Prestige Financial / Innappropriate and illegal collection practices, Charging of erroneous fees and interest
During the course of my loan Prestige Financial engaged in many forms of harassment in their collection efforts. Many times I received threatening calls one to two days before my payment was even due. On the occasions I was late I tried to call Prestige to let them know when I would be able to make the payment. They demanded payment right then and there, and threatened me. They would send people out to my home and charge me $50.00 “for a door knock” every time they came out. This is after I had called them and said for example “I will bring the payment to you in three days” and they would send someone out anyways and charge me $50.00. On one occasion I was not home and my sister was at my house with a newborn baby. The collector banged on the door and yelled my name for 20 minutes before leaving. My sister did not know who it was and was very frightened as he was banging on the door so loud it caused a picture to fall off the wall. I was three days late at the time. I received abusive and threatening text messages to my cell phone from another collector, calling me names and threatening to come take my vehicle. Other times they called my family and friends and gave them specific account information and informed them I was late on my payments and was going to get my car taken away. They even went as far as demanding payment from them! Other times when I made payments over the phone they agreed to waive the normal fee of $20 to pay over the phone. They told me numerous times that if I gave them the payment over the phone right then that they would waive the fee. When I asked for a detailed account statement of the fees on my account, they had in fact charged me $20 every single time I made a payment over the phone. I went as far to speak with a supervisor regarding the fees, and explained to her that I was told these fees would be waived and she was very rude and said there was nothing she could do. It was just another tactic for them to get payment. Other times I received as many as 20 phone calls in a row on my cell phone, when collectors would call and call for 20 minutes straight. I have done research online and found many similar complaints regarding this company, and believe that they practice in illegal and harassing collection practices. Three years into the loan the engine went out on my vehicle. I was trying to save up to buy a new engine and continued paying Prestige for six months when I was not even driving the vehicle. After that time I simply could not affford to make the payments. Prestige repossessed the vehicle (a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta) From the dealership I had taken it to while I was waiting to buy an engine. They charged me $1500 to repossess the vehcile and than they sold it for $600! Now get this... I paid them close to $14, 000 during the course of my loan. The original amount of the loan was $16, 800. Now they are sueing me for $17, 000! They are sueing me for more than the original loan amount and they took the car!!! Unbelievable! I don't know how these people sleep at night.
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