An Aurora, Ore., RV consignment shop has come under fire as customers have accused Top-O-Hill RV of not paying them for motorhomes the owner sold or failing to produce clear titles, the Woodburn Independent reported.
Jerry McColly, of Salem, said he lost more than $70,000 in a deal with owner Bill Workman, who has since died.
According to a complaint McColly filed with the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ), he bought a used motorhome from Top-O-Hill in July of last year.
When two months went by and he still hadn’t received a title, he contacted Top-O-Hill and was told the original owners of the RV were out of the country.
However, two months later, he got a call from the RV owners, Douglas and Paula Ware.
The couple told McColly they were never out of the country and were also having problems with Workman. They were still owed $14,000 for the motorhome now in McColly’s possession.
“We contracted with Top-O-Hill RV to sell on consignment our Newmar Dutch Star motorhome,” the Wares said in a letter to Top-O-Hill’s bond company.
“Our asking price was $65,000. On July 24, 2010, we happened to see our motorhome at an RV park in Canby. … We contacted Top-O-Hill and were told it had just sold that weekend. We later found out that it had been sold on July 3, 2010.
“That began numerous lies and deceptions we were told by owner Bill Workman,” they said. “Since that time, we have been on the phone almost on a daily basis trying to get our money.”
McColly and the Wares are just two of about a dozen customers to file complaints with the DOJ about Workman’s business on Highway 99E, just east of Aurora.
Consignment customer Patrick Boyd said his fifth-wheel was sold to someone in Alaska and he has yet to receive any money. He is out $16,000, he said.
Jason Barone, of Clackamas, said he consigned his toy hauler trailer with Top-O-Hill but never got paid for it either. His credit union returned Workman’s check for $19,511.07 due to insufficient funds, he said.
“The loan has not been paid off and I now have returned check fees on top of a loan on a trailer that I no longer have,” Barone said in a complaint filed in December. “Writing bad checks is … fraudulent and against the law.”
The voicemail box is full at the phone number listed on Top-O-Hill’s website.
There is a sign out front that reads, “We’ll Miss You Bill.”
Workman died on Feb. 2 from an illness.
Click here to watch a video, courtesy of KATU-TV, Portland, Ore., on the following story.
The Berkeys of Southeast Portland want to sell their Hi-Lo RV trailer.
There’s just one problem: they don’t know where it is.
Actually, the Berkeys have several problems after taking their trailer to a lot in Aurora, Ore., south of Portland, after the business owner told them he could sell it for them.
The Berkeys wanted $15,000 for the trailer, which they were still making payments on.
They turned over the title and other paperwork and left their trailer with Bill Workman’s “Top-O-Hill” RV lot in Aurora after he saw their online ad and contacted them, saying he was sure he could sell the trailer quickly.
And then Bill Workman died.
Now the Berkeys can’t locate their trailer and they are not the only RV owners with issues who did transactions with Workman.
Over a dozen complaints have been filed, but the Top-O-Hill lot is closed and most of the RVs that were there are now gone. And no one seems to know where they are, or if they do, they are not talking.
Some customers claim that after leaving their RVs at Workman’s lot, they would call for a status check and find out their rig had sold – but no one from Top-O-Hill had informed them.
Others said they tried to get their money after a sale and were met with excuse after excuse as to why they had not been paid.
Some customers who bought RVs from Workman said they found out they could not get a title for their purchase, even though they had paid the agreed amount.
A DMV spokesperson said the problems were nothing new for Workman’s business, which had complaints on file going back almost 10 years. However, they did say that Workman always seemed to resolve the complaints when the agency took action.
Now that he is gone, the Berkeys are not sure what is going to happen. All they do know is that they are making payments on a nice trailer that they can’t locate.
KATU News tried without success to speak to Workman’s family members at a home next to the now-empty lot.
Here’s what you can do before you buy or consign an RV or any other vehicle.
- First check with the attorney general’s office for complaints, then check with the DMV to see if the business has a license and is bonded.
- Also, check to see if the title really is free and clear so you don’t pay thousands of dollars for nothing.
In the case of the Berkeys and other customers of Top-O-Hill RV, the attorney general’s office says because the owner has died and did not appear to leave assets, there may be no money coming back.