The client attended our office in August 2018 because she had been served with a Claim and Statement of Claim suing her for approximately $11,000. The claim arose from a motor vehicle finance agreement between the client and a finance company in 2013. In 2015, the client struggled to make the payments and the motor vehicle was repossessed. At that time, the finance company conceded that they should not have repossessed the car and gave the client the option of either having the car returned or the remaining balance of the loan would be discharged – the client chose the latter.
In 2017, the client received a call from a debt collector advising that she owed the finance company money as a result of the loan. The client told the debt collector that this was not the case and they should follow up with the finance company. In 2018, the client was served with a claim and statement of claim out of the blue. The claim advised that the alleged debt was sold to the plaintiff and the client was thereby in debited to pay them. The client subsequently liaised between the plaintiff and the original finance company trying to work out what happened. The client was told by the original finance company that the debt was waived whereas the plaintiff continued to allege that the debt was due and owing.
The client then sought our assistance. By the time the client had seen us, the 28 day timeframe in which to lodge a response had lapsed and it was open to the plaintiff to lodge a request for default judgment. As such, our quick thinking lawyer had the complaint referred to the Credit and Investment Ombudsman which prevented the plaintiff from further pursuing the Magistrates Court claim (until the Ombudsman had ceased dealing with the complaint). Soon after the complaint was lodged, the plaintiff conceded that the debt had been waived a while ago and ceased recovery action. The claim was subsequently discontinued.
If not for TASC, it is likely that the client would have had a judgment issued against her as she could not afford to see a private lawyer. Given she was in receipt of a pension, did not work and had little house hold furniture, the plaintiff could have sought an enforcement warrant seeking to seize and sell her family home.
If you or anyone you know has or is experiencing a similar experience, please contact us to see if we are able to assist you.