Fallout from Lawrence Marshall closing

February 5, 2009 2:56:25 PM PST
A day after the closing of a huge area car dealership, worried customers are turning up in Hempstead. We first told you about the closing of Lawrence Marshall on Wednesday and now recent car buyers are wondering what happens next.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

From unpaid trade-ins to extended warranty questions, customers are very concerned about what the closing of the dealership means to their wallet.

A steady stream of customers pulled in to Lawrence Marshall's lot Thursday. Jessica Owens is getting calls from creditors wondering where why she has not paid the note on a car she traded in weeks ago.

"The ten day payoff should have been paid by now and I have been told I am still responsible for the vehicle until they receive payments and so I have double notes and I am kind of worried," said Owens.

Owens is not alone. Lawrence Marshall employees tell us that trade-in payments have not been made for several weeks, but sales manager Michael Frees says the notes will get paid.

"They will be paid off in the next few weeks as we get reorganized and take care of that, but if you have a payment coming up, make that payment," said Frees.

Frees says once the trade-in loans are paid off, your loan company will reimburse you for any over-payments.

The next big issue was extended warranties. Those backed by Lawrence Marshall are no longer being honored.

"That extended warranty that you bought from the dealership is probably worthless, you have the right to file a claim in small claims court and if there are any assets you can collect," said University of Houston Law Professor Richard Alderman.

Customers who had vehicles in the repair shop are also wondering what to do. Jackie Banks was told by employees to come get her car.

"They just called me and told me to come get it, that they could not fix it, could not work on it, and that I had to take it to someone else," said Banks.

Some employees we spoke with say the news came as a shock to them, but others say the dealership was having trouble.

Customers with concerns can still call the dealership at 1-800-324-7283. If you get a recording, you are asked to leave a message.

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