HELP!! I bought a merc with outstanding finance on it!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KLP 92, May 4, 2004.

  1. KLP 92

    KLP 92 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I purchased a S600 on the 1st of march this year. It came in at a good price but needed a few bodywork bits done to it. I had the car AA data checked at time of purchase to check if it had been written off of had any outstanding finance on the car. I was told that everything was ok. After 2 months of happy motoring and a few ££££s later i recieve a letter in the morning from FIRST NATIONAL MOTOR PLC. Very polite letter, 6 lines long stating the car has withstanding finance agreement and thta the car is their property and that they would like me to return the car at the first available free minute iu have or they will get a court order in next few days and forcefully take the car back. A nice letter to wake up to in the morning. At first i nearly had a heart attack but then i remembered that i have the AA check done. I rang the original owner of the car you said there was no outstanding finance and asked me to photocopy the letter and send it to him. The AA were less than helpful saying that they willl consider what to do in the next 48 hours and contact me again.
    What will happen next? Will they AA definately pay out or am i in fear of losing my car and my money? What do i do if the finace company comes along for the car?
     
  2. sym

    sym Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    What was the original owners reaction ? Did it seem like it might have been a clerical error ? i.e. Finance paid off but their computer says otherwise . . or was he very defensive ?

    Sounds like AA or their insurers are liable if there is finance still owing on it - that, after all, is the point of having them check !!

    S.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    KLP 92

    KLP 92 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    And i forgot to mention that the chap i spoke to at the AA cannot guarentee payout even if the car is repossessed!!!! Whats the point on having a £30000 insurance indemnity if they have to decide to pay out! And then if they do pay out they said it may not be for the full amount!!!
     
  4. GrahamC230K

    GrahamC230K MB Club Veteran

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    I would keep the car in a relatives garage if I were you for the next few days while you get things sorted, it will at least slow any debt collectors down.

    I am sure the AA have to honour you. I would get as many details from First National first to see what the story is.
     
  5. OGiii

    OGiii Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Just had a look athe the AA site and they mention £10k insurance.

    They may have small print but headline is very clear and they couldn't get out of that.

    Graham's advice seems good to me, then get onto a solicitor for proper advice as to how to handle this.

    Good luck.
     
  6. C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Club Veteran

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    If you paid for the AA check, then you are probably OK, and the AA will have to pay out if your claim meets the terms and conditions of the AA check. Before you let the car get repossessed, take pictures of all the improvements made to it, as well as the general condition of the car.

    However, if you relied on the AA check provided for by the seller, then you may well have difficulty because you do not have a direct contractual relationship with the AA.

    According to the AA's web site, you (assuming you paid for the check) should be able to claim the outstanding finance on the car from the AA -- see section 2.1.1 of http://www.theaa.com/allaboutcars/cardatacheck/tandc.jsp?page=tandc

    Keep in correspondence with the Bank, as long as you're attempting to resolve the problem, they are unlikely to get a court order, or repossess the car. In the meantime, write to them asking them to prove that they own the car. Also ask them how much the outstanding finance is. Tell them you have AA cover, and that you want to sort this out amicably. While this is going on, store the car somewhere else other than your home address. The Bank is not entitled to just state they own the car, and then 'repossess' it without showing proof.

    Remember to put everything (including all conversations with the bank, and who you spoke to) in writing, keep copies of all correspondence, and send all letters to the Bank by recorded delivery (so they can't deny that you have been in contact with them). If you send a fax, keep a copy of the fax confirmation sheet, and send also by recorded delivery. This is important because for as long as you are trying to resolve the dispute, the chances of their court order succeeding is reduced.

    Good luck, and don't panic.
     
  7. fuzzer

    fuzzer MB Club Veteran

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    HIDE THE CAR!!! Make sure that those pesky repo guys arent following you too.... not that i would think they would do something like that ;)

    At least its not MB Finance , they normally just get a spare key and drive the car away , letting you know in the post later on that the car is gone. :eek:
     
  8. marc777

    marc777 Banned

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    A neigbour recently received a similar letter with regard to his TVR.

