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Hi All, before I start I know there are similar threads of the topic I am raising, and each, of course, has its own unique scenario, which may benefit others.

My case is as follows:
1. I saw a gumtree ad on the 16th of Oct 2020 for a Mercedes E220 CDI, priced at 7,500


2. I called the seller and said I will come over on the 17th of Oct 2020 to view.


3. On the 17th of Oct 2020 I went to his place where he is working and viewed the car. He is working for a major car rental company. I checked the car and of course asked the normal things to ask e.g. any insurance write-offs, loans, accidents, etc. The seller said the car is clean etc.no loan, he had a loan but all is paid off etc. and he has the papers.


4. I negotiated the car price to 6,800 because the rims were showing some signs of damage, the rear light had a small burst, cosmetics, etc. I checked all but did not see any sign of damage to the car (it's a black car, the car was a bit dirty, and the sun was already setting in)


5. We agreed on 6,800 and decided to purchase the car. We went into his office, where I paid cash, and also got a Car Sales Invoice with all details of the seller, and a V5C green slip


6. I purchased car insurance and drove off. I asked him about Road Tax and he said Road tax is paid so I have not to worry, just need car insurance.


7. On 18th of Oct 2020 I cleaned the car interior because it was really dirty inside - it took me a few hours so decided to clean the exterior the next day


8. On the 19th of Oct 2020 I went to clean the exterior and after the car was clean I noticed some parts were resprayed. I became a bit suspicious; so on the 19th of Oct 2020 in the eve, I went on the internet and run an HPI check. The outcome from the HPI did not show any accidents, insurance write-off but an outstanding Loan with Moneybarn. At this point, I thought maybe the database is not updated, etc.


9. On the 20th of Oct 2020, morning, things were going through my mind; the seller said the car is clean, no issues, no loan since he settled all etc. but the HPI reports say there is still some outstanding loan.

 

I called Moneybarn, and explained the situation, and gave them the contract number as well (since it was displayed on the HPI report). They said they will send me a form by email, but they cannot share any information due to Data Protection (GDPR). fair enough I thought, but what made me boil, they said they OWN the car!

 

I took the car and drove to the seller where he is working. I confronted him. He said don't worry, I will handle it, he has no time, he is very busy and bla bla bla. I said what reasons do I have to trust you, you lied, and now you say you still have a debt, etc.  I said I will not leave until he has settled the debt, or repay me my money. I also asked what is outstanding, he said around 7,000.

 

Well, since I confronted him at his workplace he may have felt the heat, he assured he will settle all soon, I said sorry, I need a date I said you will settle the debt with Moneybarn by 23 Oct 2020, if not, you will refund me my money. He said Ok he will do it,  I said, since I don't trust you, you will sign a piece of paper, and sign it.

 

On the paper, he wrote "I will clear the debt for the Mercedes by Friday" and signed it. I said I am not happy and added the debt details with contract number, and also a clause that if he fails to settle the debt with Moneybarn by Friday the 23rd of Oct 2020, he will refund me my money, 6,800, and sales of the car Mercedes, license plate, will be void. Also, I said to put an initial on each amendment I made with signature. He did, and I left.


10. On 22 Oct I sent him a message, to remind him to settle the debt by Friday 23 Oct 2020 noontime and also I outlined some legal jargon I had to sent that I received from citizens advice.


11. On 23 Oct, morning time, I received a message from the seller, he said he will not/cannot refund me the money, not to visit him at his office or place, and that he feels threatened by me.


12. Now, the dilemma/headache;

a). I received the form from Moneybarn on the 20th of Oct 2020 and I have to send it back within 7 days

b). the seller send me a message he will not refund the money

c). is the seller holding the title with Moneybarn or did he also buy and not knowing there is an outstanding loan on it

d). did he sent the V5C to DVLA since I have the green slip?

e). Shall I fill in the form and sent it to Moneybarn?

f). If Moneybarn has all my details they may send someone to repossess the car?


13. I decided, I will not undertake anything yet, because my mind said, go there, confront him, park the car in front of the company since I purchased it there and signed all paperwork in their office, they will call the police, the police will come and surely will not do anything but will force me to remove the car and park somewhere else, record all on camera, take all evidence, sent to Moneybarn

 

at the same time to the seller's employer (when I asked him to sign a letter he will settle the debt by Friday 23rd of Oct 2020, he used a paper of the car rental company, and on the back, the logo of the rental company is displayed clearly and he may have acted on behalf of the company to sell me the car, after all, I don't know if he holds the title with Moneybarn

 

- well, this is an excuse for me to even sue the car rental company, or blacklist him with the company he is working for since it seems he is some type of manager there and he may have acted in the capacity as a sales person to sell the car to me on behalf the company....).


14. on the 23rd of Oct 2020, I didn't do anything like described under 13....it's not my style as such I called AWH solicitors, explained all, and they said one person is specialized in dealing with such cases and will call me back after studying my case and inform me if it is something they can fight or not. they will call me Monday the 26th of Oct 2020.

