Hire-purchase legislation in need of reform

Dear Editor,

I was listening to a televised panel discussion and a member of the panel spoke about the need to put hire purchase regulations in place to protect consumers. The panelist said that as hire-purchase agreements stand now, after you have paid 90% of the hire-purchase price and for some reason you default on your payment of instalments the item can be repossessed, and you the consumer loses all the money you have paid. This is so unfair to the consumer.

Having hire-purchase regulations in place would correct this situation. If and when such regulations are put in place they must be made applicable to auto sales agencies.

With reference to vehicle insurance policies I purchased a car and took out comprehensive insurance coverage for it. Six months later a minibus ran off the road and slammed into my car which was parked on the parapet, sending the car crashing into a utility pole seriously damaging the front and rear of the car. The police, insurance company and dealer were notified. The insurance company and police did their usual investigations and the insurance company requested that an estimate of what it would cost to repair the car be submitted. I got the estimate from a reputable and registered automotive repairs workshop and submitted it to the insurance company. Two months later a cheque representing 75% of the estimated cost of repairs was prepared by the insurance company which asked me to collect same. Lo and behold the cheque was prepared in the names of the auto dealer and myself. I was instructed to take the cheque and give it to the dealer who deducted two months instalment and gave the remainder to me by way of another cheque. I was then forced to find the remaining amount of cash to repair the car. What I am at a loss to know is how much coverage (financially) does a full coverage insurance policy provide?

I know of someone who purchased a car on hire purchase and after paying about 80% of the agreed price encountered financial difficulties which resulted in him not paying instalments for three months. As expected and rightly so, the auto sales agency repossessed the car. Two weeks later that individual acquired the cash and went and paid the dealer who had already sold the car to someone else. What boggles the mind is how the dealer can collect the money knowing fully well that he had already sold the vehicle. This is crooked and scampish business. One of the clauses in any new hire-purchase regulations should state the length of time repossessed items should be kept before they can be disposed of or sold.
I think the implementation of the hire-purchase legislation will be beneficial to both buyer and seller.

Yours faithfully,
Colin Gill

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