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Car Finance Agreement and Fraud - what are my rights??


kirkypoos
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Hi,

 

Totally new to this site so sorry if I make any mistakes...it is a bit of a saga.

 

December 2007 we get a new car on finance from a garage that sold second hand cars and could source and finance new ones. We were told that it was for 3 years and the repayments were going to be £300 a month. When we went to collect the car the agreement that my partner signed was for a 3 year finance, with a balloon payment at the end or give the car back deal. However the agreement said that the car we were getting was a different model (more expensive one) but the amount the car was worth and the 36 month term was correct. It stated we had paid no deposit, which was correct. We said the car model was wrong, so the guy that owned the place said that we should sign the agreement that was there, he ammended the model by hand and said an ammended copy would be sent out to us by post. Document was signed and we collected the car when the payments started they were £350 and we called and the finance company said that was the payments and its what we signed for, we were sure we hadn't but were pleased to have the car anyway. As we were living away from home at the time at uni we didn't notice we didn't get a copy of the agreement.

 

Anyway forward to August 2009. The police called us and asked about the man we bought the car from. Apparently he had used this mans credit card to pay the deposit for our car in the land rover garage he bought our car from. This man had ordered a car from him and wanted some special alloy wheels for it, so he gave him his details and assumed when the amount showed on his bill that this was for the wheels. However he never got his new car and when he checked with the garage found out it was used for the deposit for our car.

 

The police asked about out dealings with him, and if we were happy. As we had paid him no money, and got the car we had no problems so they didn't investigate our purchase much further. However as a result of using this card and other offences the dealer was charged with fraud and recieved about a year in prison.

 

Forward to this year. We are approaching December 2010 which is supposed to be the end of our finance. We were in a main dealers and they asked if we had a car to part exchange. We said we had a car with finance that was nearly up. So the man said he would ring and get a settlement figure so we could see if it was worth more than we still owed or if it would be better giving it back. He called us the next day and told us that the finance company said it was a 4 year agreement. So we called a few weeks later (I am not mad leaving it, I had a baby and pushed it to the back of my mind) and they said it was definetly a 4 year agreement. When we went to find out about the man that sold us the car we found out that he had actually gone to prison for the fraud related to the purchase of our car and other car dealings.

 

So alarm bells are ringing now, so I ring the finance company explain the story, and say the police didn't investigate us more as we had paid no deposit. The woman said "you have paid no deposit?" and I was like "no, why?" and she said that on their agreement they had that we paid a deposit. Obviously I knew we hadn't signed for 4 years anyway so something had gone wrong so requested the credit agreement with the signature be sent. They sent it asap and when it has come it is not my partner's signature. It is vaguely similar but noticeably not his signature (ie like the ones on his cards, driving licence etc etc).

 

The document is a bad quality copy but is a Hire Purchase Agreement regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The following things are wrong/ have been forged:

 

1. model of car is wrong

2. it says it is used...it was new

3.it says we paid a deposit of £1749.90 ....we paid nothing

4.the signature is forged

 

We are the registered keepers of the car. Where do we stand now? Obviously we do not have a valid credit agreement I would assume, but do we keep the car, get our money back?? Do I need a solicitor?

 

Both my partner and myself are professional people so I don't think we would have any problems proving we are telling the truth.

 

Any advice would be massively appreciated. The finance company know the signature is forged and have asked how we want to proceed. We were students during the majority of the agreement and missed payments so it has affected my partner's credit score.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

x

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This is totally different to most posts on here

 

I would contact the HP company again & get a name of someone to communicate with on an ongoing basis as you won't want to be explaining the situation every time you do contact them

 

From what you have written it sounds as though you want to find out where you stand with them. The best thing is to write and ask them, but giving them the information about what you understood the position to be. As you had signed for £300 but were paying £350 you might consider that you have already paid what you should have done. If that is so, amend the letter accordingly. If you have overpaid you should ask for a refund of the overpayment ... but don't forget the balloon payment at the end.

 

As you were paying more than you expected, you could ask them to consider removing any black marks on the credit record - and definately removing any late payment fees if there are any since they would be unlawful penalty charges.

