H.H. asks from Middlebury, IN on October 10, 2009
My Car Has Been Stolen and I've Turned to the Web for Help.
My name is H. Hardesty and I am looking for someone to give a voice to a serious issue that I have found myself in the middle of. I am now the proud owner of a stolen 2007 Suzuki Forenza. I am writing this for anyone who will listen and because I want to make people aware of what could happen to them if they find themselves dealing with Bremen Chevrolet Buick in Bremen Indiana.
I have overcome many obstacles in my life including bankruptcy and I finally had my life and credit back on track. I am now a college student and while taking business math I learned some things about interest and realized I had a not so pleasant interest rate on my new Suzuki. Therefore, I decided to look into refinancing my Suzuki. While looking to refinance my car I was contacted by Kevin Wenzel of Bremen Chevrolet Buick. Since meeting with Mr. Wenzel, I have been in turmoil. With nowhere left to turn to. Now I want to tell my story to anyone and everyone who will listen.
Kevin Wenzel from Bremen Chevrolet Buick contacted me about trading in my car on April 5, 2009. He told me that he found me through one of the finance company’s I had applied at to refinance. He said he was sure he could help me with a trade in. On April 8, 2009, I traveled to Bremen Chevrolet Buick and arrived at the car lot around 1:45 pm.
I talked with Chuck Nick first and test-drove a Chevy Impala. A little later, after Kevin Wenzel looked over my credit and paperwork Chuck Nick came back with a burgundy 2008 Dodge Charger and said that Kevin could not help my current loan and credit with the price of the Impala but could make things better with the price of the Charger.
While talking to Kevin Wenzel I learned that Bremen Chevrolet Buick brought him in from California to help them get rid of some cars and revamp the way things work in their company, so he was only a temporary employee. (So I was told)
When discussing the trade in he offered to take sixty days to attempt to sell my Suzuki if he could not sell the car he would write it off as a trade -in. I signed paperwork regarding the exchange and he said he would mail me a copy of all the paper work involving the Suzuki. I signed several different pieces of paperwork regarding the Suzuki, the Charger and the new warranty I purchased for the Charger. I never received my copies of the paper work that I signed involving my Suzuki. What I received was the purchase agreement for the Charger. Several days later, I received the transfer of title paperwork for the license branch but nothing else.
On May 14, 2009, I received a phone call from the finance company for the Suzuki saying that they never received the pay off. Both Citi Auto Financial and I contacted Bremen Chevrolet Buick and they said that they never had the Suzuki or any paper work on it. They also told us that Kevin Wenzel no longer worked there but I was free to contact him but was never given a contact number.
My witnesses Billie Adkins and Kenny Burrington went to Bremen Chevrolet Buick approximately 2 weeks after I bought the charger to look into a car for them. They took the spare key and manual that belonged with the Suzuki and dropped the items off while they were there. They saw the Suzuki parked on the lot and Kevin Wenzel took the keys and manual for the Suzuki and knew what car they belonged too. When they were speaking with Kevin Wenzel, he told them he was from Illinois.
May 22, 2009, I went to the Bremen police department at 9am and filed a stolen car report with officer Spade. Officer Spade informed me that there was nothing they could do because it was a civil matter but the police department would look into it.
What I learned from the police department was that Mr. Wenzel was no longer employed their and no one had any knowledge about my Suzuki. Since May 22, 2009, I contacted my insurance company Unitrin Direct. After waiting, a couple months for their decision on whether or not they would cover the Suzuki Unitrin Direct reported to me that they would not cover the Suzuki. Due to the Suzuki not being reported until sometime after I changed my policy over, even though the Suzuki was indeed stolen the same day I transferred the policy and left it in the care of Bremen Chevrolet.
After being denied coverage from Unitrin Direct I contacted a lawyer who informed me that I did not have a good chance at winning this particular case due to the fact that I do not have copy’s of the paper work that I signed for my Suzuki.
After hearing this news, I contacted the Citi Financial to see if there was anything, they could do to help me with the situation. Citi Financial contacted their insurance company Balboa insurance. Balboa contacted me, I filed all the necessary paper work with them, and they researched into my case. I received a letter from Balboa Insurance this week stating that they could not cover an embezzled car.
Now I am left with two options contact the lawyer and pay him to quite possibly loose the case, I will still have to pay Citi Financial for a Suzuki I no longer have, and lawyer fees or I can roll over and just pay for the Suzuki that I no longer have.
I have checked out the Bremen Chevrolet Buick website several times in the past six months and Kevin Wenzel has been and still is listed as Business Manager on Bremen Chevrolet Buicks website. Bremen Chevrolet has repeatedly told me they do not know how to get in touch with Kevin Wenzel. My question for them is how can they do this to a person and sleep at night?
Therefore, as you can see I am in a situation that I no longer have control of and do not know where else to turn. I need someone to hear my story and listen. I am not only writing this in hopes that someone out there can help me but I am writing it to warn others of what could happen to them.
