A woman who was served with court documents for an unpaid debt from 2015 has been awarded $500 in compensation for the stress it caused her.
The woman complained to Financial Services Complaints, a dispute resolution system that deals with complaints about financial service providers that cannot be resolved between the parties. It does not reveal the identity of the people who complained.
She took out the car loan in 2013, but struggled to keep up with it when her expenses spiked the following year.
She voluntarily surrendered the car to the lender in 2015.
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She said she was unhappy with the way her loan account was handled or the way the lender dealt with her overdue payments.
But she didn’t complain at that time and she didn’t hear from the lender again.
Earlier this year, two bailiffs arrived at her home and served her with court documents for a claim related to an unpaid debt of $10,000 for the car loan.
She called the lender and explained that she didn’t know she had outstanding debt and thought the loan was unaffordable in the first place. She also told the moneylender that she was very scared by the bailiffs who showed up at her house unannounced, because she had a protective order against an ex-partner, and she thought it was him at her doorstep. .
The lender looked into the debt and realized that it was too old to be prosecuted, within the time limits set by the Limitation Act. The lender apologized and told him that he would withdraw the lawsuit.
She was unhappy with the lender’s apology for the stress caused and wanted compensation for the impact the lender’s mistake had had on her, but the lender offered her no compensation.
The lender said withdrawing the lawsuit and apologizing was a fair response in the circumstances.
When FSCL investigated, the lender acknowledged the inconvenience the borrower had suffered as a result of their error. She explained that she had reconsidered her position and wanted to offer $500 in compensation.
“We put the lender’s offer of $500 to [the borrower], but she did not accept it. FSCL sad.
“We told the lender that [she] had declined his offer, and we gave him the opportunity to increase it. The lender did not want to increase the offer and asked us to make a decision on the complaint.
FSCL then explained to the complainant that this appeared to be a fair offer under the circumstances. She thought about it and said she would accept it.