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Jimbo26

Missed Car Finance - Theft / TWOC

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Jimbo26

Last week a report of theft dropped into  the box from NaVCIS (I work in a crime management unit). In a nutshell a local chap has taken out finance on a vehicle, made 9 payments and then stopped paying, cancelling the DD. The fiance company can't find the vehicle. The fiance company reported it to NaVCIS who have then forwarded to us to record as a theft. The vehicle doesn't appear to have been sold on, still registered to the chap who took out the finance  First time I've seen a report like this and my initial thought this is a civil matter, breach of contract. A view shared by an ex CPS lawyer my force contracts to offer legal advice on cases. 

I contacted the NaVCIS and spoke to someone there who claims this is common practice and may forces are investigating these as thefts and gave me some examples. However the examples passed to me were cases where the vehicle had been sold on, so clearly a theft.

Anyone else had experience of these reports, or have any views?

 

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Reasonable Man
Last week a report of theft dropped into  the box from NaVCIS (I work in a crime management unit). In a nutshell a local chap has taken out finance on a vehicle, made 9 payments and then stopped paying, cancelling the DD. The fiance company can't find the vehicle. The fiance company reported it to NaVCIS who have then forwarded to us to record as a theft. The vehicle doesn't appear to have been sold on, still registered to the chap who took out the finance  First time I've seen a report like this and my initial thought this is a civil matter, breach of contract. A view shared by an ex CPS lawyer my force contracts to offer legal advice on cases. 
I contacted the NaVCIS and spoke to someone there who claims this is common practice and may forces are investigating these as thefts and gave me some examples. However the examples passed to me were cases where the vehicle had been sold on, so clearly a theft.
Anyone else had experience of these reports, or have any views?
 

Bread and butter stuff when I was a DC. The car is owned by the finance company until the final payment is made. If things haven't changed they will have made several attempts to contact the keeper for payments to be made or the car returned. He's got their car and won't give it back - prima facie theft.

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BlueBob
1 hour ago, Reasonable Man said:


Bread and butter stuff when I was a DC. The car is owned by the finance company until the final payment is made. If things haven't changed they will have made several attempts to contact the keeper for payments to be made or the car returned. He's got their car and won't give it back - prima facie theft.

Quite agree, the finance systems are not much different to hiring a car - as long as you keep making the payments, you can 'use' the vehicle, but ultimately if you stop paying then it has to be returned.  Happened to have seen on a Merc advert the other day that the small print on screen showed wiring like 'no ownership involved/policy' - in effect saying that even when you have paid all the fees over the 3 year contract, you have to give the car back with no option to buy it.
From what the OP is describing, providing the company can demonstrate the audit trail of ownership, contract and stopping of funds then you seem to have, as above, all the elements for a theft.   

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Mac7

I can help thinking the finance company are using the police as bailiffs.

Like Bluebob said, I would be wanting to see an audit trail from the finance company and what they mean by “can’t find the vehicle.” I would hope finance companies don’t report matters like this lightly and have exhausted all reasonable enquiries to try and resolve the matter, because, on the face of it, it appears a civil matter.

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Reasonable Man
I can help thinking the finance company are using the police as bailiffs.

Like Bluebob said, I would be wanting to see an audit trail from the finance company and what they mean by “can’t find the vehicle.” I would hope finance companies don’t report matters like this lightly and have exhausted all reasonable enquiries to try and resolve the matter, because, on the face of it, it appears a civil matter.

Do you not know what NaVCIS is?

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Beaker
Posted (edited)

This was common practice when I worked in car hire (Admittedly I finished there in 2001, and thinks may have changed).  We also did leasing and HP as well as a sideline to the main business (And it made more money as well). 

Policy we followed was after  missed payment we'd contact them and advise they had 14 days to pay the outstanding amount. If after 14 days there was no contact we'd request the vehicle was returned, or 3 months payments.  If it went past 28 we would request the vehicle back at no further costs or penalties within the next 28 days.  After that combined total of 56 days without payment we'd attempt contact them, inform we considered it stolen and give them until the end of the next working day to return the vehicle before we reported it stolen.  We'd then go to the person's address the following day to attempt contact directly.  We'd usually do this VERY early in the morning, and if the car was there we'd block it in and refuse to move unless they handed over the keys.  If all that wasn't fruitful we'd report it stolen, but it was accepted as a very low priority to the police. 

You'd be surprised how few people actually took us seriously that we'd report it.  Or that took up the 28 days with no penalty offer. 

Edited by Beaker

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Mac7

Do you not know what NaVCIS is?


Yes

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Reasonable Man


Yes

So why would you think that a dedicated police unit would send reports about 'civil' cases to police forces to deal with as crimes?

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Mac7

So why would you think that a dedicated police unit would send reports about 'civil' cases to police forces to deal with as crimes?


I’d rather be in receipt of the facts before deciding if a crime has occurred. It isn’t unreasonable to consider that there may be an alternative explanation to this. I’m not saying the police shouldn’t look into it but at the same time it’s not unreasonable to want to see the documentation that naturally would accompany matters like this. I can think of many explanations for missed payments alone.

Never ceases to amaze me how people are willing to accept things on face value. I’ve been to incidents involving business reporting frauds whereby on examination of simply documents it’s a civil matter. Or attending calls to assists bailiffs when the documentation is not in order and they cannot carry out their duties as they once thought. National car hire companies reporting vehicles stolen when they just haven’t been returned in a timely manner.

It’s called passing the burden to someone else.

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Sceptre
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mac7 said:

I’d rather be in receipt of the facts before deciding if a crime has occurred.

That is precisely the purpose of NAVCIS, to act as a screen for the reports coming in and to ensure the motor industry get a consistent response rather than individual police forces who rarely come across this coming up with fanciful answers about it being a civil dispute. If NAVCIS tell you a vehicle is stolen and have put a lost report on the PNC then it gives some assurance that a competent person has reviewed the circumstances and they do indeed amount to a crime, rather than someone who is just hard up or has missed the odd payment.

Edited by Sceptre

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