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saver6

Van was taken by LBL - we've never even heard of them!

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Could be a long one, sorry. There's a lot of different aspects to this...

 

Basically, Anglia bailiffs knocked on the door yesterday and told us we were not the legal owners of my husband's work van (self employed), that LBL were and there was outstanding finance on it so they were taking it. We'd never even heard of them! From what we managed to get out of them, a previous owner had £4500 owed on it but it had been sold to us for £2300 back in February this year. We've since spent £1500 on a new head for it, so we're down a lot of money and have no van for my husband to do his work properly.

 

We had no option but to let them take the van as my husband's tools were in it and they said if we didn't hand over the keys they would simply break into it. We're absolutely devestated as it's just the latest thing in a long line of problems we've had recently. Feels like the last straw.

 

So basically after they left with the van, we looked over our paperwork. Turns out the receipt we got from the sale is from Mr X at Flat 6, 1 High Street, Windsor, but the V5 (which we now know is obviously a duplicate that had been applied for after the LBL was taken out) is in the name of Mr Z from Flat 15, 1 High Street, Windsor (er, exact details changed obviously). Hmmm, can you see anything fishy about that...? We had not received both bits of paper at the same time, so it's only now looking at them side by side we can see the discrepancy. Especially when you consider that we bought the van on 25th Feb, but the V5 says the previous owner had bought it himself only 2 weeks previous to that...

 

So having gone straight down the CAB yesterday, we will now be pursuing a small claims from Mr X, whom we physically met with to buy the van. We know that at the end of the line we are likely to win but we also know we'll never see a penny of the money in reality. But I have prinicples and simply cannot take this lying down.

 

HOWEVER, when we popped by the solicitors for a quick chat after that, he advised us that we should also go to the police to report the fraud, as essentially the van was sold to us by someone who didn't own it - and that's even without the whole LBL-being-the-owners line. Police are taking us seriously and will be taking a statement from hubby later today.

 

It all feels so utterly utterly wrong that we are the innocent party and yet WE will lose out on a hell of a lot of money (especially as we paid with hubby's redundancy money to make this new start, and it's all been ripped away...). Not to mention loss of earnings for hubby as some of his tools are too large to lug about it my little car, which essentially means he may have to turn jobs away.

 

Has anyone encountered a case like this before? Is there any way of stopping the auction of the van? Is there anything else I can do? Would I be advisable to actually employ a solicitor rather than tackle the small claims myself? We just don't have the cash for legal help, but I don't think we qualify for legal aid either. I'm on a reduced wage at the moment so we simply haven't got any money to pay for a solicitor ourselves...

 

We both feels at a complete and utter loss lately, this is almost ready to break us both financially and emotionally. :(:(

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hi all

 

contact log book loans

demand to see the secured by bill of sale doc

if they dont have it or its not signed by the high court, they have no legal right to take the car

 

get them to email or fax it to you

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Hi

 

Read the thread ARE YOU A THIRD PARTY VICTIM. We swapped a car in April 08 and it was took from us in December 08. We had never heard of logbook loans. We also lost a lot of money. We can't afford to go through small claims none of us work.

 

We went to the police who told us it was a civil matter and they cannot get involved.

 

Hope you have more luck.

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Yep, we've also been told that it's a civil matter by the police, even though I've done more digging and it seems it was definitely a full blown [problem]. The reason I know this is because I rang LBL yesterday and they said they logged their interest on the HPI only the day before we bought it. So the timeline goes:

 

12th Feb - Mr Z buys van

19th Feb - Van is listed on ebay and we see it online within a couple of days. We do a text HPI which comes back clear. Had we done a full HPI it still would have shown up clear at this point. Already now in negotiation with seller to come see it on 25th.

24th Feb - LBL register their interest on the HPI, therefore the loan has been taken out sometime between 12th and 24th Feb.

25th Feb - We buy van from Mr X

[problem]!

 

We won't get our money back through small claims whether we win or not because this type of **** can never be found. I will certainly be doing the letter-before-action though, but am now thinking that people like us should maybe report this to Watchdog. Even if it doesn't help us personally, people need to be aware that this type of [problem] - because of loopholes provided by firms such as LBL and the DVLA not being aware of any 3rd party interest logged on the car - exists. I'll definitely be contacting them.

 

In future, I will now always be suspicious of buying from a private seller.

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Saver6 - don't believe everything (or indeed anything) LBL or their agents tell you. The previous owner may well have paid them everything but a £20 "charge" for all we know at this stage, they are desperately trying to turn everything into cash at the moment as they may well be finding themselves without a credit license very soon!

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UPDATE: Not much but just thought I'd update to say that Trading Standards have finally called me back, and I'm not the first... The lovely lady I spoke to has had another similar complaint this week and is now going to do some digging into the legality of LBL seizing our van. Apparently in cases where finance is outstanding on a car, the first "innocent purchaser", ie, us, as we didn't know about it and couldn't have known about it, is always the rightful owner no matter what anyone says, but whether this applies to LBL as well she is looking into for us. She also told me that I need to contact LBL to demand to see the court order, which I am trying to do at the moment with no answer. Cross fingers for us!

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We also have trading standards working with us. We gained a copy of the bill of sale for the car we had taken tis is now being looked at to check the legality of it.

 

We are back in touch with Daily Mirror who are going to run our full story very soon.

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I got the court order, and they were also "kind" enough to send me the original borrow's contract, which was signed on the 24th Feb and seems to have a few spelling errors (which may invalidate it I believe, but I'll stand corrected if that's not the case). I believe that this is proof of fraud so am going to go back to the police with my evidence. I have forwarded everything to Trading Standards.

 

I have also found out that the van was auctioned on the 19th this month - ie, NOT the full 5 days clear that the LBL contract stated. AND it was sold from a different auction house than they told us it was going to.

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Sorry wearcareless, I meant to say good luck for yours, and certainly keep me updated with how you get on, as well with the newspaper. I may go to my local paper as I know one of the reporters there so have a good chance of getting a story in.

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Hi saver6

 

We had our car auctioned the day it was took. It was took from us at 10 oclock and was auctioned before 3pm.

 

Keep us informed on how you get on.

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saver return to the police. It's clear you have been defrauded. The seller is guilty of an offence under the 2006 Fraud Act & for the police to suggest it's only civil is complete & utter nonsense. Complain up the food chain if you have to & mention that you understand from LBL this person or persons could be running a racket as you understand it's happened before where LBL is the lender

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Hi wearecareless - perhaps worth pursuing the 5 day rule thing? I have a contract here that specifically states by LBL's own T&Cs that they wait five clear days. If you want a copy, let me know.

 

JonCris - recontacting the police is my next move actually. Now I have evidence they can't ignore me. If they don't want to know, I'll be reporting the same thing to the seller's local police as it's a different county - perhaps they know of these people. Luckily OH's sister works for the police, and although doesn't really have any power to help us, does at least know the best avenues to pursue...

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UPDATE

Trading STandards looked into everything and even contacted the OFT for advice. Nada. It turns out it was legal for LBL to take the van from us, end of, as the Bill of Sale loophole they found does not fall under "innocent purchaser" rights that normal car finance rules would. Therefore we cannot get the van back or chase LBL for any compensation. However Trading Standards have flagged it as an issue for the OFT to bring up as part of their own case against LBL to get their licence revoked, in order to protect 3rd party victims.

 

The only thing we can do is take the seller to small claims, which we can't afford to do. And also re-report to the police, which is next on my list when I've got my head round it all.

 

Still can't believe we're out of pocket by 4 grand and have to fork out for yet another van.

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