My question involves an auto loan or repossession in the State of: California
My car got repossessed on 4/30 @ 2am. @ 10am on 4/30 I attempted to pay the balance due ($1298.47) in full to the lien holder in order to get my car back. The lien holder then proceeded to charge me $1898.47 to get my car back stating that the additional $600 was for the repo fee (My contract does not state that I have to pay my lien holder a repo fee, only the pass due amount on the car). I asked to see an itemized receipt to which they said no.
Concerned that I would end up paying this "repo fee" to my lien holder (something I've never heard of before) only to end up paying it again at the tow yard I asked for a repo receipt as proof of payment to show the tow yard. Once that occurred the lien holder said fine, they would reimburse me. I was then under the assumption they were refunding me the $600 repo fee.
They came back with a refund receipt in the amount of $1898.47 and told me they were done doing business with me and to leave or they would have me removed. I again told them I had no problems paying the amount due for the car ($1298.47) plus the repo fee ($600) if I could get some sort of receipt or guarantee in writing from them that I would not have a repo fee once I went to claim my car at the tow yard. They said they had no idea if the tow yard would charge me more but that it wouldn't be over $15 if they did. I said okay, then run my card for the $1898.47 amount to witch they said they couldn't, due to the previous refund ($1898.47) they had just made me and that I would have to go to my bank and get cash out.
This is where it gets real ugly. Once at the bank I was informed that no refund or pending refund in the amount of $1898.47 was ever posted.
I then attempted to call the tow yard whom told me they spoke to my lien holder and was told not to release the car to me as I had not paid the full amount due and did not currently possess the title (which was never offered to me).
Long story short (sorry)
I paid off my car debt in full($1298.47)
I paid the repo fee ($600)
I never received my car title or car, nor was I refunded the $1898.47 I paid
Now (as far as I can tell) my lien holder has $1898.47 of my money (due to no refund having been posted) and the title to my car. My car is currently still at the tow yard (occurring more fees no doubt) and my checking account is now over drafted, thus I am unable to get any cash out.
Is this legal? If not, what type of fraud is this? Auto or credit? I have a feeling I should get a lawyer, but what type of lawyer?