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Black Horse repossession fiasco

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My car was financed by Hyundai Finance but in the small print it said Black Horse. All was well until redundancy struck. The mortgage was more of a priority and the car payments got in arrears. Nothing was received from the finance company except for the occasional letter sent with additional charges added on. Out of the blue on Saturday lunchtime just over week ago two guys acting as agents for BH came to repossess the car (which was parked on our driveway). We argued we had not received any default notice or repossession order. Of course we were not able to contact BH as it was a weekend. After arguing for a while the guy said you might as well save yourself a lot of trouble and hand over the keys as we're going to take it anyway. Not wanting to make a scene in front of the neighbours we handed over the keys (after removing our belongings). We subsequently realised if we hadn’t handed the keys over he couldn’t legally take the car from private property, but it was too late then. The guy said if you sort it out with your finance company the car can be returned to you. On the Monday we phoned BH. At first they were unwilling to accept anything less than all the arrears but eventually said we could pay half and the rest over the next 6-8 months. Somehow we scraped together the money as we were now both in employment (and my partner had just received his first month's pay).

 

Despite requesting that the car not be sent to auction and held for a week until we had settled, the car was sent to the auction site on the Monday. We paid half the arrears and arranged to collect the car (90 miles away - they would not return it to us). On picking up the car from the auction site I discovered the car tax was missing and there was some damage to the car (scratches to the paintwork etc). We are now going round in circles as BH are saying it’s the auction company that is responsible as the delivery notice provided by the recovery agent had no mention of damage to the car. I believe that BH are ultimately responsible as they are in control - they instructed the agent to recover the vehicle - and a report on the condition of the car should have been done before it left our possession. Where do we go from here as we are passed from pillar to post and are getting nowhere. I am thinking of obtaining an estimate for repair and claiming it from BH. I also want to send them an SAR as every time we ring we get a different story.

 

Incidentally we have since found out that we were less than £30 short of paying a third of the value of the loan at the time the car was repossessed. I believe that is why we never received any default notice as this would have clearly shown and we would have had the opportunity to pay a small amount in order to go over the threshold of repossession without a court order.

 

Any advice gratefully received.

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The fact that they did not serve a default precludes them from enforcing the agreement, this includes repossession. So in reality that had absolutely no right to touch the car in the first place.

I also think that you would still have a case for breach of Section 92 as you were coerced into giving consent so the consent was not actually a real consent as in United Dominions Trust (Commercial) Ltd v Ennis [1968] 1 QB 54

 

Whether you have got the car back or not is irrelevant as the fact that they repossessed it in the first place will stand regardless of what happened after that.

 

Yes I'd definitely go with the SAR option to see exactly what they have on you and if there ever was a default notice.

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Hi,

 

Thank you for your reply. The SAR request proved interesting reading. We had all the paperwork through recently.

 

They provided copies of default notices allegedly issued, but these would be easy to generate after the event. It's their word against ours whether we received them in the post or not. They also allege they called out a few months previously and the recovery agent spoke to me and handed me a card. I would certainly recall this if it had happened, but it certainly didn't. The whole thing is made up of fabrications. Also there appears to be a forged signature on one of the documents though not on the credit agreement.

 

I think it's time to take legal action. We are already pursuing them for damages to the car while it was repossessed. Will keep you posted.

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