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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116715
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My auto pay on my car loan got interrupted when my debit

Customer Question

My auto pay on my car loan got interrupted when my debit card expired. It was reposses when I was out of town. I contacted the financer (GM Finanicial) and immediately for everything reinstated. 3.5 weeks go by with no returned calls from the lot holding my car. Finally GM agreed to call and the lot immediately called me back. Said it had been sent to auction. Called auction house and they said they received the car with the reinstatement and release paperwork which they thought was odd.
The big issue is I called the subcontracted lot/repo service to get my contents from the car that was removed. The owner texted (no phone call) and said he "disposed of it after 30 days). I read online this is against FTC regulation. Included in content was my iPad, expensive headphones (Beats), my work cell phone (which I already replaced)... But. the biggest issue is that there were locked briefcases with HIPPA and FERPA content (I am a psychologist and professor). After I informed the lot owner that I was aware it was a violation to "dispose" of my property, and that my interpretation of the TTC rule is that he is required to inventory the content and then either hold it or less it on the loan holder or owner, I have heard nothing. My gut reaction is that he has sold or is keeping the electronics (the IPAD has a SIM card so if it gets turned on I will know immediately) or he trashed it after my contact with him to hide that he lied about "disposing". He also took my license plate, which I need to get the car. Any advise? Wording of a letter? My vindictive side wants to make a police report for possession of stolen property, but only if that would actually get a result. Thank you, ***** ***** for the long post!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
They cannot dispose of personal property and as such, the lot owner is liable to you jointly with GM Financial for any damage or losses you sustained. Filing a theft report is an option, since the police would refer it to the DA to decide on prosecution. However, the best thing is to sue for damages and seek to recover the value of the property, since hitting them in the pocketbook in addition to filing criminal charges is what they understand.
I would send him a letter informing him you demand all of your personal property be returned to you or you would be filing a complaint to the police as well as the state attorney general for unfair and deceptive business practices. Tell them if you do not receive your property back, you will also sue for unfair and deceptive practices and theft/conversion of your property and will seek up to triple damages plus attorney's fees for their unfair practices.
If they do not respond, then you need to get a local consumer attorney and follow through and sue them for the damages and attorney's fees.