 Consumer Comment

Good luck to you...

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

Normally I'm not so harsh in my rebuttals, but this is just irresponsibility at its worst.

The only way that you would have been able to take out a loan against a title to a car is if your name was on it, as previously stated in another post. If your name was not on the title, legally you would not have been able to secure the loan and your husband would have been able to get his truck back.

You have serious health problems and so do your kids. Why $3500 on a prom? Why not pay your medical bills or use the money to get out of your abusive relationship? You really ought to be ashamed of yourself for the lessons that you are teaching your children. They have costly disorders that will affect them for the rest of their lives and all you have done is teach them irresponsibility.

Yes, your son has Crohn's Disease and your daughter has heart defects. Neither one should stop them from being productive members of society. I have suffered from SEVERE Crohn's Disease for over 10 years now, and I can tell you what-your son will be facing medical bills more than likely for the rest of his life. You would have been smarter in investing that kind of money for your children's future medical treatments rather than a frivolous thing such as a prom.

Good luck to your family. They are going to need it.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Answers to your questions

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

First of all, I am an ex-employee.

As far as the lock on the gate goes, TitleMax does not do the repos themselves. They were correct in telling you that it was not their problem. Repos are hired out, so the lock and vehicle are the responsibility of the chosen repo company.

As far as the tools and fishing equipment found in the truck, they will be inventoried and you will have a chance to retrieve them. TitleMax should be sending you a certified letter with all of that stuff listed on an inventory form in a day or two, and you will have 60 days to pick it up.

They will not tell you where the truck is at for a very specific reason. You (or someone you know) could then break into the storage lot and either damage or steal the truck. It has happened before to my store while I worked there, and obviously they don't want that happening.

Also while I worked there, I never sold a vehicle and got the full amount of the loan with interest back. You see, only wholesalers are able to bid on your truck, not the general public. They want to make a profit too, therefore bids are suprisingly low. Therefore, more than likely, there will be no proceeds to refund to you. In the case that there is, it is TitleMax policy to return all extra to the former owner.

Which leads me to a way to get your vehicle back. If you know a car dealer, get them to bid on the truck for you. Maybe he can set some kind of payment terms for you to buy it back from him.

On a personal note, I always made sure when I would do a pawn (not loan) that I explained everything very clearly. Honestly though, most people just see the money and their brain goes "cha-ching" and they stop listening.

Your stories, if true, have my sympathy. However, you said your husband was disabled. Yet he was denied benefits. Also, he's strong enough to break your arm and beat on you. And he had a bunch of tools in the truck. Sounds to me like he needs to get to work.

And you must realize that TitleMax workers have heard every reason in the book for being late on payments, which unfortunately is probably a reason for their seemingly apathetic attitudes. It's hard to distinguish the true stories when 60 other customers are just lying.

FYI: TitleMax is audited by not only their District Managers and Regional Managers twice a month, but also by the state banking commissions at least twice a year. They are (to many people, unfortunately) doing pawns within legal bounds. But they are pawns, not loans, which is a whole different ballgame.

Good Luck to You,
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#5 Consumer Comment

Returning calls-

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

I will say I know nothing more of Titlemax than what you've listed here. Going by that, I will say that if these people are a moderate to large company, oft times you won't receive a call back in a matter of hours. I empathise w/ your situation of not feeling safe in your home, but you'll need to stay w/ a family member, friend, or neighbor until you hear back from Titlemax.

As others have mentioned, they were collecting on a debt that wasn't paid. It's unfortunate you & your children are sick, but that sickness isn't even why you took the loan - as you stated, it was for a prom.

& speaking of, what sort of prom did you give these kids? Only the richest of the rich from where I lived spent anywhere near that. I have a hard time believing prices for prom tickets, dinner, & dresses have gone up 1000% since I went 10 years ago.

Instead of focusing on getting your husband's truck back & dealing w/ the police over that, how about you deal w/ the police regarding your mistreatment? You can't be an active mother to those children when you're holed up due to broken bones.

Get out & get help. Good luck.
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#6 Consumer Comment


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

I bet Titlemax sells the truck, gets much more than $3500.00 and pockets the rest. You won't see a dime.

Payday loan places are subject to FDCPA therefore I am willing to bet so are title loan places.

Contact a consumer rights attorney and ask!

Let this be a lesson not to EVER do business with a payday or title loan place. Well, unless you like paying 1000% interest.
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#7 Consumer Comment

They collected on a bad loan.

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

You embellish your story for sympathy. Unfortunately, most contracts do not have sympathy clauses in them. The contracts do not give extensions or waivers, when personal problems come up.

It is unfair for you to expect special consideration for all of the problems you are having in your personal life. There is no question, that your family is having more unfortunate happenings than what most families go through. I honestly hope that you find the support groups and miracles that will resolve them. You using those issues to get sympathy, is wrong. It has nothing to do with using the truck as collateral.

When all of the special considerations for your family issues, are taken out of the story. It just becomes very simple issue of collecting on a overdue bill. I could give you many of the coulda, woulda, and the shoulda routines, but you do not need any of those. You already have enough problems.

