Can Debt Collectors Take My Car If It’s On Finance?
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Table of Contents
- Why Do We Get Into Debt? Jump
- Is There a Standard Process for Enforcing Repayment of a Debt? Jump
- Will Debt Recovery Always Result in a CCJ? Jump
- Does the County Court Always Sanction Bailiffs To Enforce Collection? Jump
- Dealing With a Bailiff at Your Door Jump
- What Can a Bailiff Take? Jump
- Can they Take Your Car if it is Still Under Finance? Jump
One of the most common questions I get asked about bailiffs taking goods to settle a debt is whether they can take a car that is on finance or not. It is a cold fact of life, that if you owe a debt and have no way to get out of debt, you face a legal process that could result in bailiffs being sanctioned to visit your home. In this post, I am going to cover the legal process that ends at this point, and then what a bailiff can take, and whether this includes your car, financed or not.
Do you have to pay debt collectors?
You might not have to pay debt collectors.
If you genuinely can’t afford your debt repayments then looking into whether you could have your written off might be just what you need.
If you want to find out whether you qualify for having debt written off or payments lowered then fill out the short form below.
Why Do We Get Into Debt?
There are many reasons why people may get into debt, and nobody intends to get into debt. Here are some of the most common reasons, below.
- Overspending is one of the most common reasons people get into debt. Living above one’s means or overusing credit cards can cause this to happen.
- Losing a job can make it difficult for people to make ends meet and they may have to borrow to pay bills and cover other expenses.
- The cost of unexpected medical expenses can be a major source of debt for many people. Some medical treatments can be very expensive, even with health insurance.
- Unexpected emergencies such as a car breakdown or a major appliance failure can force people to borrow money in order to cover the cost.
- People who are not fully versed in managing their finances or making smart financial decisions. Taking on debt without fully understanding the implications can lead to overspending.
Is There a Standard Process for Enforcing Repayment of a Debt?
Creditors in the UK have several options for enforcing repayment of their debts. Depending on the type of debt and the amount owed, the specific process may differ, but there are some common steps: These can’t generally be avoided, although it may be hard for collection agencies to find your new address if you move.
- Prior to taking legal action, a creditor usually sends a demand letter requesting payment of the debt to you. If payment is not made by the deadline, the letter may warn of further action.
- If you do not respond to the demand letter, the creditor may file a County Court Claim. A fee must be paid to the court and a form must be filled out. A copy of the claim will then be sent to you (as well as a claim form pack), and you have a limited time to respond.
- In the event that you do not respond to the County Court Claim, the court will issue a default judgment in favour of the creditor. A hearing may be held if you do respond. The court will issue a CCJ ordering you to pay the creditor if they find it in the creditor’s favour.
- A judgment can be enforced if you fail to pay the debt after the judgment has been issued. Generally by sending bailiffs to enforce collection.
Can you lower your repayments?
If you’re struggling to pay back your debt, then you might qualify for a debt solution.
Some solutions lower your monthly payments while others write off a portion of your debt.
To find out whether they could work in your situation, hit the button below.
Will Debt Recovery Always Result in a CCJ?
In general, if you owe a debt and don’t repay it, you will very likely face a CCJ. But in most cases, you will first run the gauntlet of dealing with debt collectors. These are firms such as Lowell Portfolio, Global Debt Recovery and PRA Group.
Dealing with these kinds of collection agencies can be frustrating, as they will hound you incessantly for payment of a debt. If you know you owe the debt and want to avoid having a CCJ against your name, it might pay to simply arrange affordable repayment terms with the collection agency that is chasing you.
Does the County Court Always Sanction Bailiffs To Enforce Collection?
The County Court won’t always send in bailiffs to enforce a debt. Although this is the most common result. There are other options the court can choose, and I have listed these below.
- An attachment of an earnings order allows the creditor to take money directly from your wages.
- A charging order might be placed on your property if you own your home, which means the debt must be paid upon sale.
- If you owe a large amount of money and are unable to repay it, insolvency proceedings may be an option. This could include involuntary bankruptcy.
Dealing With a Bailiff at Your Door
You should know your rights and take steps to protect yourself if a bailiff arrives at your door in the UK. I have listed some of these steps, below.
- Make sure the bailiff has identification showing their name and the name of the company they work for. It is your right to ask for this identification before letting someone into your home.
- Bailiffs are not allowed to force entry into your home in most cases. It is not required that you let them in unless they have a warrant from the court.
- You should stay calm and polite when a bailiff arrives at your door. Aggressive or confrontational behaviour is unlikely to help and may make matters worse.
- When the bailiff says you owe money, ask for proof of the debt. Court orders and creditor letters are examples of such documentation.
- Work out a payment plan with the bailiff if you owe money. If they accept instalments, you can avoid further enforcement action.
What Can a Bailiff Take?
A bailiff is only permitted to take goods that are owned by you, and are not exempt from being confiscated. Items such as furniture, electronics, and jewellery may fall into this category. Bailiffs cannot take some goods, such as items that are essential for your employment or fill a day-to-day need.
Can they Take Your Car if it is Still Under Finance?
Your car can be taken by bailiffs if it belongs to you and is not exempt from being confiscated. In some cases, however, they are restricted from doing so. If your car is parked on private property or essential for your work or caring for someone else, they cannot take it.
When a car is financed, the finance company holds a legal interest in the vehicle until the loan is repaid. Therefore, technically, the car does not belong to you, but to the finance company.
The bailiff may be able to take the car if it belongs to you, rather than the finance company if a bailiff is instructed to recover a debt. It will not be possible for them to take the car if it belongs to the finance company. But you need to be prepared to provide proof that the finance company still owns the vehicle due to outstanding car finance.
“It will only get worse” 😩
It’s cliché to say, but with debt it’s true; the longer you leave it, the worse the problem gets.
There are straightforward and effective ways to deal with debt, but you have to know your options.
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