Advice wanted on stolen car

shozah, Jul 1, 8:21am
My friend had her car stolen last week this is what she just posted on her fb page.

Update on my stolen car - insurance company called me today and apparently not the previous owner but an owner before that has my car that has been stolen as security via a finance company even though I am the registered owner - feel sick and find out tomorrow re what happens - does anyone know - if the car wasn't stolen I wouldn't have known

Can anyone tell me where she may stand in this situation.

_frodo_, Jul 1, 8:23am
Did she buy it privately or through a dealer?
Out of luck by the sounds of it if it was privately. I take it, she didn't do a ppsr check?

a.woodrow, Jul 1, 8:24am
So when you say stolen you actually mean repossessed?

shozah, Jul 1, 8:25am
I don't know. What I was wondering is how did she become the registered owner? Or is it all to do with the financing not being recorded with the nzta. I am not up to date with these things.

carstauranga001, Jul 1, 8:28am
Did she carjam or motorweb check the car before purchase? Did she buy from a dealer? Did the car have a security registered against it or not at time she purchased it?

If she did no checks and it had a security registered it's likely gone for good, if it had clear title at time of purchase and she has this in writing the finance co has no right to the car.

If she purchased from a dealer she is protected and she needs to go back to dealer to sort.

shozah, Jul 1, 8:28am
Yes that is what it sounds like what happened. Where does she stand on this? Is she just out of luck? Does she have to take the previous owner to court over selling it to her?

I have the feeling she has just lost out big time.

carstauranga001, Jul 1, 8:31am
I'm guessing she purchased privately, did no checks and now she's up sh+ters creak without a paddle.

snoopy221, Jul 1, 8:32am
Sadly personal security register and LTSA do NOT correlate.
Apart from debit agencies picking up on the change of ownership-and tracking down the vehicle.

shozah, Jul 1, 8:35am
Well, bugger. I don't want to give her this news. Although I suspected as much. Thank you for your advice.

snoopy221, Jul 1, 8:39am
Reality is whoever re pod it SHOULD Have identified themselves-your friend might be able to find out how much is secured against it.
Worthwhile pursuing-I.E.
Possibility of her taking over the prior debt and making payments.

beetle1234, Jul 1, 10:48am
Or she was an innocent victem,uif poss get hold of the car an hide it until it is sorted.Good luck.

gmphil, Jul 1, 11:38am
hard reading !
so u go outside an car not there ? u think stolen ?
so u rung police right ?
did they info u it had bein repo ? and who was ?
sorry it sounds like u have come on here without infom police !

shozah, Jul 1, 10:44pm
No, my friend went outside and found it wasn't there last week. She rang the police and her insurance. It is the insurance company that has come back to her with this information. It appears she bought the car privately without checking whether the person selling it had the right to sell it. Judging by way the information she has received it appears that the person she bought it off had previously bought it from a person who had no right to sell it as it was financed. Therefore she was never passed good title to the car when she bought it. I came and asked on here as I thought someone may have knowledge of how these things work and what she could do about it. I think she has to work with the police to find the person who is ultimately responsible for selling the car without legal title. Just a whole lot of sh*t that she shouldn't have to put up with. Next time she will do a check before buying. I hope.

piperguy, Jul 1, 11:16pm
Other countries have a much better system - in the USA I believe that the title of the car stays with the bank or finance company until it's paid off, until then the person trying to sell it won't be able to as he doesn't have the title. You will never have this situation with that system. Much better than our useless system

goose16, Jul 2, 1:50am
She has recourse against the person selling it to her. She will likely need to initiate court or DT action to see any result.

tony9, Jul 2, 3:05am
She may not. It is not illegal to sell a car with a security registered, as long as the buyer was informed.