It would seem that you knew in advance, that they would be coming for the truck. They had already attempted to bribe a family member for the lock combination. The repo man will most likely say that there was no lock on the gate. I may be wrong but I think that a person is allowed to come onto private property to retrieve a repossession. Bottom line is that you used the truck collateral for an un-necessary loan. You obviously need money for health issues in your family, not for a $3,500.00 prom night. You were not making payments and you were doing everything you could to keep them from getting what they were owed. Good luck to you.
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#8 Consumer Comment

We all make mistakes!

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


One of the posts is Titled "You have some nerve!!"

Please keep in mind that the person who wrote that is in the Medical Professional and received an 'A' in Bedside Manners 101... so you have to believe them!

On the other hand, the rest of us who are not in the Medical Field will tell you, "People make mistakes!"

(This rule does not apply to those who received an "A" in Bedside Manners 101.)

Sit down with your family and explain your reasons; tell your family what happened and why!

What is important now is the lessons learned. "What would you do different?"
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Call the police.

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

They almost certainly had only the right to take the truck itself, anything in it was still your husband's. The police will help you find the truck so you can get the tools and equipment out. I'm quite certain though that when you get there, the tools will be long gone. At that point you file a police report for the repo man cutting your lock and stealing the tools and fishing equipment. It doesn't matter if that stuff was inside the truck or not, he still stole it.

This is a criminal matter. You do not need to hire your own lawyer. A lawyer will not be able to do much about the lock and the tools. In a property case, the lawyers always want money up front, which you don't have.
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#10 Consumer Comment

You have some nerve!!

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

Secretly hocking someone's truck for $3,500 so your kid could go to the prom? Your behavior was reckless and inexcusable. You should be ashamed of yourself! Not only did you do something illegal, but what exactly are you teaching your kid by blowing $3,500 on something as trivial as a high school prom?? Knowing that you are allegedly an abused wife, what exactly did you think would happen when your husband found out? You made some very poor choices, and for the worst reasons. And, as the other poster mentioned, all of your health problem sob stories are completely irrelevant and have nothing to do with the actual problem here, nor does it make what you did right.
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#11 Author of original report

Looking for Ex-employees of Titlemax in Birmingham, Bessemer or Hueytown Area

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

Titlemax will not tell me where our vehicle was taken. The truck had alot of expensive tools and fishing equipment in it. If you are an ex-employee or consumer who knows where they may have taken the truck, I would greatly appreciate your providing me with this information.
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#12 Author of original report

Too Late About Worrying About When They Will Take The Truck

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

I specifically stated that at 3:30 A.M. on 5/10/2007, we were awoken by the sound of an automobile in our driveway. When we looked out the window, the gates were open and the truck was going down the road. Yes, they cut the lock off of the gate and yes, they kept the lock. In conversations with employees of Titlemax all day (5/10/2007, they respond that they are not responsible for what the repo people did to my gate, lock, etc.

When I mentioned I will probably have to get a lawyer involved due to destruction and theft of my personal property besides the repossession of the truck, the regional manager told me to go ahead and get a lawyer because it was not going to change anything. Concerning shelters for women and children.

As stated both myself and my two children have disabilities. One time when my husband pulled a gun on me and asked me if I would like to feel what a bullet going through my head would be like. He did finally put the gun down and left. I went to a lawyer. My children were so upset and just wanted to go home to their rooms and their beds. My daughter got almost hysterical because she has a cat that she treats like a baby.

When she found out the shelter would not allow her to bring her cat, she got so hysterical I was afraid something was going to happen to her. Social services and shelters in the Birmingham, Alabama area are not that great and most of them don't even have space for you to get a space to sleep in.

The children were in school, and it was going to affect their school attendance and possibly changing schools. My children were born here. We have lived here 29 years. I could not devastate their world, so I suffer in mine.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

Big question is was your name on the title?

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

If the truck is in his name only, they had no right to take it because you can't commit it as collateral for a loan without his signature. The same may also be true if it has both your names but with "AND" between them instead of "OR."

If the truck was jointly owned, too bad for him because legally it was as much your truck as it was his.

It was illegal for them to cut your lock. Call the police. Unless and until they obtain a court order requiring you to surrender the truck, all a repo man can do is sneak up and take it. Without breaking anything in the process.

All this cancer this, accident that, etc. is really tedious and pointless. It doesn't mean jack to them, or to the law. You took out a loan and can't repay it. They're going to get your truck. It's really just a question of when.

Get out of there now if you think there will be violence from your husband. There are state sponsored and charity operations everywhere that will take you in and give you shelter.
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#14 Author of original report

Titlemax Corporate Office said Regional Managers Control the Individual Stores

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

I finally talked to someone in the corporate office who referred me to a regional manager. He called and said I could not get the truck without paying the full amount of $3500.00. I am disabled, I don't have a job or alot of money.

I guess I am destined to live on the streets so my husband does not beat me or kill me. I asked about the lock and my fence which were cut and the lock stolen. The regional manager said that was not their problem, that I would have to contact the repo company about those items. When I mentioned getting a lawyer, he told me to go ahead and get a lawyer. It would not change things.
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