Couple contend I-Pass malfunction hurt their credit score
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent October 31, 2012 6:12PM
Updated: December 2, 2012 2:16PM
VALPARAISO — The $2,055 bill for using Illinois toll roads caught a Porter County couple by surprise, and they’re suing a car rental company for not informing them that their I-Pass wasn’t working in 2010.
They’re also suing the rental company, Ally Financial Inc., for libel for turning them over to a debt collector and reporting the matter on their credit score, which meant their daughter was denied a student loan, and they were denied home refinancing.
Judith Gaynor and Paul Gaynor contend in their suit filed Oct. 11 that if Ally Financial had contacted them immediately about their I-Pass not functioning, their cost would have been $86 in missed tolls.
Instead, the Illinois Tollway added a $20 fine for each toll the Gaynors allegedly drove through without paying.
The Tollway has a 15-day challenge period to dispute such fines, and according to the suit, the Gaynors had earlier that year disputed a $2,800 bill and got it reduced to $105 because of problems with the I-Pass.
Although Ally has a policy to notify customers by phone immediately if lease or other payments aren’t received by their due date, the Gaynors didn’t find out about the matter until November 2010, when Ally sent a bill for $2,055.20 plus a $20 penalty after the company paid the fines directly to the Illinois Tollway.
The Tollway told the Gaynors that no refund was available after the 15-day period and they should contact Ally.
The Gaynors are suing for financial losses, damages and attorney fees.