Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Dec 9, 2011

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A car loan borrower named Larnell Pillow is accusing his lender of destroying his marriage over missed payments.

 

Pillow took out an auto loan from a company called Prestige Financial Services when he had a stable job as a crane operator. He made timely monthly payments, and grew close to his lender, revealing personal information in casual talk. One piece of information disclosed to the lender was that Pillow had a girlfriend.

 

But this seemingly trivial fact was important because Pillow also had a wife and kids.

 

When Pillow lost his job, his girlfriend paid a few of his auto loan bills. But when Pillow wasn’t able to acquire money and he fell behind on his loan, the harassment and blackmail began.

 

When harassing threats failed to yield payment, the lender called his house phone and left a message naming Pillow’s girlfriend. That message was received by Pillow’s wife, prompting her to gather the kids and leave.

 

Pillow confronted the collection agent about the message and the agent allegedly replied with, “Now we know a pressure point to use on you.” Leveraging such a “pressure point” is what David Boyd, Pillow’s attorney, calls “sexual-scandal blackmail.”

 

Pillow never satisfied the auto loan payments so he surrendered the car to Prestige, and now his wife purportedly wishes to divorce him.

 

“[The calls] turned my world upside down. I’d lost my job. Then I lost my wife and kids. It’s just the domino effect,” said Pillow in the interview.

 

Prestige Financial Services refused to provide comment to the ABC News reporter, saying “Prestige Financial Services has not yet been served with a copy of the complaint and it is not in a position to address the merits of the lawsuit. Prestige does not comment on pending litigation.”