Was the car cheap? Did the seller say some money might have to be paid, even in a way that suggested that the seller may pay it off.

gmphil, Jul 2, 4:30am
do insurance companys check these things ? when u apply!

tony9, Jul 2, 4:59am
Yes, at least they ask. And I think many will charge more if it is on HP.

cherrybear29, Jul 2, 5:22am
they dont check PPSR as really it is up to the customer to know these things . they do however check at claims time as the legally have to pay the finance co the settlement.

I came across this a fair bit when i was working in claims - sucks big time but not a lot you can do other than try and negotiate with the finance co.

If it has been repo'd then cal lthem and talk to them (the finance co)

If it has been actually stolen (and unrecovered) then to be honest i would withdraw the claim (if the settlement amount is less than what the debt was)- why should YOUR insurance pay for someone elses debt. the finance co cant insist someone carry on with the claim.

howie69, Jul 2, 6:57pm
Anyone got a link to PPSR please

joanie04, Jul 3, 11:28am

westwyn, Mar 30, 8:05am
I see the repercussions of this scenario quite a bit (I do part-time work in the post-possession valuation and sale of cars for a major finance company) where someone buys a car privately, without checking first if there is a security held by a finance company. In 99.5% of the cases like that the finance company will indeed repossess the car- even if it is several years later- since until the loan is paid or settled, they (the finance company) have legal rights under the PPSR to "secure" (ie repossess) the car if the loan is in default (whereupon a long process of communication takes place first) OR the car is in immediate risk, or on-sold, or re-assigned, or (in some cases) uninsured- in which case they are entitled to immediately repossess with no prior notice.

Under the terms of a finance agreement, the person who took out the loan does not have the right to sell the vehicle without the express notification and (usually) settlement of the loan to the finance company.

Sure, you can do a Change of Ownership- but this does NOT constitute legal title- it's only a record of the transaction of the "keeper" and that title remains with the finance company until they've had their loan paid off, or they agree to transfer it to a new vehicle (for example, if the owner wants to trade it in).

In the case of your friend, essentially they have few rights at this time. It's not technically a criminal matter- so the Police won't intervene- it's a civil matter, and even then, without any paperwork, even if she DID somehow manage to track that previous owner down, all they'd do is say to an adjudicator "I told them it had a security on it, and that part of the deal was they'd continue to pay it off" and your friend is sunk.

The car is the legal property of the finance company at this time (although to be sure, your friend MUST request a copy of the repossession notice from the finance company) BUT due to the Privacy Act they are neither obliged to, or able to, disclose to her the balance outstanding on the loan, if she wanted to write out a bank cheque and settle it- assuming it wasn;t too much (and sadly, it hardly ever is- it's usually well in excess of the value of the car).

If she DID want to "keep making the payments" this is an entirely NEW finance contract- just as if she'd bought another car altogether- and she would need to apply for a loan with them just as she would another car, complete with interest payments etc.

If she talks nicely to the finance company (and gets the right person) she just MAY be able to negotiate a deal to buy the car back, but again, they aren't going to let it go cheap just to please her- they will be keen to maximise the value if possible to claw back some of their loss. Most companies just won't entertain the idea, not least because in some sort of cruel irony, there is an onus upon them to attain a fair market value for the car so as to lessen the balance outstanding by the previous owner, who no doubt will be served a judgement for the amount.

I hope the value of the car wasn't too great. The worst one I had to deal with was a few years back, a 2010 BMW X5, that the Chinese owner had sold, in a bit of a hurry to return back home, to his Chinese "friends" for around $60,000.00. Not so cutesy-cutesy when the repo man turned up, it owed something like $110,000.00! And no, they didn't get one cent back.

Sorry to hear of your friend's plight.

The lesson is- when buying privately, always, always, ALWAYS conduct a PPSR search BEFORE you hand over the money. MotorWeb, CarJam, PPSR, whatever- pay the $20 or so for a MotorWeb check and breathe easy when you hand over the readies. Frankly, it's a fundamental of buying a car privately in NZ, no matter the value.