Hi All, before I start I know there are similar threads of the topic I am raising, and each, of course, has its own unique scenario, which may benefit others.
My case is as follows:
1. I saw a gumtree ad on the 16th of Oct 2020 for a Mercedes E220 CDI, priced at 7,500
2. I called the seller and said I will come over on the 17th of Oct 2020 to view.
3. On the 17th of Oct 2020 I went to his place where he is working and viewed the car. He is working for a major car rental company. I checked the car and of course asked the normal things to ask e.g. any insurance write-offs, loans, accidents, etc. The seller said the car is clean etc.no loan, he had a loan but all is paid off etc. and he has the papers.
4. I negotiated the car price to 6,800 because the rims were showing some signs of damage, the rear light had a small burst, cosmetics, etc. I checked all but did not see any sign of damage to the car (it's a black car, the car was a bit dirty, and the sun was already setting in)
5. We agreed on 6,800 and decided to purchase the car. We went into his office, where I paid cash, and also got a Car Sales Invoice with all details of the seller, and a V5C green slip
6. I purchased car insurance and drove off. I asked him about Road Tax and he said Road tax is paid so I have not to worry, just need car insurance.
7. On 18th of Oct 2020 I cleaned the car interior because it was really dirty inside - it took me a few hours so decided to clean the exterior the next day
8. On the 19th of Oct 2020 I went to clean the exterior and after the car was clean I noticed some parts were resprayed. I became a bit suspicious; so on the 19th of Oct 2020 in the eve, I went on the internet and run an HPI check. The outcome from the HPI did not show any accidents, insurance write-off but an outstanding Loan with Moneybarn. At this point, I thought maybe the database is not updated, etc.
9. On the 20th of Oct 2020, morning, things were going through my mind; the seller said the car is clean, no issues, no loan since he settled all etc. but the HPI reports say there is still some outstanding loan.
I called Moneybarn, and explained the situation, and gave them the contract number as well (since it was displayed on the HPI report). They said they will send me a form by email, but they cannot share any information due to Data Protection (GDPR). fair enough I thought, but what made me boil, they said they OWN the car!
I took the car and drove to the seller where he is working. I confronted him. He said don't worry, I will handle it, he has no time, he is very busy and bla bla bla. I said what reasons do I have to trust you, you lied, and now you say you still have a debt, etc. I said I will not leave until he has settled the debt, or repay me my money. I also asked what is outstanding, he said around 7,000.
Well, since I confronted him at his workplace he may have felt the heat, he assured he will settle all soon, I said sorry, I need a date I said you will settle the debt with Moneybarn by 23 Oct 2020, if not, you will refund me my money. He said Ok he will do it, I said, since I don't trust you, you will sign a piece of paper, and sign it.
On the paper, he wrote "I will clear the debt for the Mercedes by Friday" and signed it. I said I am not happy and added the debt details with contract number, and also a clause that if he fails to settle the debt with Moneybarn by Friday the 23rd of Oct 2020, he will refund me my money, 6,800, and sales of the car Mercedes, license plate, will be void. Also, I said to put an initial on each amendment I made with signature. He did, and I left.
10. On 22 Oct I sent him a message, to remind him to settle the debt by Friday 23 Oct 2020 noontime and also I outlined some legal jargon I had to sent that I received from citizens advice.
11. On 23 Oct, morning time, I received a message from the seller, he said he will not/cannot refund me the money, not to visit him at his office or place, and that he feels threatened by me.
12. Now, the dilemma/headache;
a). I received the form from Moneybarn on the 20th of Oct 2020 and I have to send it back within 7 days
b). the seller send me a message he will not refund the money
c). is the seller holding the title with Moneybarn or did he also buy and not knowing there is an outstanding loan on it
d). did he sent the V5C to DVLA since I have the green slip?
e). Shall I fill in the form and sent it to Moneybarn?
f). If Moneybarn has all my details they may send someone to repossess the car?
13. I decided, I will not undertake anything yet, because my mind said, go there, confront him, park the car in front of the company since I purchased it there and signed all paperwork in their office, they will call the police, the police will come and surely will not do anything but will force me to remove the car and park somewhere else, record all on camera, take all evidence, sent to Moneybarn
at the same time to the seller's employer (when I asked him to sign a letter he will settle the debt by Friday 23rd of Oct 2020, he used a paper of the car rental company, and on the back, the logo of the rental company is displayed clearly and he may have acted on behalf of the company to sell me the car, after all, I don't know if he holds the title with Moneybarn
- well, this is an excuse for me to even sue the car rental company, or blacklist him with the company he is working for since it seems he is some type of manager there and he may have acted in the capacity as a sales person to sell the car to me on behalf the company....).
14. on the 23rd of Oct 2020, I didn't do anything like described under 13....it's not my style as such I called AWH solicitors, explained all, and they said one person is specialized in dealing with such cases and will call me back after studying my case and inform me if it is something they can fight or not. they will call me Monday the 26th of Oct 2020.
I also said I want to go now and confront the seller, but she said better wait till Monday, and if they can fight the case, they will tell me the next course of action - but my funds are limited and cannot afford a lengthy battle, because if no case against Moneybarn means I will have to sue the seller to the court which will cost me. The car has comprehensive insurance and with all this saga I added on the 20th of Oct 2020 also legal insurance on top.
Lengthy story, but I am trying to be as detailed as I can, and yes I should have done an HPI before buying the car, but I am from Holland and car sales work there a bit different, and this is my first time I buy from a private seller.
once I have sent the form to Moneybarn, I will park the car in a garage, and at this stage, I am renting a room in a house (there is one more tenant). Since I am from Holland, I am planning a trip within 2 weeks to visit my family and I will drive down with the car and in the meanwhile wait if the solicitor can be of any help.
I need some advice though, I am still planning to drive down to the seller on Tuesday after I talked with the solicitor, park the car in front of the company, and confront the seller, and try to record all. I will also try to make him sign a letter that I purchased the car in good faith from him (regardless if he holds the title with Moneybarn or not but at least I purchased in good faith from him).
Evidence that I have:
1. Car sales invoice
2. Paper that I made him sign
3. Gumtree ad; I could retract this from google history, but the original add removed from gumtree. At least I can show it was advertised
4. I tried to create a history of past owners, total owners including me are 5.
It seems the car was also posted on gumtree before by a company in Essex (I saw on google).
The reason for doing this, it is very likely that the seller purchased the car from someone else with an outstanding loan.
Since then I read a lot on the internet,
please any advice is welcome to pursue my case, I paid a lot and at least I want my money back.
Also what I read so far, Moneybarn is not easy to deal with.
..thanks in advance for any advice I can use for my case.