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Hi Forum,

 

I have an unusual and complicated situation that I would greatly appreciate some helpful advice on.

 

On 31st March 2008 I entered into a HP agreement with BH, total price £11,179.83 and paid a deposit of £500. The total credit charge was £2,858.65 and agreed to be repaid by 48 instalments of £282.26

 

I was able to meet the payments up until and including November 2009, but after this date I was unable to due to my company going into liquidation. I held onto the car without making any payments until October 2010 in the hope things would improve and I could get back on my feet. When I decided I was not going to be able to achieve this I agreed to entertain a VS. At this point the matter was passed to Apex Credit Management.

 

As you may expect, I was very apprehensive to do a VS as I am aware that cars are auctioned and I didn't want the vehicle to be sold for a lot less than its value and be left with a significant amount still to pay.

 

I was visited by a representative of Apex by the name of Mr Brian Pearson. He was a very friendly man at the time and appeared to be very cooperative. When I voiced my concerns over the auction sale being far less than the cars worth leaving me a large deficit, he advised that the normal procedure was to place a reserve on the car of the Glass Guide price plus 5%, and that the vehicle would continue to go through the auctions until it sold at this value, therefore a low price sale would not occur and I would not be exposed to a high deficit.

 

This information put me at a lot of ease and I consequently signed the relevant documents (naturally they contained huge amounts of very small print T & C's) however Mr Pearson told me I had nothing to worry about and that from the just over £8,000 I still owed, after the auction I would only be left with probably just over £1,000 and would be able to come to an agreement with BH to settle this. For the record, my car was extremely well looked after with very low mileage and the Glass Guide price was £6,300 in its state at the time.

 

Approximately 3 months later I received a letter from BH saying the vehicle has been sold for a paltry £3,389.20 and I was left with a deficit of £4,514.08!! Obviously I was horrified.

 

I immediately wrote to both BH and Apex demanding to know what the hell had happened in light of the advice I had been given by Apex. Naturally BH said they knew nothing of anything and referred to their terms. Apex were as bad and denied they would ever give such advice and can only refer to terms of surrender etc.

 

Whilst in hindsight, I realise I should of got written confirmation of such things, at the time when you are under great stress you take these things on professional trust.

 

Obviously not being happy with the situation, I decided to take my case to the Ombudsman who have not upheld anything to do with my complaint stating:

 

" It is difficult to conclude that BH has done anything substantially wrong. I have no reason to believe that the current balance is incorrect or that BH was under any an obligation to put a reserve price on the car at the auction."

 

It goes on to explain how BH provided a copy of the signed paperwork and that it was all done in-line with terms and standard practice. All in all, BH have done everything correct and by the book and have done nothing wrong.

 

When addressing the issue with Apex, again the Ombudsman has said that there is not enough evidence to uphold my complaint because:

 

Apex have sent Mr Pearsons account of events and he is adamant he would not have said such a thing (surprise surprise) and that he always advises that cars go to auction and get sold for as much as possible, end of.

 

He goes on to explain that he sometimes uses an anecdote about a car his daughter was looking to buy and refers to a CAPS guide price plus 5%. To which the Ombudsman finds plausible and suggests I might be confused! I can 100% assure anyone, I know what Glass Guide is and I know what Mr Pearson informed me off and never mentioned anything about any CAPS guide price, otherwise I would have wanted to know what this price was?

 

All in all the Ombudsman concludes that it cannot verify verbal misrepresentation and therefore cannot uphold my complaint.

 

I have the opportunity to appeal the decision, however I do not know how best to go about this at all and would be really grateful for some useful advice on this. I will also happily donate to the cause as well. :-)

 

Many Thanks,

 

SK

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I really wish I could give you some good advice here but I can't.

 

The finance company are obliged by law to get the best price they can for the car. By putting it in an auction they can argue that they did this on the basis that anyone could bid up to what they thought it was worth and you can't say, "My mate would have paid £xxx for it" as they will say, "He should have gone to the auction then".

 

The CAP guide is like Glass's Guide but it is based on average auction prices (I think it stands for Combined Auction Price guide, or something like that). It is more widely used by buyers than Glass's Guide is now.

 

I hope you get someone more knowledgeable than me along soon who can advise you better.

Good luck.

Love your enemies - it drives them crazy.

Thanks to Bobby Thompson (1911-1988) for the user name:"Let them knock, the paint lasts longer than the skin".

nec temere nec timide

 

So far, all done free for friends:

Cabot - F&F reduced debt by £7700 (70%)

NatWest - PPI claim - £1,800

NatWest - PPI claim - £6,200

NatWest - PPI claim - £3,000

Co-op Bank - PPI claim - £5,200

Halifax - PPI claim - £2,800

NatWest - debt identified as statute barred - £1,900

NatWest - debt identified as statute barred - £2,700

NatWest - loan identified as unenforceable - £13,400

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I really wish I could give you some good advice here but I can't.

 

The finance company are obliged by law to get the best price they can for the car. By putting it in an auction they can argue that they did this on the basis that anyone could bid up to what they thought it was worth and you can't say, "My mate would have paid £xxx for it" as they will say, "He should have gone to the auction then".

 

The CAP guide is like Glass's Guide but it is based on average auction prices (I think it stands for Combined Auction Price guide, or something like that). It is more widely used by buyers than Glass's Guide is now.

 

I hope you get someone more knowledgeable than me along soon who can advise you better.

Good luck.

 

Thanks for post. Lets hope someone can advise with something hopeful. I'm just really annoyed with Apex telling me what min value I could expect.

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Can't see there is anywhere you can go with this. The value of the vehicle is what someone is prepared to pay for it, not what it says in a guide. If they had put a reserve on it of Glass's Guide plus 5% it would never have sold, because it's true value was what it was sold for at auction.

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