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Citifinancial Auto / Deceptive business practices!

1 United States Review updated:

I purchased a vehicle with financing from a lender who eventually sold my loan to Citifinancial Auto. The original loan was for a 5-year period rather than the typical 3-year period. To keep my finances on track, I use Direct Debit services whenever possible and I made arrangements to have my auto loan paid through Direct Debit. During this time, I moved and provided Citifinancial with my current address, but they continued to send any and all communications to my former address. My forwarding order expired after the first year and I again provided them with my correct address.

In April, I left work and found that my car was not in the parking lot. I called the police and was told that my car had been repossessed. I immediately called Citifinancial to find that "no one could take my call," so I emailed them. Four phone calls and 3 emails later, I still received absolutely no information from Citifinancial Auto.

Finally, the towing company called and asked me to come and get my belongings. Because I was so upset, the employee called Citifinancial Auto (they actually answered her call!) and when I arrived to get my things, she told me that they had repossessed the car due to nonpayment. I received no notice that they had stopped collecting the payments via Direct Debit nor did I give them my permission or agree to that arrangement. No other company with whom I have made Direct Debit arrangements has terminated the arrangement, so I know this is unusual.

I don't think it is a coincidence that all of this happened when I reached the 3-year mark for my loan. Additionally, Citifinancial tried to file a claim for damages through my auto insurance company, saying that the entire front end of the car was destroyed. When I visited the tow yard 3 days after the repossession, the car was completely intact. They still have not filed any paperwork with the DMV to claim ownership of the car and I continue to receive notices from the DMV regarding overdue registration.

So... the $11,000+ that I paid toward owning the vehicle is completely wasted, the repossession is on my credit record, I spent nearly $400 on a rental car, and I had to come up with cash to purchase a used vehicle because I live in an area with next to no public transportation. I believe that Citifinancial Auto deliberately terminated our Direct Debit arrangement without notifying me so that they would not have to honor the nontraditional 5 year loan.

How are they allowed to get away with this and why don't consumers have an option to pursue dishonest businesses without spending thousands of dollars on an attorney? The BBB is great, but there is not a thing they can do if the business refuses to negotiate with them, and in the case of most large corporations, that is exactly what they do. Large businesses know individual consumers can't afford to spend $5,000-20,000 to pursue something like this, so they simply refuse to play ball with the BBB.

Whatever you do, don't do business with Citifinancial Auto!

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  • Mi
      5th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    C Christensen,

    Why don't you tell us the entire story? You waited a year to update your address with the people that paid for your car? You were basically what they call a "SKIP." At the same time you opted not to notafy Citi of your address change you must have missed a couple of statements and not paid. The collateral that you were driving was not being paid for as agreed.

    Businesses such as Citi do all they can to mitigate their losses and never will repo a vehicle under false pretenses... If there is a way to work with you and keep you in the POS veicle they will. Any time a repo or a charge off takes place the company holding the paper takes a loss. Lots of $ lost every year in the industry's of mortgage, auto, ect... do to individuals that buy things that cant afford or bother not to pay for. It's not convenient that they repo'd your veh after 3 years, you just did a good job of hiding for a year.

    Good luck finding a decent % rate in the next 5-7 years.

  • An
      9th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    To Mike Anony:
    Apparently you skipped reading comprehension classes in school. The complainant DID inform CitiFinancial of the move, but they continued to send communications to his former address. Now don't you feel stupid? If you don't currently work for CitiFinancial, you'd fit in there perfectly.

  • Er
      12th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have not done business with Citifinancial auto and never had a loan from them. About three weeks ago I started getting daily phone calls from them on my cell phone. If I do not answer it they do not leave a message, if I do answer it they have a recording asking me to call another number, when I call it they ask for my phone number to look up "my account" which I do not have and they tell me they find nothing on it, therefore, without any information on my account they cannot take my number out of the system.

  • Te
      27th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    I bought my 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer in May 2005 and the lender was Citi. My husband is in the Army and we set up a direct payment by allotment. This went well until September when me and my husband separated. He agreed that he would leave the car on the allotment as long as I sent him the payment each month. It was in my separation agreement also. Each month I gave my husband the money using Money Orders. In December 05 I moved to Texas. I was still sending him the payment each month. I called Citi to update my address with them and gave them my new number. I told them that me and my husband had separated and that the car was still being paid by allotment and that I was sending him the payments each month. The person said that as long as the payments were made then there should be no problem.

