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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5422
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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Pearl. In short, during a period of financial hardship my

Customer Question

Hello Pearl. In short, during a period of financial hardship my car was repossessed without a court order or my written consent (a tow truck driver was simply sent to my house). I had previously asked a couple of times but was told that there were no hardship services available to me (I owed at the time a little over $1,000). My car was taken and (apparently) sold for around half its market value and I am being sued for the balance of nearly $10,000 Perhaps you can help me, I firstly don't believe the repossession was legal, I also don't believe that the alleged sale price was a fair assessment of market value. I have asked (in writing) but not been presented with evidence of the sale or for that matter my consent for the vehicle to be taken whilst in the process of trying to arrange an amicable solution. I would quite happily pay the outstanding $1,000 or so but I am not the balance of a debt that could have been negotiated quite easily. Anecdotal, yes, but they seemed do actually delight in being difficult and joked about how my car would be treated. What can I do?
JA: OK. To minimize me, please click the down arrow at the top right corner of this box. OK. To minimize me, please click the down arrow at the top right corner of this box. Evidence issues can be tricky, but you're smart for looking into this. First off, because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: NSW
JA: Has a formal criminal charge been filed yet? If you're not sure, that's okay, too.
Customer: No, a statement of claim.
JA: The attorneys we work with excel at answering questions in this particular area, and I excel at matching you with the one who's the best fit. It would be my pleasure to do that now. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Lawyer should know?
Customer: No, that is pretty much it in a nutshell.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for your question.Whether the repossession was legal depends on the terms of your loan agreement. Very often loan agreements secured for a car include terms that allow the finance company to repossess the car without a court order and then sell it to recover the amount owed. You should carefully read your loan agreement to ascertain whether this applies in your case. If not then you can sue them for taking your car without consent.Regardless, if they sold the car below market value (and the contract does not otherwise indicate at what price they can sell the car) then you can sue them for any shortfall arising out of their failing to sell it at the market value. If you do sue them the court will have to be persuaded that sale price they obtained was not for market value, and to this end you would need to satisfy the court that the car was worth more than they received and that they did not take reasonable steps to ensure the care was sold for market value. To prove these issues you will need to provide evidence of the price that similar vehicles of the same make, model, age and kms are going for on the second hand car market, and, if possible try to find something wrong with how the car was sold (e.g. did they advertise it in a reasonable way before selling).If you have to sue, then you will need to initiate proceedings in your state's local or magistrates court.Good luck and Please rate my answer.Patrick