Nurse’s car repossessed after she accepts credit union offer to defer payments during pandemic

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Shelley Tanner ended up regretting accepting help from her credit union during the pandemic.

She said signing up for a two-month deferment program led to her car being repossessed without warning.

She had to postpone visits to patients because, as a traveling nurse, her 2015 Chevrolet Impala is her office.

“Of course all my nursing stuff is in the car, so I don’t have any of my equipment,” Tanner said. “I had to first go out and rent a car. Then I had to go get a new blood pressure cuff. I had to replace what I could so I could still do my work.”

Tanner said she accepted an offer from Mid Florida Credit Union to defer March and April payments during the pandemic. That triggered an audit of her account and, she said, she was informed that she had already missed one payment, but the collections representative could not pinpoint which one.

Tanner said the representative would give her credit for a month he claimed she’d missed a payment for, and she’d quickly find the canceled check to prove she had indeed paid.

She said she thought she was working toward an answer to the problem with the representative, then she went outside her home Saturday night to find her car gone. Tanner called law enforcement and discovered it had been repossessed.

Tanner said she was told that the audit showed her account had been flagged for a repossession because her payments have been short by 66 cents each month.

As a result, she said, Mid Florida has decided to pay the $400 repossession fee and pay to have her car towed back to her.

In an email, a spokesman for Mid Florida said, in part:

“Please be assured that while the State of Florida does not require prior notice of repossession, our goal is to help members maintain their vehicle. Before we move to a repossession, we attempt to contact the member by phone, mail and even door-knock service (which provides a hand delivered notice if the member answers at the physical address provided) so that we can work with them to make suitable short term arrangements.”

Tanner insists that didn’t happen in her case.

The Mid Florida spokesperson wrote: “I’m glad this could be resolved for Ms. Tanner and appreciate your involvement to help encourage the necessary communication to make this happen.”


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