MSE News: Finance company seeks jail time for customer who defaulted on car loan

edited 21 October 2016 at 1:30PM in Loans
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edited 21 October 2016 at 1:30PM in Loans
A credit finance company launched a legal bid to have a customer imprisoned after he failed to comply with a court order...
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'Finance company seeks jail time for customer who defaulted on car loan'
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  • Clive_WoodyClive_Woody Forumite
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    So the debtor will not be repaying his debt and still appears to have the car despite the court order to return this. I think I can understand the frustration of the loan company as it seems the courts are powerless, or not inclined to do anything.

    Funnily enough I quite fancy a new car....
    "We act as though comfort and luxury are the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about” – Albert Einstein
  • jamesdjamesd Forumite
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    Regrettably I do not agree with the Govan Law Centre representative that "Creditors should never be entitled to seek imprisonment for civil debts in the UK. The law must be changed."

    That's in part because I'm aware of a borrower who demanded increases in fees for a service he was providing to the agent of the lenders and threatened to default on his loans if they didn't comply. They refused, he defaulted, the cases are now working their way through the courts.

    The default was part of an extortion attempt and time in prison is entirely appropriate even though the debt is civil.

    In the vast majority of cases prison is not appropriate for matters involving civil debts but there are odd exceptions around.
  • edited 20 October 2016 at 2:35PM
    moleratmolerat Forumite
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    edited 20 October 2016 at 2:35PM
    Yet another MSE one sided biased sensationalist incorrect headline. The imprisonment bid was not for defaulting on the payment, it was for wilfully ignoring a court order to return the lender's property. Tantamount to theft IMO.
  • I can not believe what you are all saying.
    Have we not moved on from the debts jail? Or are you all "Shylock" and want a pound of flesh..
  • Pixie5740Pixie5740 Forumite
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    lisa1710 wrote: »
    I can not believe what you are all saying.
    Have we not moved on from the debts jail? Or are you all "Shylock" and want a pound of flesh..

    Did you actually read the article? The creditor didn't want the debtor to be sent to prison over the debt but for ignoring a court order to return the car.
  • edited 21 October 2016 at 10:24AM
    jamesdjamesd Forumite
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    edited 21 October 2016 at 10:24AM
    lisa1710 wrote: »
    I can not believe what you are all saying.
    Have we not moved on from the debts jail?
    A fake quote that has the essence of what happened: "You pay me £20,000 four times a year or I'm going to default on several hundred loans to me made by your consumer customers". Yes, I'd say that the individual concerned deserves time in prison. Not for the debt. For the extortion that used the debt default as it's threat that was then carried out.
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Ambassador
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    Misleading headline. As Pixie and molerat have said the threat of prison was due to debtor not complying with court order NOT the lender seeking a prison sentence. Something that apparently in Scotland is perfectly legal.

    I have every sympathy with those who fall into difficult times and for whatever reason cannot pay their debts. However if someone deliberately defaults (as in djames example) or refuses to come to an arrangement with the company (in this case return the car) then they deserve to go to prison or face the harshest of penalties. Ignoring court orders is the very height of flouting the law.
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  • PincherPincher
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    I think the only odd thing is for the plaintiff to specify the penalty.

    If I caught the burglar that broke into my house, I would be asking for really great tortures both physical and psychological, and they will just give him a suspended sentence, because prisons are too full and not holiday camp enough.
  • MobileSaverMobileSaver Forumite
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    lisa1710 wrote: »
    I can not believe what you are all saying.
    Have we not moved on from the debts jail?

    I can not believe you actually read the article!

    The threat of jail was for ignoring a court order to return the car and was nothing to do with the debt. Most right-minded people would think it perfectly right and proper that you go to jail if you deliberately ignore a court order.
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  • boo_starboo_star Forumite
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    Pincher wrote: »
    I think the only odd thing is for the plaintiff to specify the penalty.

    If I caught the burglar that broke into my house, I would be asking for really great tortures both physical and psychological, and they will just give him a suspended sentence, because prisons are too full and not holiday camp enough.

    In your case you're specifying a penalty that doesn't exist, in this case the finance company were specifying one that does.

    I'm not entirely sure why they did what they did, other than perhaps having been through it before and getting more useless judgements for the return of the goods, or sending bailiffs who will want paying if they can't extract the money and/or the car from the debtor.

    I can only imagine they didn't quite grasp that requesting a punishment isn't really the thing you do in either a civil or criminal case.
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