OOIDA Member Mark Miller’s life has been in limbo for two months now, ever since he found out about Tulsa-based Arrow Trucking’s chaotic financial collapse a few days before Christmas.
That’s because his truck is hung up in the company’s ongoing Chapter 7 bankruptcy nightmare, even though he shows he paid his truck off in August 2009.
However, Miller told Land Line on Tuesday, March 2, he is still “hopeful” that everything will be resolved. He said he’s in better spirits after receiving a call earlier from a detective with the Tulsa Police Department and an FBI agent stating that they are still investigating his fraud charges against Arrow Trucking.
“They want me to send them all the proof I have. They want copies of every single piece of paper I’ve got that showed I made the payments,” Miller said. “I’ve got every single pay stub for over four years that shows the amount I’ve paid on the truck.”
For more than four years, Miller had been making payments on his 2006 Kenworth T600 through Arrow Trucking’s lease-purchase program. Sensing something was wrong several months before the company’s collapse, Miller made the decision to pay off his truck and leave Arrow Trucking.
On Aug. 13, 2009, his bank wired the remaining amount of $23,500 he still owed on his truck. At that time he said he received his paperwork, which included a sticky note on the title stating that the lien holder would release it in six to eight weeks. That never happened.
For months and until the company’s abrupt closure, Miller was fighting to receive his clear title. After the company shut down, he decided to call Daimler to inquire where his truck’s title was. That’s when Miller said he received the disturbing news that the finance company wasn’t aware that Arrow Trucking had sold “one of their trucks” to him.
Miller said he is pursuing his case until the very end in an attempt to “right the wrongs” experienced by him and other drivers who had lease-purchase agreements with Arrow Trucking. Several drivers with lease-purchases with the company were forced to return their trucks until they could secure new financing arrangements. Some were close to truck ownership when they received the alarming news that their payments were not being forwarded on by Arrow Trucking to the finance companies. Some drivers said they were forced to walk away from their trucks because they couldn’t get new financing deals.
“Truck drivers are the most regulated and taxed individuals of any profession in this country, and yet we seem to be the most vulnerable to corruption from the companies we work for, service and do business with,” he wrote in an e-mail to Land Line recently.
Miller, who still has possession of his truck, filed a report with the Tulsa Police Department as well as a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court handling Arrow Trucking’s proceedings.
“What I want to explain to everyone is that I am not just an employee who didn’t get paid for a couple of weeks. I have sustained a big loss that has put my finances in jeopardy,” he said.
He estimates that over a four-year period he invested more than $520,000 of his money into that truck, including truck payments, fuel, insurance, taxes and licensing.
Currently, Miller said he’s working on a Web site that he hopes to launch soon to inform visitors of what happened to him and to call for lease-purchase reform in the trucking industry. He has also contacted his U.S. representative, Earl Blumenauer, about his experience with Arrow Trucking.
“I want people to know what happened to me, and I want lawmakers to fight for us in Washington, DC,” he said.
– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer