OOIDA Member Mark Miller of Portland, OR, has been tangled up longer than most in Arrow Trucking’s “Nightmare before Christmas.”
Miller said his nightmare started several months prior to the company’s chaotic collapse in December 2009, when he paid off his truck back in August through the Tulsa-based trucking company’s lease-purchase program. Although Arrow Trucking accepted his wire transfer for $23,500 to pay off his 2006 Kenworth T600, he didn’t get a clear title.
He told Land Line on Tuesday, April 27, that he is still fighting to get that title. However, Miller admits things have been rough since Arrow Trucking filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in January 2010.
And while Miller said he’s moving on with his life – the former owner-operator recently signed on as a company driver with a large motor carrier – he said he won’t forget what happened to him and countless other drivers who had lease-purchase agreements with Arrow Trucking.
Sensing something was amiss at the trucking company back in August 2009, Miller said he and family members sold some stocks so he could pay off his truck and leave Arrow Trucking, with the plan of leasing on with a different carrier.
All he needed was a clear title, which should have taken six to eight weeks for the lien holder to release, according to the sticky note attached to his paperwork.
That never happened.
“It’s been since August and I am still committed to fighting to prove that this is my truck,” Miller said. “I am not going away. I want everyone to know what happened to me and that I am committed to seeing this through.”
Several other drivers with lease-purchases with Arrow Trucking had to return their trucks after their payments were not being forwarded on to the finance company. Some were able to refinance their trucks – which cost them more money – while some were forced to walk away from their trucks and the equity they had in them.
Over a four-year period Miller estimates that he poured more than $500,000 of his money – including payments, fuel, maintenance and insurance – into his truck, which he has been unable to drive now for nearly eight months.
“Even though I am back on the road, I am not giving up,” Miller said. “I may not have as much time to dedicate to this as I did for a while, but I am watching.”
– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer