An acquaintance had his car repossessed after losing his job and not being able to keep up with payments. He kept hoping that things pick up and he could start making his payments again but then one day there was a pounding on his front door. A man had already hooked up his car to a tow truck and was ready to cart it off but just wanted to give him his business card “just in case”.
He told my friend that the car would be at a certain location for at least a month in case he could catch up with his payments. A last ditch effort phone call to Toyota’s financial department to stop the repossession was in vain. They refused to take the last bit of money on a credit card my friend had and off the car went.
Well not only did the car not remain at the location specified by Toyota’s tow truck driver (some 50 miles away from my friend’s present location), it was transported 200 additional miles away making it totally impossible for him to get it back.
Within a week and a half of the tow, Toyota sent him a letter informing him he would have to pay all the back payments, plus “cleaning” costs, more magical fees and then they sprung it on him that they moved the car to some city he had never heard of. They didn’t take the car back to the dealer from whom he purchased it – 50 miles away, in a town where he used to live. They didn’t keep the car at the location specified by the tower – in the county where he was now living. They took it to never-never land! So even if he could catch up on his payments, how on earth was he going to make the journey to the new location? He couldn’t.
The reason I say Toyota Motors financing department sucks is the manner in which they went about auctioning off the car. They deliberately sold it for less than half it’s fair market value and expected him to pay for their losses. That’s insane! The law usually understands the concept of fair market value but apparently not in the case of a repossessed auto and how car companies play the repo game. At least not in California. It’s unethical. And the law should be changed to provide a measure of fairness to the poor chap who gets his car towed away.
I know you could argue that he was his own fault for not making his payments. Well it wasn’t his fault that he lost his job because of the unethical actions of banks in creating this crapping economy! (KS, San Francisco)