Swindled by an RV Dealer

My husband and I decided to trade in our RV and get something larger. We found the new coach we were looking for just a short distance from our home at McMahon RV. We did all the paperwork, traded in our RV, gave a $25000 down payment and began planning our first trip. The RV we had selected had some slight damage and we left it to be repaired. While waiting we got a notice from the new lender saying they were not going to lend to us because of some issue with the dealer. When we went to check this out we were told it was all a misunderstanding and not to worry. We still could not get our new coach because while repairing it they did much more damage.

Pretty soon it seemed like everyone was suing McMahon and they locked the place down. We asked for our old RV but they would not give it to us. We asked for our $25000 but were told there was no one available to authorize a check. We asked the Westminster police to help us get our old RV but they said they could not. We discovered that there were 5 McMahon dealerships and many other customers were in a similar situation.

We contacted our original lender (US Bank) for the RV we had traded in and were told it had not been paid off and we were still responsibility for the payments. We paid them every month for an RV we did not have. We called and wrote them asking for assistance. We heard sympathetic words, but they did not help. A lawyer wrote a letter on our behalf, to no avail. DMV began an investigation and pulled McMahon’s license to sell vehicles.

After 6 frustrating months, we told US Bank we felt we had to default on the loan because we did not have the vehicle. They offered sympathy but again no assistance. And then, because things were not bad enough, they proceeded to ruin our credit. My husband’s excellent credit dropped over 200 points. And then to keep things exciting, American Express lowered our credit card limit without telling us and we were embarrassingly denied in front of friends. Oddly, the fact that we had paid American Express off monthly on time for 3 years seemed to not matter. The fact that we had never defaulted on a loan in our lives seemed not to matter.

I have written both Experian and American Express hoping an explanation will help with all this credit mess, but I have no idea if they will care.

My DMV Investigator said that he is working on over 100 cases like ours against McMahon.

US Bank wrote us last week and said they had our RV in their possession and if we made up the missing payments and covered some fees we could have it back and continue to make payments. I called for more information, like WHERE did you find the RV and why didn’t you help find it before? These questions were not answered. They said that they could not tell me the location of the RV, it was in California or maybe in Wisconsin. We could not see it prior to getting it back and if we did take it back it would not repair our credit. We had not seen the RV in a year and had no idea what condition it might be in and they would / could not tell us. We said, “no thanks”.

And FYI, if you read every word on a vehicle contract, yes I mean those long yellow pages, you will discover as I did that there is not ONE word protecting the customer, it all protects the dealer.

We had written the Attorney General, but apparently hundreds of regular people being cheated by a big company is nothing she can be bothered with and we were referred to DMV.

I feel very bitter about this, mostly because as a customer who has obviously been cheated, lied to and had money stolen from, there seems to be no real support. Sure we can spend a bundle trying to get back our $25000 and money to pay off the RV, but the lawyer fees will probably be more than we can get. Small claims, which allows suing a person for up to $10,00 reduces that amount to $5000 if you are suing a company, so that is no help at all.

We are blessed to be able to easily live on in spite of all this, we have no real need for high credit and will be fine with dumping American Express if they won’t budge. All in all it is extremely frustrating to know we are right and innocent and to be unable to do much about it.

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