Seize vehicles belonging to relatives, neighbours of defaulters

Private financers who extend loans for purchase of vehicles are known to employ recovery agents to ‘seize' the vehicles if the borrower defaults the payment. But now these recovery agents are going a step ahead and taking possession of vehicles of the borrower's relatives or even neighbours. That the vehicle sought to be ‘seized' is in no way connected to the loan given by the company cuts no ice with the recovery agents, the police have found recently.

Tacit support

These illegal seizures continue unabated with the tacit support of some erring police officials all over the city.

The new modus operandi of seizing vehicles totally unconnected with the loaning business came to light during an investigation launched by the Nallakunta police into a complaint of vehicle theft.

It was said that Shahbuddin of Adikmet had complained that his motorcycle was stolen and the investigators found that the vehicle was in fact ‘seized' by Padma Sai Finance company located in Ramkote.

When questioned, the finance company manager stoically maintained that the bike was mistakenly ‘seized' by his colleagues.

The police found that Shahbuddin's neighbour, Nayeem took a loan from the firm for buying a motorcycle. As he defaulted, the firm's loan recovery agents went to Nayeem's house, and ‘by mistake' took away Shahbuddin's bike. The firm's records showed the bike was under ‘others' category.

Grilled

“To our surprise, we found that the firm recovery agents seized eight more bikes in this fashion and hence we further grilled them,” the police said.

It was then brought to light that recovery agents are seizing vehicles other than those belonging to the defaulters for various reasons.

“When the agents go to the house of the defaulter and fail to find the vehicle, they are forcibly taking away vehicles belonging to the defaulter's family members or relatives,” the police said.

n a few cases, it was found that some defaulters gave away their old vehicles voluntarily to the agents promising that they would take the vehicles back only after the loan amount was repaid.

Police say the seizure by loan recovery agents was an outright illegal act. “It amounts to stealing of vehicles irrespective of the understanding between private financiers and the borrowers”.

Police said adding that the four agents of the company in Ram Kote were arrested. The eight ‘illegally seized' vehicles were seized by the police.

More In: Hyderabad