 

I also said I want to go now and confront the seller, but she said better wait till Monday, and if they can fight the case, they will tell me the next course of action - but my funds are limited and cannot afford a lengthy battle, because if no case against Moneybarn means I will have to sue the seller to the court which will cost me. The car has comprehensive insurance and with all this saga I added on the 20th of Oct 2020 also legal insurance on top.

Lengthy story, but I am trying to be as detailed as I can, and yes I should have done an HPI before buying the car, but I am from Holland and car sales work there a bit different, and this is my first time I buy from a private seller.

 

once I have sent the form to Moneybarn, I will park the car in a garage, and at this stage, I am renting a room in a house (there is one more tenant). Since I am from Holland, I am planning a trip within 2 weeks to visit my family and I will drive down with the car and in the meanwhile wait if the solicitor can be of any help.

 

I need some advice though, I am still planning to drive down to the seller on Tuesday after I talked with the solicitor, park the car in front of the company, and confront the seller, and try to record all. I will also try to make him sign a letter that I purchased the car in good faith from him (regardless if he holds the title with Moneybarn or not but at least I purchased in good faith from him).

Evidence that I have:
1. Car sales invoice


2. Paper that I made him sign


3. Gumtree ad; I could retract this from google history, but the original add removed from gumtree. At least I can show it was advertised


4. I tried to create a history of past owners, total owners including me are 5.

It seems the car was also posted on gumtree before by a company in Essex (I saw on google).

The reason for doing this, it is very likely that the seller purchased the car from someone else with an outstanding loan.

 

Since then I read a lot on the internet,

 

please any advice is welcome to pursue my case, I paid a lot and at least I want my money back.

Also what I read so far, Moneybarn is not easy to deal with.

 

..thanks in advance for any advice I can use for my case.

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Sorry to hear about your problem, it's horrible when people take advantage like that.

 

I don't want to add to your woes, but road tax is not transferrable to a new owner so when he said 'road tax is paid so I have not to worry', he was wrong. See here:

 

https://www.gov.uk/sold-bought-vehicle

 

The last thing you need right now is another problem, so I'd either take the car off the road and make a SORN declaration or tax it as soon as possible. If you are planning on making life difficult for the seller then don't be surprised if he reports you for no tax!

 

I hope it all works out for you.

Edited by daKlone
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Hi thanks for the reply and good point.

 

Well after I run the HPI check, I read a lot and also came to know TAX is not transferable, I went to the gov.uk web and paid the tax in full for the whole year.

 

Since then, I tried to exhaust the web for any information related to this car and made a list of past owners (because I am not sure who holds the title with Moneybarn since Moneybarn will only declare a good faith title if I purchased the car from their customer).

 

in total there are 5 registered keepers/owners of the car  (incl. myself).

From the service records I traced the first ever driver/owner, he said he returned the car to Mercedes, so it means he leased it and the car was registered with a lease/finance company.

 

I could not get details from Keeper 2, but it seems he sold the car after 3 months.

 

Keeper/owner-3 also no details but he sold the car after 12/13 months.

 

Keeper/owner-4 is the seller I purchased the car from.

 

Keeper/Owner-5 is myself.

 

I tried to trace more and more and used google tools as much as I could, and found out that the car was advertised on July 2020 and Aug-2020 by a car dealer in Sussex on Gumtree! And the car was sold by them on the 29 Aug 2020...so most likely it was sold to Keeper/Owner-4, from whom I purchased the car.

 

I made a list of past owners and tried to identify who could hold the title with Moneybarn...after weighing in my assumptions and findings, I came to the conclusion that Keeper/Owner-4 may hold the title.

 

since the car was advertised by a car-dealer, then I assume they should have run an HPI check. Maybe, just maybe, Keeper/Owner-3 may have traded in his car at this dealer and the car dealer took the Mercedes in as p/x exchange.

 

today, i will drive down to the car dealer in Sussex, and try to find out more.

If Keeper/Owner holds the title, then I have a better chance to get a Good Faith title from Moneybarn.

 

I never thought I would run into this nightmare but I am weighing down my options, if I have to loose the car, I will try to loose it royally and drive around EU before returning it in the most deplorable state I can.

 

But then again, if Keeper/Owner holds the title, and he does not default his payments to Moneybarn, can they still repossess the car?

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pers i would not be needlessly upping the anti but appearing at his works etc etc.

not a good ideal, let consumer law take it's course.

 

MoneyBarn are the legal owners of the car but without a court order they cannot just rock up and just repo the car.

please be aware that MB are one of the worst car finance companies out there and simply interpret the laws in their own sweet way and make things up as they go along. hoping to hoodwink most customers or consumers to their own advantage.

 

are you able for the short term to keep the car whilst not in use on a private drive?

 

 

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 have no private drive (I am renting a room and there are other tenants in the house), its simply parked on the street. But I am planning to park the car in a car-park, bit away from where I live.

 

There are a few scenario's, the seller is possibly still paying the loan to MB, but since MB is the owner its illegal for the seller to sell the car without notifying MB.

 

Fact is he sold it, but if he continues to repay the loan, can MB still repossess?

 

But even if he pays, they will remain the owner and that is a situation I want to get rid of.  I will be still driving down to Holland with the car to visit my fam.

