Mazda dealership closes, fails to pay off trade-ins

HATTIESBURG, MISS (WDAM) - Freeman Moore Mazda in Hattiesburg has closed for business,  leaving some customers in a difficult situation.

Wendi Levens recently bought a new car from Freeman Moore after trading in her 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse. A month after she made the trade, Levens said she received several phone calls from Capital One Auto Financing telling her she was behind on payments for her old car.

Levens, who has traded in several cars before, said, "I know how it goes, it usually takes about 30 days to send in the pay-off, and there would be no problem."

Levens said Capital One told her she was responsible for the payments until a title was given to the Mazda dealership.

She called Free Moore, who told her Regions Bank had frozen their assets, and they were unable to send in pay-offs. Meanwhile, her credit score was getting worse.

Levens called the Attorney General's Office, which ended the phone calls, but her credit continues to suffer.

In a prepared statement, Freeman Moore Mazda said, "We are aware of the issue regarding a lien payoff. We are attempting to resolve the matter as quickly as possible."