/ Car reported stolen affecting value - help

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kathrync - on 11 Mar 2019

Hoping someone might know how we can resolve this...

My mother-in-law recently gifted us her car after she stopped driving due to Alzheimers.  We don't like the car and it gives my partner sciatica, so we are trying to part-exchange it for something else.

Unfortunately, several months prior to giving us the car, my MIL had a fall and hit her head.  While concussed (and this was prior to the Alzheimers diagnosis, but her memory may have also been affected), she forgot where she had left the car and reported it stolen.  This incident has had a large detrimental affect on the value of the car (it is reduced by around a third) and we are at a loss for how to resolve this.  My MIL has limited recollection of the incident and no record of an incident number.  The local police won't talk to us without an incident number.  We changed the insurance when we took ownership, and the previous insurers won't talk to us either.  We are trying to talk to them in the presence of my MIL, but she isn't much help as she doesn't really remember any of this.

Does anyone have any idea how we can either clear this from the car's record, or prove to the buyer that the car was never actually stolen?

JMarkW - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

Hi Kathrync,

Depends upon where your insurance company gets its data. I'd contact these guys to start with and see if they can help:

hpicheck - if you call them they may be able to see if there is Report of Stolen on it

They take data from the police regarding stolen cars and provide car valuations. The police can make amendments to these stolen reports once the car is recovered - I know that this is not quite the same in this case.

cheers

mark

wintertree - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

Do you have power of attorney to act on your mother’s behalf?  With this you should be able to interact with the police over her report.  

kathrync - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to wintertree:

It is my mother-in-law.  My partner is in the process of putting power-of-attorney into place.  I think they are going to the solicitors tomorrow to finalise it in fact.  

However, from what the police were saying their reluctance to talk to us wasn't so much about power-of-attorney, it is about the fact that they don't want to go rooting through their files for a minor incident that we don't know all the particulars of without an incident number to help them look it up quickly...  Maybe we'll try again and get someone more friendly on the desk!

marsbar - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

If you can get the exact date it might help.

1
kathrync - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to marsbar:

> If you can get the exact date it might help.

We can narrow it down to around a week based on when she had the fall, but as this is the first we have heard of the missing car fiasco ourselves we only know that it was some time shortly after that...

kathrync - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to JMarkW:

Thanks for all your help Mark!

Martin W on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

If your MIL reported the 'theft' to her insurers then they would have asked for the incident number.  Once your partner has PoA then the MIL's insurers should be able to provide that from their records.

However, this may all take time to play out - and even then might not be successful.

dh73 - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

i would be tempted to get your partner to make an application for his mother's personal data processing records from the police under the GDPR regulations (article 15 - right of access). they are obliged to provided that within 1 month (unless they can find an exemption - I have not looked into that)

that should at least give you all the documents the police have on the matter

capoap - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

You don't like the car and it gives you sciatica and your worried about losing a 1/3 of the value when it cost you nowt !!!!!!

Sorry may be a bit hard but I think you need to get a life

48
kathrync - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to capoap:

Not that it is really any of your business, but she needs to move into sheltered accommodation because neither she nor we are coping and we were planning to use most of the proceeds from selling the car to help her fund this move.  Losing the value unexpectedly is a bit of a blow.

Climbing Pieman on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

Don’t know if it will help or speed up the process in your actual situation, but I engaged and paid a car dealer to have a stolen marker removed from my late partner’s car so it could be sold. The marker had been on her car for many years and through two owners who didn’t know about it. It had never actually  been stolen. Only came to light when I tried to sell after she died and the HPI check flagged it. 

As I wasn’t actually involved sorry don’t know the actual details of how it was done, but the dealer had it removed very quickly and cheaply, and the car sold for normal market value thereafter. 

Being in the trade the car dealer obviously had contacts and the knowledge to get it done quickly and effectively. Maybe worth speaking to a small trader if you know one?

kathrync - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

Sounds...suspiciously easy?  But worth looking in to.  Thanks!

off-duty - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

I'm not entirely sure what the issue is.

If the car is still outstanding stolen then it will be a simple thing to amend it - all the police need is the vehicle registration to locate the crime report, then they can amend/delete the report and sort out any stolen marker on the PNC.

If the car is showing as stolen but now recovered and it's a case of amending the record as the crime effectively didn't happen, then it's a bit more tricky to fix and probably best addressed via email or letter rather than just something that can be done over the phone. Again, they should be able to locate the relevant crime record with the vehicle reg or your MiL details. 

Climbing Pieman on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

It was easy for me! Less than 10 days it took to have the stolen marker removed. Well worth the small cost he charged for his time. 

off-duty - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

> It was easy for me! Less than 10 days it took to have the stolen marker removed. Well worth the small cost he charged for his time. 

If the car had a stolen marker as in a marker that indicated to a cop on the street that to all intents and purposes that vehicles was a stolen car, then amending that record requires altering PNC.

In kathrynmc case that should involve a free conversation with the cops.

In your case, involving two changes of ownership prior to vehicle being picked up by you, then unless you supplied all the paperwork then I am very surprised that if it could be done legally. It's not hugely unusual for a poor old innocent purchaser who hasn't completed due diligence to have their car repossessed as unbeknownst to them it is actually an outstanding stolen.

Climbing Pieman on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to off-duty:

The car had an extensive paper backed history.  It was very detailed including all owners details going back to first registration. I gave it all to the dealer who did the rest. I recall him saying that the owner who originally reported it as stolen had to be contacted.

capoap - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

Yes sorry about that, Had a bad weekend including a death and knew I had gone over the top.

1
Ciro - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

Assuming someone is nearby and helping her with her mail you shouldn't really need to wait for PoA to be sorted before sending a GDPR request - you can write the letter for her, as long as she signs the letter and requests the data is sent to her there won't be an issue. You'll pregnant need it for speaking to people later, but at least getting the data here the ball rolling

off-duty - on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

> The car had an extensive paper backed history.  It was very detailed including all owners details going back to first registration. I gave it all to the dealer who did the rest. I recall him saying that the owner who originally reported it as stolen had to be contacted.

Makes sense.

jim jones on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

Have you tried contacting the DVLA and ask for a referral to the "sensitive case department"? My wife found them very helpful during a different but similarly difficult situation. 

Timmd on 11 Mar 2019
In reply to capoap:

> Yes sorry about that, Had a bad weekend including a death and knew I had gone over the top.

Not many people acknowledge being out of turn.  

kathrync - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to kathrync:

Thanks all for the help.  The report on the HPI comes from the insurers, not the police.  It seems the police report has already been cleared. (thanks JMarkW for helping with that).  We were digging into this last night and have a sneaking suspicion that my MIL not only reported the car stolen to insurance but actually received a payout, which obviously makes things a little more complicated.  We aren't sure how this happened.  We are in the process of trying to verify this and return the (thankfully unspent) money to the insurance company but might need the PoA to come through before we can do that.

My MIL of course doesn't remember any of this, but it does explain the mystery money in her account...

Thanks everyone for your help anyway! 


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