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Approximately three years ago, i foolishly stood as guarentor on a vehicle my son wanted to purchase - at the time i had a job, something I do not have now.


My son just over a year or so ago lost his job and could not make the payments and so it became down to me to sort the mess out. I contacted the credt company and agreed to voluntarily surrender the vehicle (I believe he had not paid half - there was a short fall of around £430ish pounds -depending on what they sold the vehicle for - or so i was told) I paid for the car to be collected and that was approximately a year ago - I had heard nothing from them at all until Friday when I recieved a letter stating;

I owe them £425.10 (bring what has been paid to 50%)

£20 letter fee


and the following paragragh stating;


you are also responsible for all loss of or damage to the vehicle in accordance with clause 3 of the terms of the agreement totalling £555.00 which when added to your net liability amounts to £1000.10.


The damages according to an estimate they have supplied are as follows;

Interior door panels changed back to original colour £200

Split rear bumper £150

Battery £50

Replacement of Auxiliary belt tensioner £120

MOT £35


The vehicle was taken back approximately one year ago at the time it had an MOT (Although I did not have the certificate to give them I understand that this is easily obtainable and verifiable by any garage)

It had a new battery (Less than six months old)

The interior door panels my son had changed so maybe this is an acceptable charge?

The bumper was not split or any mention of it being split up until this latest communication

The engine on the vehicle undergone a rebuild under warranty - would the belt tensioner not have been done at the time and can this be classed as loss or damage - surely it is wear and tear??


Advice please

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have you the agreement still?



please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I havent got a copy, but I can request one.


Having spoken with the company concerned , discussing the repairs list - the vehicle was not inspected at handover and no paper work signed acknowledging any problems with the vehicle - I queired the split bumper, which they say it had on return to their premises a year ago, I did suggest that this could have happened at any time once the vehicle left our ownership, I raised the issue of the battery, belt tensioner being normal wear and tear (As advised by another garage) and the MOT being current even with certificate - they have asked that I put this all in writing - which I will do later today once I have a bit of feed back from you guys



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it is very good of you to sort this out for your son.

the £425 would be ok to satify the 50% rule, however I would reject any and all further charges as far too late to claim them, as you do not know what has happened to the car in the intervening time.

Just on the point of acting as guarantor, unless the form was signed, independantly witnessed and completed under seal in would not be valid under law, as there is no benefit to you under normal contract terms, only liability.

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Thank you for your comments - I think am going to offer them the £425.10 in full and final settlement as I agree that everything apart from the altered interior door panels has all happened ages after the vehicle was collected. With regard to my son changing the door panels (He changed the fabric colour from black to orange...not my taste but his preference) is this classed as damage or loss - they have made no reference to the upgraded speakers he installed.


The Guarantor part - the HP agreement was signed at the garage by my son and myself (I havent got my copy so have request a new one - but I seem to remember it was also signed by the sales person - I am assuming this must be legally binding or else what would have been the point in requesting that I do it?

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The credit company is North Herts Credit company - interestingly the car, once collected went back to the garage from which it was purchased and the invoice 10/12 months later for repairs is also from them.

The battery they are claiming for was still under warranty for another 2 1/2 years....I wonder the legality of them running up a bill in my name without prior consultation?

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Do not mean to alarm you but confirm


you gave the vehicle bacK as


voluntary surender or

voluntary termination


there is a difference

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In this case i would send a letter to the finance company stating that the excess charges are irelevant due to the time span and no vehicle defect form was signed


offer them the £400 on condition it is a full and final settlement


if they agree


send the cheque

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Thank you - I had been intending to offer them the £425.10 as the amount required to achieve the 50% figure - as full and final settlement - is there a reason why this is more appropriate because it was a Voluntary surrender as opposed to termination? And legally how do I stand with regard to the repair cost? Common sense tells me not to pay them, but common sense doesnt seem to go hand in hand with what the law requires. (Although I do enjoy a challenge!)

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The repair costs are irrelevant


voluntary surrender mean you gave the car back but you will still be liable for the rest of the agreement, minus auction value of the vehicle


a voluntary terminations means you are ending the agreement as you have reached the 50 % mark

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The car was sold via a garage - I have no idea what figure they achieved in selling it.

They are stating in their letter

"You are also responsible for all loss of or damage to the vehicle in accordance with Clause 3 of the terms of the agreement totalling £555.00 which when added to your net liability amounts to £1000.10 (Included £20 for letter"!)"

Are you saying that legally they have no rights to request the money? Having spoken to them they seemed pretty sure they were entitled.

I apologise if I am am asking the same old questions, but before I write to them I want to be clear on where I stand.

Thank you for your help

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I will have to get back to you later with the exact details - as the information is at home - the agreement was taken out on 19th June according to their letter I have with me and my son had it approximately a year - their breakdown of what is payable is as follows

Upto half of the Total Amount payable £3144.86

Less Deposit £750

Instalments recieved £1969.76


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ok - the agreement was taken out on the 19th June and approximately 1 year later it was surrendered. The agreement was for a total of 36 months. Interestingly the copy I have of the agreement is only a photo copy sent to us by the HP company - however it only has one side so half of the agreements clauses etc are missing.

Also I notice a fee charge called 'option to purchase' for £85.00 which had he paid for it in full covers the cost for transfer of ownership - as this will never happen is the refundable?

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Just one other point - the letter from the HP company was accompanied by an "estimate" for repairs dated 10th June - I have no way of knowing if these works were carried out as the car is now sold

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well another reason not to pay it.

and yes the if the £85 purchase was paid sepertely ( why was it paid so soon? normally at end ) deduct this from the amont owed.

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