If you can help me in any way, I would be forever appreciative.
So What Happened?™
Hello again everyone,
First, I would like to thank all of you who offered advice. Most of it was very helpful.
I want to catch everyone up one what has happened in the past couple months.
The TV stations did not appear interested but I am going to continue trying that avenue.
I was able to get in contact with someone I thought would be able to help me but in the end he was unsuccessful.
I have been in contact with the new Business Manager at Bremen Chevrolet, Mr. Ed Earley and was basically treated like a piece of trash that was wasting their time with my problem even though their dealership caused my problem. I have also been denied any contact with the owner of the company Jim Broad.
Mr. Earley told, me that I need to remove my blog because it is hurting their business and it is slander against their business but what Mr. Earley does not seem to realize is that I have rights called freedom of speech. It is my right to tell my story to whomever I like.
Let me start here. The bank received a GAP insurance payment on my car dropping the balance owed to approx $6,160 and offered me a settlement of $4,600. I took this information to the person I had been in contact with and he delivered it to the business manager of Bremen Chevrolet and the owner.
My settlement offer expired Friday and due to an error with the GAP insurance company they had to take their payment back, which brought my balance back to $14,854 if I did not pay at least $1,150 on the offer by Friday November 27, 2009. Had I been able to pay that small amount I would have only owed $4,600.
I had a meeting with what was supposed to be my contact, Jim Broad and Ed Earley. I took my mother with me and when we got there, I was informed that I would only be meeting with Ed Earley and my contact has no business with the meeting because he is not part of the company. In addition, Jim Broad the owner would not be part of the meeting either. While we were waiting to start the meeting, my contact and Jim phoned. I do not know what they discussed because the call was taken in another room.
When Ed returned he was still arrogant and rude and wanted to know the facts of what happened that day. I told him what happened he took notes and made copies of my insurance denials and my police report. Ed informed me that he would look into the facts because this was just my side of the story so he needed to do more research. I informed Ed that, it was fine but to remember I am under a deadline, obviously, that did not matter to him.
I received an email on Monday stating “ We have turned all information provided to us over to our attorneys. I have spoke to them today, and i'am waiting fro direction. As soon as i find out anything i will respond to you. I have made him aware of the deadline.
Ed Earley”. That statement was taken straight from the email I received.
I had tried to contact Ed Early for two days and finally on Wednesday my call was taken. He informed me that he had made contact with the bank and offered them $2,000 for the title of the car as a goodwill interest. However, he would be unable to speak to the bank manager until Monday November 30, 2009. After talking to Ed, I called to verify with the bank that he had contacted them and the bank made sure to let me know that no matter what Ed Earley was trying to do if they did not have payment on Friday the offer would be closed.
After getting off the phone with the bank, I called Ed Earley again and he ignored my call again. I promptly got in my car and drove to Bremen. I tried to talk to Ed but was basically dismissed like a piece of garbage. Yes he listened to me beg for them to at least pay the down payment of the settlement offer and I did offer to make the rest of the payments but hey that is a lot less money than $14,854. I was willing to take any kind of help I could get from the dealership that stole my car.
I called the bank for him while I was there and had Carlos from the bank explain to Ed what would happen if they did not have the money by Friday. Ed still refused to help he explained he had to speak to the bank manager and his attorney before he could do anything.
It did not matter to Ed as far as he is concerned I am a liar and making the whole thing up. He was not even a part of the dealership when this all happened and does not know me as a person either.
Ed did try to tell me they have a different police report then what I have but I contacted the Bremen police department this morning and she confirmed that he has the exact same copy that I have. There is only one police report. Ed also tried to tell me he has information on me that makes my creditably worthless not in those exact words but you get the drift. When I asked him what he thought he knew about me and to see the police report he refused and said his lawyer told him to share nothing with me.
Therefore, in the end of this, I am left with a full balance on the car again and Bremen Chevrolet is still not taking responsibility for what they have let happen.
Am I wrong? Kevin was their employee when he did this under Bremen Chevrolet’s roof and name, is the company responsible? From what I understand, they are. If they feel that they are not responsible in any way then why would they offer the bank anything at all? Does anyone have an opinion about the offer made? Does it make them look more or less guilty?
M.K. answers from Columbus on October 11, 2009
Oh H., I feel for you!! I'm sorry I have no advice but I hope you keep fighting this!!! Don't let these guys get away with this!!!! I would definitely get the news media involved and go after the Bremen Chevy dealer!!!
Good Luck and keep us moms informed of what happens!!!
J.F. answers from South Bend on October 11, 2009
I also think you should try calling/emailing either WSBT or WNDU (WSBT seems to do more of these stories however). Other than that, I don't have much advice. I definitely feel for you. That's a horrible, awful situation to be put into.
