ACE threatened collection action plus additional 30% and lien

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Feb 9, 2016
2,449
2,797
113
#41
Joes comments on if the car rental company tries to push back on giving you the documents:


If they sue you, everything is relevant to the claim for loss of use and diminution of value. Prior sales of similar vehicles, what they paid for the car, on and on and on - you can bury them in document requests that and deposition notices that would end up costing them tens of thousand in attorneys fees they will never recover because they refused to give you the documents before they sued you.

Many times I have represented people in this situation with various companies asking for money for whatever - and they refuse to provide what they consider is proprietary information. I then do exactly what I recommend here- tell them to go ahead and sue.

Then, in the 5% of times they do, I go whole hog for the documents, accounting records, reports, studies, on and on and on until, in 90% of those cases -they cry uncle and offer to dismiss without costs.

In the 2 or 3 cases that have gotten to a trial, where they won, they asked for their fees and I objected on the grounds their attorneys are their own fault for not turning over records that would have proven their claims - and I have won that motion every single time - to the chagrin of a company what wins a $4000 claim against a consumer and loses a $22000 attorneys fee claim. Pyrrhic victories hurt the most.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,668
11,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#42
Actually in reading the magazine articles that Renee posed about (thanks Renee for that info) the car rental companies won a lawsuit that ruled they can charge for loss of use- it just can't be excessive. So it's important to see a breakdown of the fees to determine if they are excessive.
 
Likes: sas80
Feb 9, 2016
2,449
2,797
113
#43
Actually in reading the magazine articles that Renee posed about (thanks Renee for that info) the car rental companies won a lawsuit that ruled they can charge for loss of use- it just can't be excessive. So it's important to see a breakdown of the fees to determine if they are excessive.
Agreed, and fleet logs are one way to determine IF loss of use occurred.

im not sure if you saw in the other damage thread we are chatting about (maybe it was this one) but the insurance company will pay loss of use if they can verify that all cars were rented and, therefore, not having this car in inventory, as supply, meant the company was unable to meet demand. That validation seems extremely reasonable to me.

Unjust enrichment is illegal.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,668
11,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#44
Agreed, and fleet logs are one way to determine IF loss of use occurred.

im not sure if you saw in the other damage thread we are chatting about (maybe it was this one) but the insurance company will pay loss of use if they can verify that all cars were rented and, therefore, not having this car in inventory, as supply, meant the company was unable to meet demand. That validation seems extremely reasonable to me.

Unjust enrichment is illegal.
Absolutely. But I also learned on that website that they also lawfully don't have to provide the fleet logs. Go figure.

That website is a fascinating read - they have issues just like we see here.
 
Feb 9, 2016
2,449
2,797
113
#45
The Koening PurCo case actually helps the OP. Letter writer/original poster you should probably get this article to your insurance agent to have their legal department review it.

That said, what's interesting is that the article actually coaches the auto rental industry on how to recover these fees regardless of it they really incurred loss of use. In the article they coach rental car companies to cite the LACK of case law that states that all vehicles must be rented in order to recover these fees.

Okay, sure, fine.

But the article then goes on to specifically state/coach that the rental company not only MUST mitigate these fees but also PROVIDE PROOF as to why these amounts are being charges. This is something that the rental company in question refuses to do. So the insurance company can ABSOLUTELY cite case law right back at them when they deny to pay the fees based on lack of supporting documentation.

7. Document what you are charging and why.

  • In both the loss-of-use and administrative fee areas of the Koenig case, we were given the right to recover. We now need to prove the amounts we were trying to recover were reasonable. We should prevail on the reasonableness requirement because we have completely documented the file. (In addition, the other side has pled that the amount should be zero — a pretty easy threshold to beat.)
  • This may sound like a no brainer, but because of the volume of claims a car rental operator has, sometimes you may get into a routine of just preparing the bill and sending it out. But audit everything. Double check everything. This is not necessarily a problem for a recovery on a simple $500 dent, but it is still important. Why did you charge 7.5 days loss of use? Why did you charge the $100 administrative fee? How did you calculate the diminution of value? You can’t wing it; you have to have your ducks in a row.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,668
11,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#46
Which is why I said to find out if it is excessive.

That website is a great resource for us.

I find it interesting that most of those article are written by the President of Purco - yet we consistently have consumers fighting (and winning) cases against Purco when the consumer goes to the car rental company and they end up dropping the claims. It seems Purco doesn't practice what they preach.

But we also have the name of the President now to direct consumers to if Purco is abusing their own guidelines.
 