 

Your ref xxxx

 

I purchased car xx xx xxx from xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on xxxxxxxxxxxxx on an HP agreement with your company

 

I understand that there has been a police investigation of this matter and that the person who sold the car to us & processed the hp agreement was subsequently jailed for fraud.

 

The car purchased under the agreement was a NEW xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for £xxxxxxx

I signed the agreement to pay £300 per month for 3 years plus a final payment of xxxx.

This would have resulted in my paying £10,800 + xxxx to your company.

Despite this I have been paying £350 per month.

 

I understand that you believe that the agreement was for 4 years and that the car was used when purchased.

I can confirm that the signature on the agreement is not mine but a forgery. I signed a different document.

 

Naturally I want to determine how I stand.

 

Whilst I appreciate that there was a fraud committed by the salesperson and that you and I were unaware of it, I would expect the agreement that I signed to be honoured and if there is any shortfall then you should pursue the person who committed the fraud for the difference through the civil courts.

 

Please reply in writing.

 

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no wonder the finance company are asking how you want to procede

 

at the end of the day you should be giving the car back to the finance company and the finance company give back all payments made plus 8 %

 

it does not matter that you have had use of the vehicle, its a fraudalent application and you should be released from all liability

in this sinario you could go back to the finance co and say

 

lets call it quits and keep the car as its the finance co who will be at a loss

 

get back to your thread for more advice if needed

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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I have spoken to them and they asked if I could put down in writing what I want. I have sent them a letter stating the facts of the situation and then simply said that I could quote the consumer credit act until I was blue in the face but we both know that there is no agreement and if they want to imply we have accepted the contact by performance the whole agreement is not valid under the Act.

 

In light of this I have asked for my money back plus 8% and I have also asked for compensation as we fell into arrears last year as my partner was in hospital and they were absolutely awful to him threatening him down the phone etc etc. I have also asked for compensation as that affected his credit rating really badly. I have said that the agreement should be wiped from his credit file also. I haven't mentioned keeping or returning the car.

 

However when I have looked into the man that took out the agreement he was sent to prison for £380,000 of fraud that they were able to prove relating to taking credit agreements out in customers' names. My finance company are a well known car finance company and I have requested the court documents as I assume I am not the only person he arranged this fraudulent finance through this company. My thoughts are that the company must have known last year when he was investigated and convicted that he had taken out finance fraudulently. They should have checked at that time that our agreement was legal and not fraudulent and obviously didn't. By not checking with us they were in fact aiding him to defraud us which could have some pretty heavty reprocussions in terms them holding a credit licence, office of fair trading etc. So this will be my next bargaining tool!!

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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  • 1 year later...

Hi,

 

I am looking for further advice on this.

 

A year on and we are now dealing with the finance company solicitor.

 

Since my previous posts a number of things have come to light.

 

1. The agreement that the finance company provided us with was forged by the finance company, I have a copy of their finance log that proves this.

2. The VIN number on their "agreement" is not correct and differs from the VIN of the car that we still possess

3. The person who sold us the car forged identity documents which have been proved to be fake.

 

We are just going back and forth with the solicitor. The handling aspect is being looked at by the ombudsman but this will take forever.

 

They have asked us for a suggested settlement.

 

I am going to ask to keep the car and monies paid returned, interest and compensation which they will probably laugh at.

 

If I wanted to take them to court to get a judgement how would I go about this. The total amount of finance is over 25k.

 

thanks xx

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Moving your thread to legal issues, you might receive more views and advice there :)

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Well clearly you can't keep the car, have all your money back AND get compensation as you would be getting a free car and being paid for the privilege as well. If your signature is forged there is no agreement between you and the finance co, simple as that. If it went to court the parties would have to be put in the position they would be in prior to the agreement i.e. you would give the car back, the finance co would have to return all your payments BUT there would be a deduction made from that sum to represent the value of the usage you have had from the vehicle. You are not entitled to compensation from the finance co as they have done nothing wrong. Your credit record would have to be wiped though. It's a matter of doing a deal with the finance co - I expect they would be happy with a walk away solution, i.e. you keep the car, they keep the payments you have made and call it a day.

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