HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – People in Huntsville who recently bought a vehicle from a used car dealership are facing confusion on how they should continue making payments on their cars.
That’s because the national dealership American Car Center has closed up shop. The company shut its doors Friday.
According to Fortune, American Car Center told employees the business was closing its doors for good on Friday.
Fortune says that the closure, announced by email to its employees, came a day after the company said management and advisors were previously working with lenders to improve liquidity and continue operations.
Now consumers worry about what to do next.
Brandy Hardic told News 19 she bought a vehicle from American Car Center. “I’m nervous. I’m terrified of what’s gonna happen. Are they gonna take our car? Are we gonna be liable for late fees or anything else? We can’t afford to put a down payment on another car. We can’t afford extra payments. We’ll have to keep insurance on this vehicle. If they decide they’re not taking our money, what do I do when it comes time to renew our tags? It’s stressful,” Hardic said.
Around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, American Car Center offered a significant update on its website telling customers to continue making payments online, over the phone by calling (877) 720-4477, or in person at a CheckFreePay location.
For those who remain unsure of what to do, one lawyer says customers should save their payment money.
“Someone is going to own these debts and receive possession of the titles and they, at that point they will reach out they’ll get a list of all the people. They’ll reach out and give instructions on how to resume their payments. And ideally, if it’s four months from now if you owe that money, you’ve got it set aside four months’ worth and it won’t come as a hardship. You’ve planned for the payment. Make the payment, just set it aside,” advised Huntsville attorney Russell Crumbley.
According to lawyers, potential criminal charges such as theft and felony charges could arise if consumers attempt to remove locators from cars.
Crumbley suggested consumers make clear records and keep copies of any payments made moving forward to avoid any confusion.