Friday, March 11, 2011

Ladco Leasing Class Action

There is a growing number of victims of Ladco Leasing's immoral business practices.
I too have been a victim, but somehow I managed to free myself from their clutches.
Here is an account of what I did, following numerous phone calls, one of which ended with the Ladco guy telling me to "have a nice day" after reminding me that the lease I had signed was "irrevocable."
On the morning of August 24, 2010, I received a phone call from an agent at Ladco Leasing,
informing me that the auto-draft to my bank account did not go through. This was, of course, not unexpected, as I had my account  frozen to prevent any further drafts.   She wanted to know how I planned to deal with the remainder of my uncancellable 3-year lease with Ladco for equipment rental.
"I have no equipment," I said.  She said "Oh, software," and put me on hold. She came back and informed me that buy-out amount for the remaining 28 weeks of the lease was $1383.17.
I responded that this was  outrageous and unreasonable, and that there should be more acceptable terms for buy-out.  Yes, I realize I signed the 3-year lease.   But my business situation  had recently changed, and I decided it would be better to move to a bank with more business services to offer, including an in-house merchant services department.   Elavon's contract included an early-termination clause.  Why wouldn't Ladco Leasing have a similar clause?   

The Ladco agent was authorized to give me 30% discount, or a new buy-out amount of $968.22.  After much discussion and argument, I asked to speak to someone higher up.
She passed my call to Cathy  who reiterated that I needed to “return the equipment.” Again, I replied, "I don't have any equipment."   She said, "Oh, software," and put me on hold for a minute.  (Why do I smell a rat here? I thought.)  

She came to the phone; her offer was $961.30 which could be split into 2 payments, and gave me till 5:00 PM the next day to make the payment. Otherwise, she would turn it over to 3rd party collections.

I decided to write a letter to the bank where I had a business account. They had, after all, referred me to Elavon, parent company of Ladco Leasing, when I requested merchant services for my business account.  I hand delivered the letter to the bank's area manager. Here's the link to that letter:

I'm going to skip some of the play-by-play details for now.
I wrote a follow-up letter to the bank on September 8, 2010.

After hearing nothing from the bank or from Ladco, on November 18, 2010 I decided to call Ladco Leasing; I spoke with Stephanie and asked her to give me “status of the account.”

She said “The vendor paid us back and it’s closed.” I asked her what she meant by "vendor."
She said the vendor was Elavon, and that "Elavon purchased it back and as far as Ladco is concerned, the account is closed out.”

"Thank you," I replied,  "that’s just what I needed to hear."  Hung up the phone and whooped it up.


I have no idea what transpired between SunTrust, Elavon and Ladco.  I've had no further contact with SunTrust bank since I closed the account there.  I don't know if SunTrust paid them off, or whether their legal department pulled strings or what.  I'll try to find out.

In the meantime, I have continued to research contract law and unconscionability.
To be continued.......