Let’s not dispute that there are allot of great companies in the business, that treat their customers fairly. And there is a majority of them that are abiding by the law. Our main concern should be with the companies that are not following the laws, and are embarrassing and humiliating the customer. Let’s begin by reflecting how finance companies operate.
You have your Finance Companies that strictly loan money to the clients that other wise could not get a loan from a bank. Due to the fact of no credit file, or a bad credit file, or simply that they only need a few dollars such as one hundred till next pay day, and the bank’s do not loan that amount, and they have much higher restriction’s than a finance company. One might ask, like I have done many times before, why borrow money and then have to pay it back and sometimes almost not realizing what the interest is their paying back. There is indeed a finance company on every street corner in every town. And there’s the law abiding caring businesses and then there’s the ones that we are mentioning now. Let’s go over from start to finish from when a customer walks through the door.
A customer comes into the office, and says they need a loan. First they ask tons of questions and fill out an application on the customer. Including Social Security number, birthday, address , employers office number, a pay stub, just among the many request. My number one concern for the customer would be, to whom am I leaving all my vital information too? They may promise you that the information gets deleted once they approve your loan, which is an out and out lie. Not only do they store your information into their computers, they also create a file for you that’s kept in the filing cabinet. Do you trust everyone? should you? absolutely not. What about the companies that refuse to do background checks on their potential employees? What about they hire someone and then their ready to terminate their employment, do you think there is not many disgruntle employees? When the opportunity becomes available they will start to copy and pull them files quicker than McDonald’s pulls french fries from a basket. Well the answer is yes.
They will then run a credit check on the potential customer, and gather some personal information. They will contact your employer and ask how long you’ve been working and how much money you make. If your a check recipient then you have to bring in a copy of your awards letter. It’s now time to secure the loan. They ask you to write down the serial numbers off five to six items in your home, from televisions, computers, jewelry, DVD players, Video Games and players, whatever you might have at home worth money, and then they try and ask you for your car insurance card, so they can throw that on the loan as well. I might add that some of these loan companies actually only do title loans, where they will give you cash on a estimate of what your cars worth, you hand over your title and they hand over the cash. This is not like a normal bill such as lights or phone where you can negotiate, if you don’t pay they will pick up the vehicle.
Now it’s time to tack on some interest and get those hidden fees where a finance company makes their money. When they add your items to the loan they sale you insurance. Allot of times it’s never explained to the customer just bypassed and initial here and sign there just to get the loan and send them quickly out the door.Then since they have listed your vehicle on the loan it’s now time to add auto insurance, just in case something happens to that car, and it’s a complete total of the car, then the loan gets paid off. Yes that’s great for the customer you would think, and the best deal is for the company you may ask why? Let me try to explain, you see the auto insurance may cost the customer sixty two dollars. That is money the company just made. And after two months this loan is renewable which means you’ve paid enough into the loan that you can now renew. which in laments terms means to start the loan all over, this practice is sickening.
These customers may be elderly and their government check might not have stretched like they were hoping, so they come in and the employer says so do you need some money? The customer says yes, well they then grab your file and begin the paperwork. You now have anywhere from forty to eighty dollars depending on the loan size and how much you’ve paid into the loan. Well all that is now wiped away, and your loan starts all over again. Well guess what? Now their going to put that auto insurance on there again, when a car is totaled you get your loan paid off, and they get paid from the insurance company pretty sweet deal. Then they try to convince you to come back in and reopen your loan and most of the time they up the amount that the customer qualifies for and then place the new vehicle on the loan, because they are pressured by their bosses not to lose a loan because the more accounts on the book’s the more an office makes.
Let’s not forget about the other insurances that are suppose to be completely optional. ADD, accidental death and dismemberment. This covers if the customer dies accidentally while having the loan still open and if they become dismembered with a leg or hand or lose there eye sight. Also the cost of this depends on the loan size amount, now what the good news is about this, Our insurance commissioners, send in auditor’s periodically and check the companies books, they will pull customers to the side and ask them if these charges were explained to them and did they know that they were not mandatory? All it takes is one to say they didn’t explain that to me and then the company has to issue a refund back to the customer, and the companies can also be fined. So there people out there watching these crooks and yes, even though some may slip through the cracks most all are caught.
Also you have these employees that are suppose to use down time receipt books, to document any payments taking while the computers were down, or they had to go to the customers home in order to retrieve a payment, which does happen, and many companies refuse to allow this, they are the good law abiding companies. Once they receive your cash, these employees prey on the elderly and the less fortunate and tell the customer’s that they will mail them a receipt, or the computers not acting right, and they’ll mail it to them. Well guess what, this money hungry thief will take that money and never print a receipt nor write it down in the down time book. You may ask do they ever get caught? Yes most do, but then it’s to late because think of the thousands of dollars they’ve stole from the customers and the company. These type of employees will eventually get caught as well, because this is something that the inspectors look at when they come to do their audits. And this can cause a normal, good named loan company embarrassment and bad business because of one bad apple in the bunch.
Let’s say a customer is behind on their loan. Once their late one day, they will be called and also sent a letter through the mail. Some of these customers might not have the money and ask for an extension, this is when some of the employees that are not abiding by the law, start intimidated their customer and yelling and threatening and some may even cuss at the customer. They get away with it for a while till they run across that one customer who decides to record the conversation. Then he/she calls the company or the local area supervisor and they after a little persuasion fire the employee scared of a potential lawsuit.
It is against the law to release any third party information. So the fiance companies can not call a home and ask for Mr Smith and when someone states he’s not here can I give him a message, say yes tell him this is( Mrs Smith ) and his payment is late, and unless he calls us back today we will be out there to pick up (our) car.
Does this happen often? the answer is yes. And also if someone grabbed that on their answering machine then they have got a case against that employee and the company if they choose not to terminate. Also something a customer has to be careful of, unless that companies employee explained to you the opt out form, then they can discuss your account with anyone in the business that calls about you. They will release your social security number, address, phone number, how you paid, and where you work, unless you sign a paper stating they can not release that information then they do. Also sending reminder letters to homes causes problems what about the family member who is not suppose to know about the loan? Well they do now!
Then you have those good old boy mentality’s that thinks it’s OK when they have a non paying delinquent customer, to leak to the other companies that I wouldn’t make her or him a loan they are behind with me. A customer that walks in your door should be treated as a brand new customer and not one thing that another Employer around the corner should interfere with your decision making.
All of this explained and said, remember there are tons of companies out there that are good, and they are there when the customer needs them. They provide a service that under normal circumstances the customer would not be able to achieve elsewhere. But just like in other companies there flaws. I’m referring to those people that call themselves employees to get off there behinds and find another job, if there only there to make money off these innocent victims. And to stop making the ones that do care about there customers and treat them with dignity and respect and many times like a family member look bad. I’ll never forget when my employer brought in a poster that we hung proudly, If it wasn’t for my customers I would not have a job. I might add that I myself was a employee of these companies and can still hold my head high because I never did what some of my employer’s suggested I do, because I have moral’s. I hated what they ask me to do illegal things, and so for that reason I did get out of the business because my customers were my family. If you have any questions or want to report any type of illegal practices or you may just have a concern please contact: Your local Insurance commissioner, or The Federal Trade Commission.