TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Last month, American Car Center abruptly shuttered dozens of dealerships across the country. Now, the company has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, leading to more questions for consumers.
Bryan Oglesby of the BBB says customers have reached out, unsure where they should make payments and if they should continue to pay.
“You absolutely should pay,” he said. “If not, you could lose the car.”
According to American Car Center’s website, Westlake Portfolio Management has taken over the assets of American Car Center, and that’s who they should pay.
“Westlake Portfolio Management is a legitimate business that you can make your car payments to,” Oglesby said. “As we always warn, any time there’s a hot buzz out there in the market place, scammers will see an opportunity to imposter legitimate companies, so you never want to give up any personal identifying information.”
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Some customers say they have paid off car loans, but still don’t have a title and can’t reach anyone. The BBB advises those customers to ask for a release of lien form the Florida Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and then send that to Westlake Financial.
“Make it easy for them, give a self addressed stamped envelope because they don’t have dedicated department to fill out these forms,” Oglesby said. “That way, you’re making it easy, they send it back and you receive that release of lien.”