More than 1,600 consumers have inquired about Hope For Car Owners LLC of Folsom, CA in the past year. Complainants claim that after they paid the company $200-$400 in advance fees for a car loan modification, they were instructed by the company to avoid contact with their lender and in some cases, to hide their car from repossession agents.
“The company told me to ignore my lender, avoid making my car payments, and to hide my car,” lamented one Roseville victim. “After receiving collection calls every few days, I talked to my lender who told me they hadn’t even been contacted by Hope For Cars. They’ve ruined my credit and my mom’s credit as my cosigner.”
The Better Business Bureau serving northeast California has received 20 complaints in the past year. Of the 20 complaints, two were refunded their money after the company failed to renegotiate their loan. All complainants stated that the loan modifications were never performed and that they were unable to obtain refunds from Hope For Car Owners LLC.
“I paid $200 upfront and the company told me the negotiations were going well,” bemoaned a victim from Carmichael. “Two weeks later my car was repossessed.”
In California, if a consumer’s car is repossessed, the creditor has the right to sell the vehicle to recover some of the money lost after repossession. Owners of repossessed vehicles may be responsible for any deficiencies created after the sale of the vehicle if the vehicle sells for less than the amount owed on the vehicle.
“It’s unbelievable that this company would instruct their customers to avoid making their car payment, knowing that the customer’s vehicle can be repossessed,” said Gary Almond, President of the BBB serving northeast California. “Do not pay money upfront. Do not avoid contact with your lender.”
The company’s website claims to have saved thousands of consumers millions of dollars. They profess to have a 99% success rate and offer a “No Dispute Money Back Guarantee” even though their contract states that retainer fees are “non refundable.”
The Better Business Bureau serving northeast California warns consumers trying to renegotiate their debt to beware of companies who advise you to avoid communicating with your lender or to stop payments. Call the BBB for a free report on a company BEFORE you make your decision or to get a list of credit counselors accredited by the BBB. The BBB’s reports provide a rating, information about complaint history, and licensing information.