Car Repossession

Car Repossession

Vehicle Repossession

As the second biggest purchase an individual tends to make, having a car repossessed can be an emotional experience for anyone. That said, a lender will very often have no alternative where it has exhausted all other avenues or where there is a breakdown in communication. When a customer enters a contract with a creditor or lessor for a car, they agree to certain terms and conditions. These will often include a contractual term that allows the creditor to repossess the vehicle. Whether or not the creditor can take advantage of the contractual ‘right’ to repossess the car will depend on several factors. For example, where a customer has paid one-third or more of the total price of the goods, under a Consumer Credit Act (CCA) regulated hire-purchase or a CCA regulated conditional sale agreement, the creditor is not entitled to recover possession of the goods from the debtor except following an order of the court. The creditor may also be precluded from repossessing a vehicle if it is located on private property. In some circumstances, however, it may be possible (and legal) for a creditor to instruct a car repossession without notice; which is why a good dialogue between lender and customer is essential.

Burlington’s vehicle repossession services

Burlington undertake car repossession instructions of all types of vehicles, as well as assets, and have recovery facilities to allow us to recover any car/light commercial vehicle. We operate a competitive, no-success-no-fee pricing structure which includes tracing and full access to our Burlington Pathfinder™ portal system. Our car repossession success rates are currently around 92-95% on a ‘prime’ book, with an average turnaround time of 9 days.

Introducing Customer Connect

Burlington offer a new service – Customer Connect™ – which allows creditors to use our services to work with their customers to help rehabilitate their accounts. Customer Connect™ engages customers who have not responded to internal collections activity and provides them with more options helping them overcome financial difficulties. Instead of asking customers to make payment in full or hand back the car, this service allows them to make short to mid-term payment arrangements to resolve issues with missed payments. All of which is managed by Burlington. To find out more about our Customer Connect™ service, or car repossessions, please contact Client Service Team on 0333 344 2109.

Contact us for advice on Car Repossession

Arrange for a call back from our Client Services Team for further advice on Car Recovery. You are welcome to contact us at any time on 0333 344 2109 and we will endeavour to help you with your enquiry.

About Car Repossession

  • Why would a car be repossessed?
  • How to avoid having a car repossessed
  • What happens following a car repossession?
  • Talking with your creditor and taking advice on debt
  • What will you do for repossession or arrears collection?
  • How long does repossession take?
  • How much will the repossession or arrears collection cost?

Why would a car be repossessed?

A finance agreement or contract hire agreement will state what constitutes a ‘default’. Whilst the most prevalent reason for default is missed contractual payments, there may be other reasons; including a failure to adequately insure or properly maintain a vehicle.

How to avoid having a car repossessed

The best way to avoid repossession of your car is to engage with the creditor at the earliest opportunity. If you are experiencing payment difficulties, most lenders will be happy to discuss these with you and to work to a resolution. Once an instruction is passed to a debt collection agency like Burlington, your options may be more limited, and it may not be possible to retain the vehicle.

What happens following a car repossession?

Once the creditor has repossessed a car, it may decide to remarket/sell the vehicle and to pursue a collection of the ‘shortfall’ debt, i.e. the difference between the amount owed by the customer under the finance agreement and the amount raised by the sale of the car. It makes sense to speak to the creditor as soon as possible to discuss options regarding repayment of a shortfall debt. Creditors will generally look to accept a payment arrangement rather than resort to enforcing the debt through the courts. However, where no other alternative exists, a creditor will look at taking court action (getting a ‘CCJ’) and may enforcing the judgment using any available method.

Talking with your creditor and taking advice on debt

It’s often better for customers if they try to prevent the car repossession from taking place rather than disputing it afterwards. This can be done by contacting the creditor as soon you realise that your payment will be late; or if you know that your financial circumstances are likely to change. Most lenders will do what they can to help, but if you feel that you would like to take independent advice there are plenty of sources. Debt Management Companies (DMCs) will negotiate with creditors on your behalf and will charge a percentage of the monthly amount you pay towards your debt. However, there are plenty of sources of free advice and organisations that will help you negotiate with your creditors without charging a fee, including:

  • The Citizens Advice Bureau
  • The Money Advice Trust
  • Step Change

What will you do for repossession or arrears collection?

When instructed for repossession/arrears collection we will make a direct field visit immediately rather than engage in telephone and letter debt collection techniques. If the customer is able to make payment, we will recover the arrears and the costs of our instruction. Our Field Agents are equipped with digital point-of-sale technology, which allows them to take card payments from site. If payment is authorised, we will attempt to establish a means of payment going forward, such as Direct Debit. We carry out daily reconciliation of our client accounts and our lead time from collection of funds to remittance to the client is three days. If the customer is unable to make payment, we will ask that personal possessions be removed, and that keys and documents be supplied. At this point we will carry out an appraisal of the vehicle with the customer and will ask for the customer to sign the appraisal to warrant the condition of the vehicle. If we are unable to obtain keys, we will recover the asset using a recovery vehicle. Once repossessed, the asset will be delivered to a nominated client remarketing site and will be signed off with a further appraisal upon delivery.

How long does repossession take?

Our standard turnaround times for car repossession/arrears collection are around 7-9 days. We will usually make a first attendance within 24 hours of receipt of your instruction and will provide you with instantly downloadable Site Visit Reports to detail what happens during each of our attendances. If the asset is repossessed, we will make delivery to your nominated remarketing site as soon as possible and will provide a full appraisal of the asset, along with pictures to indicate condition.

How much will the repossession or arrears collection cost?

Our fees are calculated on fixed, no-find-no-fee basis. Our rates are extremely competitive and include full insurance, tracing facilities (for ‘gone-away’ customers) and ongoing use of our Burlington Pathfinder™ portal. Our enforcement rates will depend on the nature of the assets to be recovered and other factors such as the location of remarketing sites, etc. Please contact our Client Services Team for further information and quotation.

Arrears collection and vehicle logistics | Allied Services

Those creditors who have a requirement for asset repossession services may also want to consider the following services offered by Burlington Group: Account Rehabilitation – Field visits to customers holding ‘protected goods’ within the meaning of the Consumer Credit Act. Our remit during such visits is generally to either bring accounts up to date or arrange collection of the asset under voluntary surrender and deliver to a nominated remarketing site. Vehicle Collection/Movement – Pre-booked vehicle collection by arrangement with the customer for hand-back of vehicles under voluntary termination, including full appraisal to the client specification