American Recovery Service, Inc. is a nationwide repossession agency. In December of 2017, one of their subcontractors, Semmes Towing & Recovery, repossessed a vehicle which contained several valuable items of my client’s personal belongings. They refused to return the property unless my client paid a fee.
We believe that this is illegal. Nothing in the contract (or most purchase money security interest contracts) authorizes any specific fee for the return of personal property that is left in the vehicle at the time of a repossession. Without a contractual or legal basis for charging a fee, it should not be charged. Nevertheless, they did.
My client’s grandfather’s vehicle was repossessed by Semmes Towing & Recovery, which was a local subcontractor for American Recovery Service. American Recovery Service is a nationwide repossession agency which, according to our research, is owned by the Patrick K. Willis Company. We believe that they have charged people for the return of their own property, even when they had no legal basis for doing so. If this has happened to you, feel free to call us at 251.272.9148.
We also sued the Gateway One, the finance company that authorized the repossession. Gateway One Lending & Finance, LLC is a California-based financial institution that purchases automobile retail installment contracts. In our case, Gateway One authorized the repossession of our client’s grandfather’s vehicle. We also believe that Gateway One authorized the charging of an unlawful fee for the return of our client’s personal belongings. We believe that it is illegal for a finance company, repo agent, or repossession agency to withhold unsecured personal property for payment of a fee unless there is a written contractual provision or statute authorizing such a fee.
If you have had a vehicle repossessed by Gateway One and your personal property was not returned for free, please feel free to call our office at 251.272.9148.