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Improper Towing

Dear Tom & Ray, I’ve been a fan of your for a long long time, now I’m stuck in a band…

My wife’s car was repoed on March 10,2010 on March 11th I paid the one month I was behind, called toyota, and eventually was told where her vehicle was, ( 07 Toyota Yaris 58,000 miles )… Drove 45 minutes away, entered the secured lot, we had to sign a form releasing the vehicle, if we did NOT sign this paperwork they would NOT tell us where the vehicle was, signed the paperwork, wife got in, started it up, and guess what, the transmission did NOT work anymore!!! Skyline Recovery denied it was their fault ( they dragged a front where drive vehicle thru the back at 2:30am while we were sleeping )… Well to make a looong story short, out of intimidation they want us to pay labor to fix the transmission!!! I contacted the better business bureau which told me it’s a DMV problem, which the DMV specifically told me repossessed vehicle owners have no rights, contacted Connecticut and Massachusetts Attorney General’s office ( of course of waste of time )… Is there a way big deceiving companies like this can be stopped??? It is not fair the common man has to fork up money in a situation that is clearly this towing company’s fault ( I have an inspection letter from a dealer confirming my findings )… CLick and Clack, hellllp me…


Vin JTDBT923471131108

Tom and Ray don’t answer these questions. It’s possible that the transmission was damaged, but I don’t know if you have a leg to stand on legally. The question I have, is why didn’t you simply turn the in vehicle if you knew you were behind on payments? Surely you were contacted about the matter before they repo’d the car.

Do they repo vehicles for one late payment?

Seems like making the payments on time would have saved you a lot of trouble. I doubt you’re going to get any help paying for the transmission damage. This is going to be an expensive lesson.

Will your insurance cover any of it?

Seems odd that someone would repo a car that doesn’t run. The tow company obviously is at fault. File a police report for damages.

Here is an argument for leaving the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition when you’re behind on your payments.

I think you need to start by reading the fine print in your loan agreement. I am willing to bet there is a clause that says something like “If we have to repossess your vehicle because of failure to make timely payments, we are not responsible for any damage done in the repossession process.” If there is no such clause, you might want to talk to a lawyer.

To be frank, you probably could have prevented this by calling your finance company and extending your payment deadline. They are usually happy to let you skip a payment and extend the loan by one month. It means more interest payments for them. At the very least, it might have prevented the repossession all together if you had just let them know you still intended to make the payment.

I know times are hard, but 99% of the time, if you explain your situation, and show a sincere effort to pay on time when you can, most creditors will make some kind of accommodation to make repossession unnecessary.

With all due respect, dagosa, I think this is more of an argument for communicating with the finance company before you miss a payment, or if worst comes to worst, turning the car in voluntarily so they don’t have to repossess it in dark of night. Either option would have gone a long way in preventing this from happening.

To Whitey:

Sadly my wife was on a payment plan w/ toyota ( her car )… She was paying increments bi-weekly, she was just one month behind… Sadly we haven’t seen the car since March 9, 2010 and I don’t know what else to do… She has taken over negotiations w/ these “slim & shady” people, yes I agree, she should’ve been up to date on the payments,and when the repo person came he took the vehicle without keys ( wife left it unlocked and the alarm off… Dee Dee Dee )… What gets me is the towing company’s attitude… Well at least I learned a good lesson, never recover a vehicle that’s been repoed or stolen… The more you live, the more you learn…
Thank you all for your input…