Aug 4, 2017
17
11
3
54
#47
unfortunately, my insurance Company USAA has basically closed the case, They stated in a letter that they pay physical damages only, they do not pay loss of use, admin fees, and so on.
when I requested a release of liability, they said they do not issue those because blah, blah, blah, I just remember being very upset once again. I have talked and sometimes screamed at them, it has gotten nowhere. I will definitely be making a report to the Texas Dept. of Insurance at some point, about the horrible cusotmer service, the fact that it was never mentioned by my insurance co. that they may come after me with these charges and make some suggestions on how possibly to proceed. Instead I was blindsided, and felt thrown under the bus by my insurance co. USAA. I did receive a letter from my local D A consumer protection dept. and said they reviewed the case and are trying to contact Rockport Auto Claims. about some mediation. That could go no where , but I am trying to remain hopeful. I will keep you postd
 
Aug 4, 2017
17
11
3
54
#49
Hello Lynn,
I am going through a similar nightmare with Ace Rental in Colo. and Rockport Auto claims, they process the claims for Ace. I was also caught in a hailstorm on May 8 of this year. Before the claim was settled with my insurance co, Rockport Auto claims sent me a bill for over $14,000 and if my insurance company does not pay I will be responsible for the full amount! almost two months had passed and I did not hear from any one, then another letter comes from Rockport stating they did not get the full amount so now I will owe them the balance of $7,184.64 $1,761.40 for Physical damage Loss of use$828.48 Diminished Value$3,675.81 Admin fee 918.95 !! I called my insurance company which is USAA and they were no help, they said they paid them all they were going to pay, case closed. My credit card company said they would help with loss of use, but with out a fleet log they can not pay it. a fleet log was requested by my credit card company and Rockport said they do not issue them. I tried contacting ACE no reply. my credit card company stated they can just make the request and not enforce it, so they are NO HELP. Next I went on to the BBB website, looked up Rockport Auto claims, they have 11 claims on there for the same types of bilking charges. It seemed like they were willing to wave a lot of the fees as disputed in a public forum. I was not that lucky! I made a formal complaint, they will respond to your complaint, then you have the right to reject it. My problem was I was so mad I did not state why I was rejecting it, I just hit the reject button. So they closed the case saying I was dissatisfied, although they did post my complaint. Rockport Auto stated on their response that there was a FINAL REPAIR BILL coming my way. needless to say I am outraged! called a couple of local attorneys, they said no they do not handle these types of matters, but one did refer me to my local attorney generals office they have a consumer protection dept. they took my paper work and said they will try and mediate. I know there is what is called "Good Faith negotiation laws and fair dealings" that will hopefully resolve this in a fair manner. GOOD LUCK to you
This is an update to my current situation for this case. As I was walking out of the door to meet with an attorney, the District Attorney's (consumer protection unit) called to see if I had heard from Rockport Auto Claims since they had sent a letter for a mediation. I told them that I had, and that Rockport had contacted me via e-mail and took the remaining physical damages of my original of $7,184.64. so the balance was now down to $5,423.24. I found that not to be acceptable give the fact my insurance company already paid for the physical damage. I did not respond to their email. a week later I received another letter from Rockport asking to set up a payment plan. I responded and said that I am seeking legal counsel to possibly go to a court of law and let a judge decide what a fair settlement should be.I tried proper mediation and you decided to ignore it. So the claim remains in dispute. So the DA asked me this morning if they wanted me to call Rockport and I said of course but good luck I know they are notorious for not answering their phone, but low and behold they did get through and now the claim has dropped down to $2,328.40 I agreed, which means I was able to cancel with the attorney, that saves some money. I know in the end they still won. I want to see this price bilking stop and I would like to advocate for this cause! so Lynne if your still having issues, try your local DA(consumer protection unit) they do not charge they are all volunteers and maybe they can help find you resolution. good luck to all fighting this
 
Aug 7, 2017
17
3
3
40
#50
Hi Renee,

Thank you for your update. I have been ignoring their contact so far and, like your previous comment, I have not been able to find a lawyer who responded to my request for this case. The person from the Rockport claim refuses to settle with Visa and refuses to sign the release unless I paid the difference. I just filed a complaint to the NY attorney general's office today.
I was reading the complaints on the BBB website, now I know that they impose the 30% collection feel simply to pass on the portion of the fee that they will need to pay to the collections agency onto the consumers. What an unethical, greedy, and disgusting business!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,668
11,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#51
Hi Renee,

Thank you for your update. I have been ignoring their contact so far and, like your previous comment, I have not been able to find a lawyer who responded to my request for this case. The person from the Rockport claim refuses to settle with Visa and refuses to sign the release unless I paid the difference. I just filed a complaint to the NY attorney general's office today.
I was reading the complaints on the BBB website, now I know that they impose the 30% collection feel simply to pass on the portion of the fee that they will need to pay to the collections agency onto the consumers. What an unethical, greedy, and disgusting business!
Wait for the AG to look at this for you. Let us know what they say.
 
