- Your News
By WAYNE THOMAS
One customer of a Tullahoma car dealership said she received an unpleasant surprise in the mail — a letter from a lawyer warning that her newly purchased vehicle was about to be repossessed — through no fault of her own.
According to Brenda Dupler of Manchester, she purchased a Ford Escape from Mike Thompson Ford on Highway 55 on July 25.
“I paid money down on the car when I bought it,” Dupler said.
Then, according to Dupler, she received a letter from L. Thomas Austin, an attorney in Dunlap. The attorney informed Dupler that he hated to be “the bearer of bad news,” but that the dealership owed Citizen’s Tri-County Bank money and that she should have Thompson Ford satisfy the obligation, or he suggested that she “deliver the vehicle” to the bank.
Austin’s letter also stated that if he did not hear from her within the next 10 days the bank would be forced to repossess the vehicle.
“I had already financed the vehicle through Sun Trust Bank and I am retired. I am on a limited budget and can’t afford to pay for the car twice,” Dupler said. She added that she has paperwork to show that she purchased the car from the Ford dealership.
Dupler said that when she contacted Citizens Tri- County Bank she was told that the bank does not have the title to the vehicle, nor does Sun Trust Bank.
After receiving the letter, Dupler became concerned about the status of the car. “I was afraid that it might be stolen,” she said, “so I asked the sheriff’s department to run a check on the vehicle and was informed that it was not stolen at this time.”
Dupler said last weekend she received another telephone call offering an apology for the letter that she considered “threatening.”
“They said that I should be getting a letter offering their apology,” she said.
Lori Thompson, Mike Thompson’s widow and now owner of Mike Thompson Ford, did not return calls about the situation, nor did attorney Austin.
On Monday evening, most of the vehicles formally on the lot of Mike Thompson Ford were repossessed by Citizens Tri- County Bank and are now parked in a lot behind the bank’s North Jackson Street office.
When contacted about the cars sitting in their parking lot, branch manager and bank vice president Wes Fanning said he could not comment on the situation due to privacy laws.
Wayne Thomas may be reached by email at email@example.com