A classic car dealer and repair shop in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, is facing scrutiny for its use of mechanics’ liens. Pomp Boys Motors has had its dealer license revoked and is facing legal charges for allegedly exploiting its customers.
Vivian Pompliano, the owner of the dealership, is facing four counts of exploitation of the disabled or elderly, one count of obtaining property by false pretense, and is facing civil penalties for the way her dealership inspected, documented, and sold cars. Sources told WRAL News that they believe the business is using mechanics liens to take advantage of its customers.
From the time the classic car dealership opened, in 2020, until the end of 2021, the shop had filed 16 liens against its customers. Of those, 100 percent turned into a “Notice of Intent to Sell,” which allows a mechanic to sell a client’s vehicle.
In theory, that’s only supposed to happen when a client, say, refuses to pay for the work the mechanic has done. Across the state, just 34 percent of the 219,448 liens filed between 2019 and 2021 ended up turning into a “Notice of Intent to Sell,” as opposed to the 100 percent of Pomp Boys liens that went to those lengths.
In one civil court filing involving the dealership, a woman said she went to retrieve her late husband’s car from Pomp Boys. The shop tried to charge her an outrageous storage fee, and she refused to pay. It argued that her husband had been made aware of the fee, and filed a Notice of Intent to Sell.
Other customers, meanwhile, complained that they had run into trouble after making verbal agreements for work from Pomp Boys. This, advocates say, is always a bad idea. When you’re getting work from a shop, it’s best to get as much down on paper as possible, so that you have a paper trail if you choose to dispute high charges when the work is done.
Another owner, meanwhile, Danny Greene, said that Pomp Boys called the police on him after he tried to retrieve his 1968 Dodge Charger RT. He said that the car had been with the shop for more than two months and that he had paid a $5,000 deposit, but that no work had been done on it, so he wanted to take it to another shop.
He tried to call Pomp Boys to get his car back, but no one was around to answer. Greene, a FedEx contractor, then decided to use his truck to help him get in. He drove to the shop and the mechanics, thinking he had a package for them, let him in.
He then made his reasons for being there clear, and the shop called the police. Unfortunately for Greene, he was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering, but he claims that the police reiterated that the car was his. Despite a lien being threatened, the dealership appears not to have actually filed one against Greene.