Economic crisis hits RV business hard

June 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The owner of a once successful Bay Area RV dealership is watching his inventory roll off the lot. But not in a way he ever imagined.

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After 19 years, the owner of JC's RVs never thought it would end like this, with his main sales lot empty and his files headed for storage. JC Foreman is just waiting for Bank of America to repossess what's left of his inventory, just like they did last month at his Rancho Cordova location, when it took 30 drivers accompanied by two sheriff's deputies all day to drive away 150 coaches and trailers.

"I was probably their number one dealer in the country. They used me as a model dealer. I don't quite understand why they did what they did," said Foreman.

Until this year, Foreman had a long-standing line of credit with Bank of America to finance his $30 million inventory. And he says, despite the bad economy, he made his payments on time even though the inventory was no longer worth what he paid for it.

It's not that RVs aren't selling. In fact, Foreman says he's sold $10 million worth in just the past few months. The problem is no one wants to pay full price, so a luxury unit will sell, but for far below retail.

"Ultimately I went to them in March and said you're going to have to take a short pay, I can't continue selling this stuff at a discount to the public, paying all my sales people, doing the advertisement, there's no money left for me," said Foreman.

At that point, Foreman says the bank refused to negotiate and chose to repossess.

A bank spokesperson told ABC7: "Bank of America has been working since August 2008 to help James C. Foreman and his company. Unable to keep his business afloat, Mr. Foreman made unfortunate decisions that have forced the bank to take legal action."

Foreman told us he'll see the bank in court.

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