 

The seller took advantage of me and he can pay a heavy price in my opinion, as such, confronting him at his workplace has no disadvantages to me.

 

He used company properties to

1. sign the sales contract at their premises and

2. the letter I made him sign contains the logo of the company he is working for.

 

These are all tactics to put pressure on him, because the last thing he wants is to loose his job. From experience I know his actions can lead to dismissal from his job since he used company properties/tools (and this is a huge US MNC Car rental company - and they don't want to be in the picture and don't take these things lightly), so it's either he repays the debt to MB or refund me my money.

 

Well, I will have a chat with AWH solicitors on Monday and see what they have to say...I rather have that a solicitor corresponds with MB on my behalf (since Mb can play with me in anyway they want but with a solicitor they may be extra careful) and will try to get a letter signed by seller that I acted in good faith.

 

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Highly likely providing you were the first private buyer to purchase the car with HP or conditional sale outstanding the solicitors will conclude that you have good title and act accordingly 

As dx says let consumer law deal with this, keep the vehicle well hidden just in case but if you turn up at the sellers work and cause problems and the Police become involved 

its highly likely you will be the one with big problems 

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

 

 

Any help I am able to give is from my own experience only. Should you have any doubt you should contact a qualified professional.

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Indeed, I will have a chat with the solicitor first. I took a drive to the car trader yesterday (24 Oct) who sold the car in Au-2020 and they confirmed they had it, and sold it in Aug-2020 (and I have all the proof e.g. Gumtree website, and their Facebook posts). They also said they run an HPI check, and that the seller took his own finance company instead what the car trader was offering. He also said no finance company can finance a car if it is already under finance, he said just let your solicitor deal with it.

 

Well, it's corona period, I am unemployed now, and I don't want to 'fork out money for a solicitor with the chance loosing the car, and the money I paid for it, and the cost to a solicitor (therefore I am doing as much as possible my own research to keep the cost low). Since public transport in the UK is quite expensive, and very very time consuming, I purchased the car in case I have interviews anywhere in England, and also drive back and forth to visit my fam in Holland (which will save me more money then using the public transport./air/etc.).

 

Well, that the seller says he feels threatened by me is beyond me, but then again he may get advise from cronies; what I do know, he is afraid as hell if I show up at his workplace. The car rental company sells cars too, so nothing stops me to contact the company and inquire if their employee sold a car on behalf of the company as he used company properties. This is more or less a tactic from my side to pressure him so that he tells what honestly is going on and get a paper of good faith signed. Well, for now, I will ask the solicitor to do all this. It's amazing how some people, with a good job, and maybe family, can pull stunts like this without shame or fear.

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Sounds like you've done some great detective work there, well done!

 

So you now have a good timeline; the car was purchased by the dealer who performed an HPI check and found no finance outstanding. They then sold it to someone who took out their own finance in August 2020. That person sold it to you without informing you that there was finance outstanding in October 2020.

 

I would think that it would be realtively straightforward for a solicitor to write a letter to MB with the pertinent facts (they will obviously know when and by whom the finance was taken out) and request that they issue a good faith title. It should only cost about £150.

 

I echo what others have said; don't hassle the seller. I know it is really frustrating and annoying, but he has proved himself a liar and only has to tell the Police that you threatened him and you'll be in trouble!

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Hi thanks for the advice.

 

Yes, I will talk with the solicitor tomorrow (AWH solicitors, as they seem to have random experience with such cases) and provide what I have collected so far.

 

The seller said he will only talk with my solicitor, so be it then.

 

I will however push the solicitor to exercise fear tactics that we are in a position to contact his employer since he used company properties and that we need to do this to find out who holds the title; this is more or less to get his cooperation to the full extent and release any information deemed important to my case. 

 

The first step would be for the solicitor to motivate him signing a letter of good faith to me and pass all the relevant info to MB.

 

I guess having a solicitor to communicate on my behalf with seller and MB will keep me within the domains to the full extent of the law to keep the car and have the HPA title removed (praying that the seller is customer of MB...otherwise I may face a legal battle to sue the seller if MB rejects to give me a good faith title).

 

Aside this if nothing works out, as a (private) buyer, I can also exercise my rights to cancel the purchase within 30 days since the car was not fit for sale and sue the seller in court (small claims tribunal) if he does not refund my money.

 

I do hope he may be the proud owner of a house, be married, and enjoy sufficient income for me to get my hands on all means he owns to get my money + costs back.

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OK, but I would advise that you keep clear in your mind what you want to achieve. I would think that you want to have free and clear title to the car.

 

To get that, I would say you already have enough to have your solicitor put a letter together and approach MB, without the co-operation of the seller. They may well just issue the title and you're done, after all I doubt this is the first time this has happened to them. If not, you can still pursue the seller via your solicitor but given that he is a scammer I wouldn't hold out much hope of him suddenly coming clean!

 

Just my opinion, I'm not a solicitor but I have been in situations not unlike this and know that it easy to make things more complicated for yourself by not 'keeping your eyes on the prize'.

 

Best of luck.

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