Man's car wrongfully taken by repo man in East Harlem | 7 On Your Side

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024 10:26PM
7 On Your Side: Man's car wrongfully taken by repo man in East Harlem
Nina Pineda has more on the investigation in one man who had his car wrongfully repossessed.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It was a middle-of-the-night hook-up and haul-off in East Harlem, and it was caught on camera.

The SUV's owner was bewildered. He owned the vehicle outright, lien-free. So, when he couldn't get it back he called 7 On Your Side.

The vehicle was gone in 60 seconds. The video shows Gurjinder Singh's SUV getting hooked up and hauled away by the repo man.

Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side help a man whose can was wrongfully repossessed.

"When I go home and sleep like 1 a.m., like 2 a.m., and somebody is, like a tow truck company. They come and they take my car," he said.

The vehicle was parked at the gas station where he's worked for 18 years.

He had paid off the vehicle 6 years ago on December 5, 2017.

"Why did they take it? That's my question, why did they take my car," Singh said.

For months he tried to find out why the Acura was ordered to be repossessed even though he owned it free and clear, but he couldn't get any answers from the repo man or the company that financed his car loan.

"They were blaming each other," he said.

With the car he owned on lockdown for an entire year, Singh, supporting a family, had no choice but to buy another car.

"So how much was this car," Pineda asked.

"$50,000-60,000," Singh said.

That's where Cristina Arroyo and her coworkers step in. They work around the corner at the nonprofit Allianz helping East Harlem families of violent crime.

Every week she gets her lottery ticket from him at the BP.

One day, Singh explained his problem showing her the repo video.

"I felt so bad. I'm like, this could happen to anyone. And he's always here. I know he's hard-working. He's very polite when I come in, always so sweet. And I'm like, how could they do that? It's not fair. That's not fair," Arroyo said.

She contacted everyone, but nothing helped.

"I said, okay, so send me proof of why his car was repossessed. Because you have to have a notice, some repossession, you know, a letter, something. Can you just provide me with that proof so I can have some for my records, right? And they hung up on me. I was like, I can't believe they hung up. Yes, yes, they hung up on me," Arroyo said.

She made one last call to 7 On Your Side.

"This doesn't even have his name," Pineda said.

"That's what he said, it doesn't even have his name on it," Arroyo said. "Someone made a mistake somewhere here!"

The finance company told us the lien was left over from the previous owner of the car, and 72 hours after 7 On Your Side got involved, apologized for the mistake and handed him a check for $25,000, a year and 3 months after his car was wrongly repossessed.

"You did it!" Singh said. "I appreciate you."

"I appreciate, really, Channel 7!" Arroyo said. "Thank you, thank you, Nina Pineda."

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