I recently purchased a 2002 Dodge Neon from Phil Steinle Motor Cars in Sandusky, Ohio to help prepare my daughter for her future. Had I known I was being lied to right from the start I would have never signed any papers to purchase this car.
It started off by the sales person telling me that I had to put $1900 down on a $7000 vehicle. I know my credit wasn't perfect, but she showed me an approval the day before that did not include putting $1900 down, in fact it was $1500 down. She told me it was because of the different car that my daughter picked out on the day we decided to go for it. She then told me that it was the finance companies policy that I had no choice but to sign an automatic withdrawal form to have the payments taken directly out of my checking account. I believed her on both occassions as her and my daughter attend school together, her daughter has stayed overnight at my home.
The first couple of months were fine and I never had any problems whatsoever getting my payments taken from my account. I then, in July of 2008 had an identity theft on my personal checking account. This caused the August payment to be returned for NSF. I am not disputing this at all. I did however offer confirmaiton from my bank that there was indeed an identity theft and was refused to provide that documentation. I received a call from Credit Acceptance who agreed that I could give a different account and have the payment taken from a different account (my daughters', I figured it was her car and she was giving me the money for it anyway). Credit Acceptance connected me to True Pay who I gave the account information to. I explained to her that it was an ATM account and not a checking account. She said that was no problem as long as I have a routing number and account number. I also confirmed this with my bank who gave me the routing number. I confirmed this information on line as well as with the person on the phone. She also told me that it is not Credit Acceptances policy that the payments have to be made automatic withdrawal.
The payment was then scheduled to be taken out on September 8, 2008. I watched the account and there was no activity for that day or the following 3 days. I then received a call on the 12th from Credit Acceptance (Audrey) asking me why the payment arrangements that I had made were once again returned by the bank for NSF. I told her that the payment wasn't even attempted on the 8th. She informed me that the payment that the payment was attempted on the 8th and the 12th and then changed the story to 'it was returned for a non existing account'. She then said if I can fax her a copy of the bank statement that the payment was to be taken from and can prove that the funds were available on those days, she would clear it up for me. I heard nothing back from her.
On Saturday I received a call once again from Credit Acceptance wanting to know why the payment was not made. I explained the entire story to the person on the phone. She said 'I see the fax that was sent to Audrey reflecting the money was available, however you can't make a payment from an ATM account, it has to be a checking account'. Even though I cleared this with my bank and had verified it with Audrey and another person from True Pay that I gave the information to. She then proceeded to tell me that I had to Western Union the payment, pay even more to send it that way and that also had other charges occurred because of the payment being returned so many times. She said I would have get another checking account and have the payment taken from it instead of my daughters' ATM account.
I then took my daughter to the bank, opened a checking account with her so that I could make the August payment that was due. When I returned to my home to call Credit Acceptance to give them the correct information once again. I was then told that Credit Acceptance or True Pay could no longer accept checks from me to make the payments and that I had to go to Western Union or Money Gram to pay it. I at that point refused to do this.
I called Credit Acceptance back and demanded to speak to a supervisor, I was told there was none available. I called again later and spoke with Gabriel who told me to go to Western Union or Money Gram, or I could mail in a money order. I opted to do the money order because I was not going to pay another dime for a mistake that was not mine.
On Thursday, September 18, 2008. I received a call from Once Choice Recovery that stated her driver was at my car and needed the key to pick it up. I once again ended up on the phone with Credit Acceptance arguing my case. I asked if they could give me 1 hour to go make the payment and to not take that car at that time. They stated that it was up to the driver. I spoke with the driver who of course stated that it was up to Credit Acceptance.
When I called Credit Acceptance again, they miraculously lost all of the notes that pertained to some of the conversations we had over the phone. They even went as far as stating that I never called in to give any new account information. They said in order to redeem the car, I had to pay almost $800. The August payment which is $255.00, The September payment that was just due on the 16th, and a recovery charge. I decided at that time that there was no way Credit Acceptance was getting any more of my money. They have already received $1900, plus the payments I have made so far, plus now they want a recovery fee of $300 for taking the car less than 10 miles from my home?
This company should be put out of business. In doing some research of my own, it appears that there have already been several class action law suits filed and won. It also appears that it is time for another.
I am demanding at this time that my down payment of $1900 be returned to me as well as every payment I have made toward this car. I also am demanding that any adverse item placed on my credit report be taken off immediately.
I will definitely make every attempt to get my story heard by every consumer to let them know to not shop at Phil Steinle's (you can't tell me they don't know how you operate), or get financing from your company. You are the definition of predatory lending.
If there are any pending class action law suits against either of these companies, please let me know. I will gladly join.
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.