Aug 4, 2017
17
11
3
54
#52
Hi Renee,

Thank you for your update. I have been ignoring their contact so far and, like your previous comment, I have not been able to find a lawyer who responded to my request for this case. The person from the Rockport claim refuses to settle with Visa and refuses to sign the release unless I paid the difference. I just filed a complaint to the NY attorney general's office today.
I was reading the complaints on the BBB website, now I know that they impose the 30% collection feel simply to pass on the portion of the fee that they will need to pay to the collections agency onto the consumers. What an unethical, greedy, and disgusting business!
Lynn , Hopefully the NY Attorney generals office will help you settle this dispute once and for all. My local DA office mediated for me and got them to take $2,000 from $7,184.64. If I can help you an anyway please let me know. I would like to somehow advocate for this cause and make rental car companies be more transparent with their business practices. Unfortunately, I believe they are self regulated,therefore, there is not a lot of consumer protection. My next step is. to write Rockport Auto claims and let them know that they will be put out of business sooner than later, based on these continuous complaints on the BBB. and how they will not be able to continue to run a business, based on unethical business practices. I did write Ace Rental in Colo. and threatened them with a law suit as well. Please keep me updated!
 
Aug 7, 2017
17
3
3
40
#53
Renee,

Unfortunately, apparently, our NY AG office is not very active in mediating for the consumers. I just got a mail from them enclosing the response from ACE with NO change of their position and the AG office did not offer any further assistance. So far the Rockport auto claim took my auto insurance's money ($9000+) and visa's payment for my deductible and admin fee and they are still coming after me for the remaining $4000+. I cannot find a lawyer who is willing to even respond to me regarding this issue. I still think what they do should not even be legal. I am pretty resolute to have them put me on the collection and I will not pay them one more dollar than what they already have, which is definitely more than enough for the minor damage my rental car has. It is just very frustrating especially after receiving the AG office's mail.
 
Aug 7, 2017
17
3
3
40
#54
Renee,

Unfortunately, apparently, our NY AG office is not very active in mediating for the consumers. I just got a mail from them enclosing the response from ACE with NO change of their position and the AG office did not offer any further assistance. So far the Rockport auto claim took my auto insurance's money ($9000+) and visa's payment for my deductible and admin fee and they are still coming after me for the remaining $4000+. I cannot find a lawyer who is willing to even respond to me regarding this issue. I still think what they do should not even be legal. I am pretty resolute to have them put me on the collection and I will not pay them one more dollar than what they already have, which is definitely more than enough for the minor damage my rental car has. It is just very frustrating especially after receiving the AG office's mail.
I would definitely love to file a lawsuit f I can find a lawyer and find a legal base. I cannot believe that they are allowed to bully consumers like this.
 
Aug 4, 2017
17
11
3
54
#55
I would definitely love to file a lawsuit f I can find a lawyer and find a legal base. I cannot believe that they are allowed to bully consumers like this.
Lynn,
first of all I am so upset and angered that you are still going through this horrendous and not to mention unethical situation with those crooks Rockport! maybe one of your next steps should be trying your local county District Attorney's office. and see if they have a consumer protection unit. that is what I did, but I am not sure if all Countys in the country offer that service. I bet the problem with your NY AG is that your case is small to them and they feel like they have bigger fish to fry. And that is the problem with a lot of Attorneys as well. If you can just get an attorney to write you a letter of intent to sue, maybe that would work. That was one of my last options, or going to small claims court in the State of Colo, which I was even willing to do, but I think the cases are $7,500 or less, but you might want to check that out. Or last but not least is just calling Rockport up talking to the rep and try to negotiate a fair price. Tell them that you have spoken with others through "consumer watch websites' that have had claims with Rockport as well and that Rockport was willing to negotiate!! One more thing you might want to do is directly write Ace Rental Car the one that you directly rented from which is in Aurora Colo. State in that letter, that you have NO PROOF OF THESE COSTS and that they have left you No choice but to let a judge in the court law decide what a fair settlement should be.
Please keep informed or if you have any questions just let me know!
 
