Singh opposes car repossession

2014-11-12 00:00

DISBARRED Pietermaritzburg attorney Sundeep Singh is opposing an application by BMW Financial Services to repossess his BMW X1 car.

The company has brought an application in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, saying Singh has breached his agreement by falling into arrears with his instalments of R5 038,49 in respect of his R436 928 car, which he bought on September 25, 2012.

According to court papers, he owed R20 703,35 on July 3. He also failed to make payments thereafter.

BMW wants him to return the vehicle “forthwith”, as well as an order authorising them to apply to the court for judgment in respect of any damages or expenses incurred in repossessing the vehicle. These can only be determined once the car has been repossessed and sold.

In reply, Singh admits he has not made payments recently, but he disputes that BMW is entitled to repossess the car.

He said his financial position changed drastically when he was struck off the roll of attorneys and his law firm closed.

Singh says when he bought his car, he took out two additional insurance policies — one was a “top-up” policy, which covers the difference between what insurers pay and the settlement amount owed in the event of the car being stolen or written off.

The second policy was to cover him if he became unemployed or if his salary was drastically reduced and he couldn’t afford the instalments.

In that case, the insurance company would pay until he was gainfully employed.

He said both policies were taken out with BMW Financial Services as agents of the insurance company.

According to Singh, after his firm closed he reported his position to the financial head office of BMW and was told a claim would be forwarded to the insurance company. He was told that all payments would be deferred, pending the outcome of his claim.

He was also contacted by a credit controller asking for more information at some stage.

“I was unemployed up to and including the end of September 2014. Thereafter, I started a small consulting firm but have earned no fees yet,” said Singh.

He said he was surprised to get a summons reflecting he was in arrears on his payments and that BMW Financial Services is seeking the return of the car. He was told by their legal department that the insurance company was taking time to process his claim. Because he was in arrears, a decision was taken to recover the car.

The case was postponed to December 8.

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