At LCollect we believe that knowledge is power. Every month our debt collection blog gives you practical tips, stories and news from around Australia and the world.
In Compton, a city in the south of California, a repossession has gone dramatically wrong.
Footage posted on Facebook shows a man riding a tow truck bashing at the windows after his car was repossessed. In the video the man can be seen bashing at the window of the tow truck while the vehicle is literally dragged along the road. Footage of the original repossession has not been posted online however reports are that the incident occurred over a stretch of approximately 18 kilometres.
The Sheriff's department said in a statement to the media, "The tow truck driver noticed the owner of the vehicle riding on the back of the tow truck, holding a crow bar, and shattering the tow truck’s rear window".
While the tow truck was damaged no one has been arrested and charged.
Personal Property Securities Act 2009 - Section 165 Defects in Registration - Particular DefectsFor the purposes of paragraph 164(1)(b), a defect in a registration that describes particular collateral exists at a particular time if any of the following circumstances exist:
Capital Finance voluntarily reported a breach of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act in failing to issue Default Notices before repossessing motor vehicles and the failing to issue the relevant notices after repossession.
Upon investigation by ASIC, it was found that in in a 4 month period from March 2015 to June 2015 Capital Finance had:
58 infringement notices were issued which totalled $493,000 for breaches of the Code.
It is important to have robust processes and procedures in place that guard against this. It would be interesting to know what the root cause of this issue was (eg change of staff, implementation of a new system).
Source: Daily Telegragh
In the US, a father took his baby for an outing to go shopping, but left the baby in the car whilst he went shopping.
Whilst in the shops, a repossession agent repossessed the car, unbeknownst to him that there was a baby inside. As soon as he realised there was a baby inside, he immediately phoned the police. The repossession agent claimed that he didn't see the baby due to the car windows tint and clothing on the backseat.
The father also phoned the police believing his car had been stolen.
The baby was safely returned to the father who was cited for leaving a baby unattended in a car.
Source: Kens5 Eyewitness News
In the US, Winchester City considers mandatory regulation that repossession agents must log a repossession with police before attendance. Debt Collection agencies had been notifying police of their repossession jobs prior to attempting to repossess goods.
The new requirements to attend a police station prior to repossession to affirm the financiers right to the goods. Whilst agencies had an informal agreement in place with police to do this, the new regulations would apply to anyone attempting to repossess goods, not just debt collection agencies.
This is aimed at reducing unnecessary call outs where owners report vehicles as stolen where in fact it has been repossessed.
A report from ABC News in America shows one repossession agent using new technology to secure vehicles.
Perhaps the single most useful piece of equipment is an innovation to the traditional tow truck that allows the tow truck driver to reverse back to a car (with the benefit of a reversing camera), extend the "towing arm" and aligning it with the vehicles wheels, then automatically deploying the second wheel lifters to the rear side of the vehicles tyres to be able to lift one end of the vehicle without exiting the tow truck.
Other gadgetry in the tow truck included:
From the video, it was difficult to see how the tow truck driver could actually concentrate on driving the tow truck. A link to the ABC video is here.
This scenario involving a repossession was recently dealt with in our office. All references, details, names have been altered for Privacy Purposes.
In attempting to repossess a security (interest listed on the PPSR) we became aware it was in the possession of a 3rd party. The the third party engaged a lawyer who requested a copy of the notice issued pursuant to s120 of the PPSR whose header reads: Enforcement of security interests in liquid assets - general, and provides that a written notice must be given 5 business days demanding payment of the amounts owed 5 days before any seizure can occur.
Relevantly, it is noted within s120 that this section of the PPSR does not apply to collateral that is predominantly used for person, domestic or household purposes. As our clients security was of this nature, s120 did not apply and no notice was required under this section.
Furthermore, it is also noted that obligations under the Privacy Act would prevent any such disclosure.
With all our agents on the ground in the area on the lookout for the security - we are hopeful of a positive outcome for our client soon - whether that be a negotiated outcome or repossession of the security.
The above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on.
In the US, Chelmsford, three repossession agents were attempting a repossession of a 2010 Dodge Challenger from a debtors house. Having heard music in the garage, they knocked whilst identifying themselves. The debtor came out with a gun aimed at on the the repossession agents, before returning inside.
The police were called who then called in the SWAT team who were able to negotiate a peaceful arrest.
This article was sourced from CBS Boston.
ASIC conducted an investigation on BMW Finance and found that between January 2014 and July 2014:
This is a timely reminder for anyone involved in repossessions that the relevant statutory notices must be issued in the specified time frames and to insure your agents comply with all relevant legislation and that your agents have appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance in place to cover such breaches.
In New Zealand, two finance companies have had criminal proceedings commenced against them in the Auckland District Court for alleged illegal repossessions.
The Commerce Commission in New Zealand commenced the action for alleged breaches of the New Zealand Fair Trading Act. The finance companies, Budget Loans Limited and Evolution Finance Limited are charged with misleading debtors including:
By way of background, Budget Loans in 2010 has already admitted to 34 charges of breaching the NZ Fair Trading Act and made an agreement to repay substantial amounts as well as a NZ$30K Court fine.
In an Australian context, any lender practicing these debt collection methods would likely run foul of the regulator.