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Unenforceable credit agreement

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Hello to you all, and particularly anyone with a knowledge of the law.

In December of 05, an acquaintance asked me if I could arrange finance for a couple he was friendly with to buy his car. As I was a motor dealer ,this was no problem for me, so I said I could. The price of the car was 14k, the couple would find 2k themselves, and require credit for the balance. At first just the man of the couple applied for the finance, but he was declined due to a rather uncertain employment. It was suggested to his girlfriend to join the application as she had her own house and was a co-director of a small limited company, and therefore looked more credit worthy..she agreed, and completed an application form which the owner of the car took from me ,to her office for completion. The joint application was accepted, subject to 6 references from the lady proving satisfactory. These were, her bank statements, her utility bills, her passport, her drivers licence, a letter confirming her employment status from her business partner, and a letter from her accountant. She provided all these items freely without question, and the finance was granted. A finance agreement was issued to my business premises which needed the signatures of both applicants. The owner of the car was at my office on the day they came to sign the agreement and witnessed the pair sign both the agreement, and a document which stated they understood what they had signed, and that they had signed it on my licenced premises. The woman also signed a direct debit mandate to make the loan payments from her account. The pair came to my office seperately, but the car owner was there to witness both sign.

All was good for several months, until the woman was caught having an affair, and the couple parted stormily. Neither wanted to make the rather heavy repayments for the car, and it was susequently reposessed. The finance company took the pair to court to seek judgement against them. He had gone who knows where, so offered no defence, but she had more to lose, and offered as her defence that she had not signed on my licenced premises, and the agreement was not therefore enforceable or legal. I believe that at this stage she presumed her friend who had witnessed her sign, would not make a statement against her.

The finance company now wanted to take her back to court to recover their losses, and asked me to be a witness. I was reluctant, and explained that getting into any disputes with people is bad news for me as all my stock is on show, and I am very vulnerable. Besides, she has signed all the documents before me and a witness, so I could not see how she could possibly escape. Shortly after, I received a summons to court naming me as a defendant. The finance company were taking us both to court on the basis that they would win the case against one or the other!

I now had to instruct a solicitor, although I had done nothing wrong, but he told me that as long as the witness was prepared to go to court, the result should be a formality. Famous last words !!!

The finance company made no attempt to bring the male applicant to court, which seems out of order to me, and surely not legal?

In court the woman claimed that the car's owner had taken the finance agreement to her office for signature, and it was therefore not signed on licenced premises. She also claimed he had covered the documents over in some way, so that she did not know what she was signing, despite the fact that she had signed over the words "this is a credit agreement". She claimed she never wanted to be part of the finance agreement, and did not realise she had signed an agreement.

Despite having no witness, or any evidence whatsoever, the judge decided that the woman was more likely to remember where she signed the document than i was, and found the case against me.

I appealed, only to be told by my solicitor that there is no right to appeal, only a right to apply to appeal. Outraged, I nevetheless applied to appeal....another 3k !!!! But apparently appeals are rarely heard, as no judge likes to undermine a colleague, and appeals are discouraged. Great!

Needless to say my application was declined. I have now had a charge for 24k put the property I own with my girlfriend, and it appears the finance company may be able to apply to make us sell our family home to pay this debt I don't owe.

I have no cash left to fight this case, and am at risk of losing my home...however I cannot believe that some escape does not exist for me, albeit maybe a technicality due in some way to the other party to the agreement not being in court or similar?.

If you have read all of my sorry story I thankyou, if you have any ideas how an honest working bloke can escape this outrageous travesty of justice, I would be so very glad to hear from you. Thanks again.

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You have my sympathy, but im struggling to see how you as merely a broker of the credit can be held responsible, after all you wouldn't even have been named in the credit agreement?


Stand by others will be on with their views im sure.

Please note i have no legal training any advice i give comes from my own experience and from what i have learned on this site

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No of course I'm not on the agreement, but thats not the issue...it had to be signed on my licenced (consumer credit licence), premises.

In order to escape payment, the debtor claimed to have signed elsewhere, and therefore making the agreement unenforceable against her, and me guilty of breaching CCL rules.

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Ok i see, so even if you had breached the CCL rules (which you hadn't and your friend was a witness to the signatures) under which Act have they obtained judgement against you?

Please note i have no legal training any advice i give comes from my own experience and from what i have learned on this site

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