    One day in May 06 I got ready to leave for work and my car was gone. I called the police and reported it stolen. I never once thought it could be reported. I got a phone call from the PD about 2 hours later telling me that the car had been picked up by a rep company and gave me the name of the company to contact. I had to wait until Citi opened to call them to find out why they would rep my car when I had never missed a payment.

    I got a man who told me that the payments stopped in Jan 06 and that they had no choice but to rep the car. I asked him why I was not notified at the new address or phone. He said that he still had my GA address and that there had been numerous letters sent out. I told him that I had updated my address and phone number in December when I moved. There was nothing that he would do. He said that he would help me. He said that he would let me get my car back if I paid $11,000 that day. He even asked how I was paying!!! I told him I did not have that much money. He said that if I wanted my car back, then I must pay the loan out. I asked him if I could just pay the amounts that were past due and he said no. I even asked him if I could send him the receipts from the MO's and the separation agreement. No luck. He just wanted the $11 grand.

    So when I started getting collection calls at the new number and collection letters at the new address that they swore they did have records of, I called them and told them to take a flying leap. I called my husband and forced him to return my money for the payments. I also told Citi that since that they could not notify me that there was a problem with the account BEFORE they reported it and that since they sent everything to my husband I gave then his number and told them not to EVER call me or send me anymore letters.

    I have bad credit now and can not get a decent car. Partly because of someone at Citi not doing her job and updating my info. As I never got statements when I lived in GA, I just assumed that I would not get then while living in TX either.

    Now I keep my own records and do not allow anyone to do for me. I also record everything that a creditor tells me or I discuss when I call them. That way I have proof.

  • De
      12th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    Its very interesting how peoples vehicles are getting repoed and the customers are being told that the information was never updated but yet how were they able to find the vehicle if they never had the new addresses, come on I have been dealing with these ###s for a year now and my husband and I are going after them hard core for violations of the fair dept act and harassment, we were about one payment behind and my husband re-enlisted and got a bonus we called and payed the car current then set up direct payments every two weeks so we were a half payment ahead, we are now being called and told we still owe 300 and when we go over every thing with them they say there records match our but that doesnt matter we still owe, they call us 5-6 times a day, they are rude and tell us we never spoke to people, they have called us as early as 6am. They suck and have broken many laws and it is time for us ALL to stand up and make them pay for there mistakes. I done alot of research on them and I have already contacted an attorney so if you want in let me know.

  • An
      9th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    Before you start talking about the "idiots" that work there, please remember that we are not all mindless! I have been there for 2 years on the indirect side, and I, too, can not stand their customer service. I was let go today among hundreds of others, but not everyone that works for the company are as bad as the ones you have dealt with.

  • Th
      17th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    You say you had a direct debit in place. Did you not notice when the funds were not being deducted from your bank account? You may not have received or read the monthly loan statement, but I find it difficult to believe you were never aware you had "extra" funds in your bank account each month. You also state they repoed so they wouldn't have to honor the 5-year agreement. It is in their best interest to keep you in the loan and making payments for as long as the contract stipulates. That's how a lender makes their money. If they repo the vehicle, they take an immediate loss and lose the interest income they would have earned for the remaining months left on the contract.

  • Sb
      30th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    We are in the same situation with CitiFinancial Auto. We made three car payments in February which we were told brought our account current to March. We made a payment in March and were told we still owed for February. So we made another payment in March to cover the supposedly late March payment. Then we made a payment in April and were told that we still owe for March. It's a never ending cycle, they are always keeping us one month behind no matter how many times in a month we pay them. No one ever has any records that we have spoken to anyone and made payment arrangements, even if someone has just talked to us the day before, or that afternoon for goodness sake!! They can't speak english, are always rude, calling at all hours, 5-6 times a day. The real unusual thing I find is that when I ask for a number to their cooperate office, no one ever has that information. It makes me wonder if the are actually with CitiFinancial and where all my money has been going.
    With the recent layoffs at my husbands work, we can barely make ends meet, now paying two and three car payments a month is getting to be way more than we can handle. I can't afford a lawyer though to get the mess figured out. I wish by some miracle they would get a lawsuit slapped on the comanpy and have to pay everyone back!!

  • Yo
      2nd of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    This is complete BS, I work for a finance company and from each of your stories it sounds to me like you are all a bunch of professional debtors. Dont make your payments and then blame it on the finance company. You had to of had bad credit in the first place to even be with Citi. So how many other companies did you screw over before getting to Citi. You people are the reason I have a job so please continue to not pay your loans so I can contiune to profit off of dead beats like yourselves!

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