We bought a 1999 Ford Explorer, and used Westlake to finance it. For about the first 8 months or so, everything was fine. Then I lost my job, and we slipped behind about 15 days. I received a call from an account rep letting us know what our options were on my way home from work. One of the options was to make an small payment as a service fee, and skip that payment. I liked that idea, but said I would have to talk to my wife.
When I called back a few days later, to set up that option, they said that they could take a card over the phone, and that I was aware the payment skipped payment would be moved to the end of the loan. I said I was, and we went that route. Before hanging up, I confirmed that my account was fully current, and there were no additional fees owed. It was, and there were no fees owed.
About 3 weeks later, I started getting calls from their collection department. To the tune of 20 calls in a 12 hour period. All automated.
After some months, we decided just to pay off the vehicle, as it wasn't worth it, and I was working again. The payoff amount was listed on the bill, and was good for 10 days beyond the date on said bill. We sent them a check, which was deposited with in that 10 day period.
A month later, we're getting calls from the collection department, stating that we owe anywhere between $65 and $425. Everyone that I talked to gave a different amount. I said that I wasn't going to pay anything if I didn't get an amount in writing, with a full statement of account. Their response? We'll repo the vehicle if you don't pay us.
The kicker? I was told by a manager that "The amount showed as the payoff, isn't the actual payoff. And that if you wanted to pay the vehicle off, you need to use Western Union, and that there would be a $50 convenience fee, as well as a $200 early pay-off fee"
So now, the un-proven amount is in collections, and that is where it will sit, while the Attorney General looks into the matter. In the interim, I'm considering a harassment case for the 20 calls in a 12 hour period, 7 days a week for nearly 2 months.
My advice? RUN!
Value of my loss? My loan was $2100, + time off work, + legal expenses. More then fixing the car I traded in, that's for *** sure.
Product or Service Mentioned: Westlake Financial Services Loan.