Aug 7, 2017
17
3
3
40
#56
Lynn,
first of all I am so upset and angered that you are still going through this horrendous and not to mention unethical situation with those crooks Rockport! maybe one of your next steps should be trying your local county District Attorney's office. and see if they have a consumer protection unit. that is what I did, but I am not sure if all Countys in the country offer that service. I bet the problem with your NY AG is that your case is small to them and they feel like they have bigger fish to fry. And that is the problem with a lot of Attorneys as well. If you can just get an attorney to write you a letter of intent to sue, maybe that would work. That was one of my last options, or going to small claims court in the State of Colo, which I was even willing to do, but I think the cases are $7,500 or less, but you might want to check that out. Or last but not least is just calling Rockport up talking to the rep and try to negotiate a fair price. Tell them that you have spoken with others through "consumer watch websites' that have had claims with Rockport as well and that Rockport was willing to negotiate!! One more thing you might want to do is directly write Ace Rental Car the one that you directly rented from which is in Aurora Colo. State in that letter, that you have NO PROOF OF THESE COSTS and that they have left you No choice but to let a judge in the court law decide what a fair settlement should be.
Please keep informed or if you have any questions just let me know!
Thank you Renee,

I don't plan on paying them anything extra but am still looking into my options; as far as I am concerned, if they take my insurance's money, it is settled. I will look into the county's DA office (although the reviews for them here are pretty bad. lol) and keep looking for a lawyer. I will eventually also file a complaint against them on the BBB site. As I said, I don't mind even be on the collection because they are not getting anything extra from me!
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#57
Thank you Renee,

I don't plan on paying them anything extra but am still looking into my options; as far as I am concerned, if they take my insurance's money, it is settled. I will look into the county's DA office (although the reviews for them here are pretty bad. lol) and keep looking for a lawyer. I will eventually also file a complaint against them on the BBB site. As I said, I don't mind even be on the collection because they are not getting anything extra from me!
This probably isn't a criminal matter, but a contract dispute, so the DA probably isn't going to help.

You really need to consult with an attorney to review your rental agreement and all other documentation to determine your liability. More than likely you may have to pay for this service. Allowing it to go to collection may have repercussions to your credit score.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Aug 4, 2017
17
11
3
54
#58
This probably isn't a criminal matter, but a contract dispute, so the DA probably isn't going to help.

You really need to consult with an attorney to review your rental agreement and all other documentation to determine your liability. More than likely you may have to pay for this service. Allowing it to go to collection may have repercussions to your credit score.
The DA here in my county has a "consumer protection unit" it is free of charge, and they are simply mediators! they try to negotiate on your behalf, they were a life saver for me!
 
Aug 7, 2017
17
3
3
40
#59
I know it's been a long time but I just want to update where I am now. So my insurance paid out $9025 to the Rockport Auto and Visa offered $650 to cover my deductible and part of the loss of use. Of course, not surprisingly, she came after me with the same threats and stuff. So I talked to visa and they increased their offer to $1003 to her while she lied to me saying it was $650. After multiple" deadlines" and "final notices", she "offered" to settle for $2000 (out of $5000ish).

I counter offered her $700 which she didn't accept and many weeks went by again. I did also find a debt lawyer who is willing to dispute the "debt" if I decided to hire him as my last resort.
Today, I got another voicemail and email from her AGAIN saying she is starting the paperwork to send me to the collection, to court and put a lien...etc. I again offered her $700 telling her that I am willing to pay some not because I agree that I still owe her but just to get this thing settled. Plus, with Visa's offer, she is getting more than a fair share. If she still doesn't accept, Visa and I will make the same offer to the collection agency. To my surprise, I just got an email back from her saying she will accept my offer of $700!

I am not happy that I still have to pay her, but I hope this crazy saga can finally be put to an end without much loss (the lawyer will charge 33% of the fee they reduced, which will be $1650 even if they completely wipe out my "debt").

Also, just an extra information...The law firm that I was in contact with told me the reason why no lawyer is willing to take my case for consumer protection and FDCPA violation, which was the reason why they won't either. The firm looked into Rockport auto as they wonder why no one has sued them for their practice if there were so many complaints. They found out that Rockport Auto is not registered as a debt collector. So even though they making threats that are not legal and have many complaints, no lawyer wants to spend the time to file the law sue and be denied based on the ground rule that they are not registered debt collector as the lawyers don't get paid unless they win.

I just got the "acceptance" of my $700 offer. Hope there will be no further surprise from them!
 
Likes: VoR61