    Don't panic. See a lawyer straight away.

    My neighbours example was a scam - i'll try and get some details.

    Marc
     
  9. OP
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    KLP 92

    KLP 92 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for all the advice. I never keep the car on the registered premises anyway but i've put it in a friend's secure lock up for the time being. I've contacted the original owner again and he's stated he will contact the financing company to see whats happening. He has also stated if there is any finance left he will pay it off (or so he says). He is a strange chap so you never know what he's thinking. I have contacted my solicitor am awaiting a call back from him. I have the certificate from the AA stating that the car has no finance on it so surely they are at fault. I have got a printed out credit card receipt for the data check on the 1st march 2004. I haven't rung the finance company yet until i get some advise from my solicitor as i'm sure when i ring them they will be more interested in finding out when and where the car can be collected.
     
  10. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    You dont have to worry, as long as you did the AA check and have the full certificate, you will be fine...
     
  11. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Looking through the responses to date, everything you need to do is all there. Everything in writing, make them prove the debt but also seek confirmation from First National PLC by writing to them directly that it is indeed First National you are dealing with, not a bunch of scam artists posing as First National.

    If they and the o/s secured debt are for real, sadly First National are a large consumer finance organisation now owned by General Electric and so just like the rest of their ilk will tend to have quite junior staff going through brain-dead debt recovery procedures no matter what you say to them. Brace yourself for a swathe of increasingly doom-laden letters from them and any recovery agents they engage.

    Having dealt with a great many overblown sob stories in their time, neither will have any true interest at all in the circumstances nor your very real personal distress, so do not waste time nor emotional energy on them. Just accept what they do for the grinding dull witted process that it is. Do not ignore them but respond to all written or oral communication promptly, in short, formal terms and in writing. Meantime carry on with the real business.

    Your first task must be to fully understand the terms and conditions of the AA indemnity, if you can make a valid claim and to what extent it will cover your loss. Again, everything in writing, follow the laid out claim procedures to the letter and take nothing on faith: insist on written confirmation of all you are told.

    Take notes of all telephone conversations or record them and note the date and time. Insist on the full names of all the persons on the call, their role and who they represent. (This matters a lot: You may easily find that they are not actually AA employees but perhaps part of some joint venture, third party admin. provider or insurer. great potential for screw-ups there)

    Bear in mind that if you respond to First National & the recovery agents indicating that you have a claim against the AA or their insurance provider, that will be seen as broadly helpful but may not stop nor even slow down their processes. All they want is cash and will try very hard not to become party to your claim nor await the outcome.

    So you must fully suss out the AA side ASAP and lodge a claim.

    At the same time, whilst nobody really wants the car apart from you, they will take it if they can to put pressure on: so you may wish to take steps to put it out of harms way. Until the debt is proven and proceedings enabling them to sieze the asset have taken place, they can get lost. Anything else you are told is just BS.

    Good luck.
     
  12. miro

    miro Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    There is a standard contract of release that can be drafted and in all the years of buying used junk I dont think I knew more than 3 people that used it. In common law there is a clause that the seller can be asked to sign basically agreeing to the fact that any issues thereafter are his/her problem and that the items were sold in good faith with full title without constaints of any kind. This places the burden squarely on the seller to discharge other interested parties.

    You simply inherited someone elses paperwork and the person that typed up the letter was too much of a prat to close the matter formally with the seller. They figure the car is harder to hide than the money, when all they want to do with the car is sell it.
     
  13. pammy

    pammy MB Club Veteran

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    You have all the advice that you need - just wanted to say what a nightmare for you. Must be such a worry and such hassle too.