J.B. answers from Lafayette on October 11, 2009
In addition to doing what the otehrs have suggested, I would also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney general. If they are a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, I would notify them of this too. If they have done this to you, they have likely done it to others. A local ad in the classifieds might put you in touch with other victims, which could then lead to a class action. I agree that you should go get your car back. Also, if you got something from the license branch that you signed over the title to them, it should state how much they allegedly paid you for the car. Make them prove they paid you... if not, then let the license branch know that the title transfer is fraudulent.
1 mom found this helpful
A.B. answers from Columbus on October 11, 2009
Is the Suzuki still on the lot?
If your Suzuki is still on the lot, I suggest that you go to Suzuki with a copy of your VIN number (should be able to get this information from your copy of the Suzuki title. If you no longer have this information, you can request it from your Loan company since you are still paying for it. You need to then go to Suzuki and get them to make you a copy of the Vehicle Key.
Once you have a copy of the Vehicle Key, since you are still paying for the car (bring a copy of a recent canceled check for your loan payment on the car, also bring a copy of the title for the car (since you are still paying for it you still OWN the car). I would then contact your local AAA or another towing company, or contact a Reposessor, and have them go to Bremen Chevrolet and repossess your car from them. If they ask what you think you are doing, tell them since they are in posession of a stolen car, that it is within your rights as the vehicle's TRUE owner to take your property back, and show them copies of the title with you still being sole owner of the car, also with a canceled check for your payment.
You also should call your local police station to have a police escort for when you go to get your property back from the Dealership.
You are WELL WITHIN YOUR RIGHTS to do this as YOU STILL OWN THE CAR!!!!! Go get it back, and let the Chevy Dealership deal with it.
Once you have your car back, you can then go about having the police report of your car being stolen removed from the Vehicle in question, or go about having the vehicle being re-inspected and then get a "Clean title" re-issued, and then you can either keep the vehicle and have it re-insured as a "Clean Title" vehicle, or sell it outright to someone through the local newspaper, or through AutoTrader.com.
Good luck and keep us posted on how things go.
1 mom found this helpful
M.C. answers from Cleveland on October 10, 2009
OMG!!! You need to contact your local newspaper and local TV station! Most local news have a "whistle blower" segment where they tell stories of local business or people that have been ripped off. Call the newspaper and see if they will write a story about all this and publish it. Call the Better Business Bureau and report this car lot. I can't believe they did this to you! Hire a private investigator to find this "Kevin Wenzel" if that is his real name! If you can publicly shame this car lot then maybe they will help you to spare their public image. I would stand out front of this car lot every Saturday and picket with a giant sign that reads THIS CAR LOT IS FULL OF CROOKS THAT WILL RIP YOU OFF!!
I feel for you and I hope this all gets resolved in your benefit. Good luck girl and don't take this lying down!
1 mom found this helpful
T.P. answers from Cincinnati on October 11, 2009
I'm sure you've done your homework...but who is the owner? Have you contacted them? Demand paperwork for the stolen car - is there anywhere in your new contract that states anything about the Suzuki? I would contact GM/Chevrolet directly and tell them your information. Have you checked, does the dealership have cameras - can you have someone check the tapes? I would demand contact information for this "Kevin" person. And yes, contact the media on this one. Do you have any old info on your stolen car? If not, the bank is still stating that it is yours, ask them for the VIN number - see if the police would be willing to trace the number - for all you know, the car could be in CA - if that's where this guy is from. This is horrible - I wish I could help more. Best wishes!
S.B. answers from Elkhart on October 11, 2009
I have no advice but I wanted to tell you my heart goes out to you!!
M.W. answers from Dayton on October 12, 2009
I know I/m a little late with my responds, but I can tell you what treatening with media exposure did for me. I had problems with getting a refund for a airline ticket from us airways. I had to fly earlier, because my mom had died and all they wanted to do is give me credit. I didn't and couldn/t affort that. I had talked in person on the airport to people, on the phone, through e-mail, through mail, no effect.
Then someone suggest TV. I just thratened them with exposure and that I would tell them the whole story including, that my mom just died, that I had a 6 year old son and that there was a TV station that dealt with consumer problems. I didn't hear back from them. Within Two days I had a fall refund on my credit card. Five days later I got a letter in the mail saying how sorry they were ,but they could only could give me a credit. Me and my husband just smiled. So if you try the TV route make sure you mention everything to get them as much bad puplicity as possible. They will loose customers and in this economy can't afford that. Maybe threatening will not work ,but beleave me, TV exposure is the last thing they want.
Hope this helps and good luck. I hope you have a good an outcome as I had.
S.P. answers from Indianapolis on October 11, 2009
You can try calling an investigative reporter for a TV station News such as WRTV in Indianapolis.
They have a department that specializes in this sort of thing.
Tell them you were scammed and need help.
Be sure to mention the dealership in Bremen etc.
D.P. answers from Cincinnati on October 12, 2009
Contact I-Team's Hagit Limor or John Matarese at WCPO Channel 9 News. They get things done and maybe they are your best chance at getting things resolved. It will definitely get them the bad publicity they so richly deserve. Good luck!