    Good luck - I'm sure you will anyway - but please let us know how things go - fingers crossed :)
     
  14. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Dont stress too much.
    I had this prob with a BMW we bought. Had finance, but we didnt find out till we sold it on a year later. The new owner was a trader and i still get phonecalls about it to this day.
    I sold it to the trader, he didnt do an hpi check... 9 months later, the person he had sold it to dumped it back on his forecourt demanding a refund.. Trader contacted me. Been helping him sort it out. Finance company told me its nothing to do with me anymore as finance goes with the current owner and that i should not even pay the matter any attention. I feel sorry for the trader as he is in a bit of a mess. The guy who originally had the finance has left the country, and the garage that i bought the car from shut down and moved to a new location/name.

    But i was v lucky on that one, i never bother registering the car to me until i need road tax, so i was missed out completely.
    It pays to do the finance check, and i have always done it on every car i have bought... but it was my brother and my mum that went out and bought this bmw without me even seeing it...
    Never even looked at a bmw since.

    You have AA, they wont get out of it as long as you have all the paperwork...

    Jay
     
  15. OP
    OP
    KLP 92

    KLP 92 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Rung up the finance company! The AA had already been in touch with them as to why the car was not on the finance register. The finance company admitted that the car was not on the finance register as they had made a mistake in one digit of the registration number. They only caught on to this when the vehicle changed ownership. They have asked me to send in a copy of the V5, a reciept for the purchase of the car and a bank statement showing the transaction. Once they recieve this info they will decide as to drop the finance on the vehicle against me and pursue the original owner. I have the previous owners new address and contact number which they have asked for me to forward on. Hopefully this can be sorted out asap or otherwise i will be claiming against the AA.
    AA have been completely useless in the dealing of this manner. After 6 phonecalls today it was only after i asked to speak to their manager that they rang up the financing company to chase them up. And when i said i want to file a claim against them they simply refused saying that they cannot file a claim till the car had been taken away from me. But then they also added if this did happen then they cannot guarentee that they would be able to compensate me the value of my vehicle back! So as it stands the AA are trying hard to wriggle out of the situation! And the customer service department apparantly has no managers that i could speak to as they are all away for a few days!!! So i can't speak to anyone and i can't file a claim against them. Doesn't that sound slightly odd to you?? Someone remind me why we pay that £40 for the datacheck....
     
  16. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    It sounds like you should be Ok, but no thanks to the AA. What a bunch of AR*****S.

    At least the finance company are listening to reason.

    Makes a mental note: NEVER USE AA DATACHECK..STICK TO hpi.

    regards
     
  17. l5foye

    l5foye Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hello
    I hope you get it all resolved to your satisfaction. I can appreciate your worry but I reckon your ownership of the car cannot be challenged. There was negilence firstly on the part of the finance company and secondly on the part of the AA. You were reasonably entitled to rely on the AA data check. Have a look at the case of Moorgate Mercantile Ltd v Twitchings ( Court of Appeal) 1975- a summary is at http://car-crime.com/moorgate_mercantile.htm
    It would be interesting to know if your solicitor makes any reference to this case.
     
  18. Barry320SLK

    Barry320SLK New Member

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    Possession is 9 tenths of the law, so keep the car tucked away.
    Then seeking proper legal advice would seem the best thing to do.

    Good luck, not that you should need it.
     
  19. willy

    willy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    keep your car well hidden as the finance boys don't need any car keys
    to take your car. they just come round with a tow truck and tow it away.

    it happened to my colleagues car, as at lunch time he saw a tow truck
    go into the work car park and the next minute his car was towed away :(
    he asked them how they know where his car was and their reply was it is
    our job to know where our cars are, so don't be suprised if you haven't been
    followed already.

    if you don't get any luck with the AA, trying writing to What Car? as I'm sure they can put some pressure on the AA to sort out the mess.
     
  20. Dave Kerr

    Dave Kerr Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Try the Trading standards and the Citizens advice bureau as well.
    Good luck.

    Dave
     

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