Editorial – Shame on the Royal Bank of Canada for wrongful vehicle repossession

Mac Olsen

Consumers across Canada should heed the outcome of a wrongful vehicle repossession and ensure that it doesn’t happen to them. As per an article by Alex Reid at driving.ca:

“Tage Kendall had his 2006 Subaru Impreza repossessed even though the car was fully paid off and properly titled in his name, reports the CBC. He did not purchase the car with a loan from RBC, and hasn’t dealt with the bank before.”

Reid also says in his report that Kendall was named as a co-signer on the car by somebody who defaulted on a debt, and RBC hired the collection company to seize the vehicle.

“RBC refused to show Kendall any of the paperwork that allegedly had been signed.”

However, the car was returned to Kendall on July 11th with a note from RBC stating they had no interest in it.

“RBC said in a statement to CBC News that ‘due to an error, a lien was registered to the incorrect vehicle. As soon as we became aware of this error, we worked with Mr. Kendall to have his car returned to him.'”

Kendall is suing the bank for $35,000, to recoup the money he lost trying to get his car back.

What I find outrageous about this situation is that RBC issued no formal public apology to Kendall. Despite the fact that they returned the car to him, it was simply an “error,” with no admission of wrong-doing on their part. Moreover, this was an unjust seizure, with possible negative ramifications for Kendall’s personal credit rating later on.

That’s what makes this situation so alarming. A financial institution’s documentation process goes astray, and there were no checks and balances to prevent it from happening. So, shame on RBC for letting this humiliation occur.

Perhaps there should be outisde oversight of those in charge of financial applications, to ensure they are conducting themselves appropriately. Who watches the watchers?

I appreciate that financial institutions have the right to seek repayment or seizure of assets when someone wilfully and deliberately chooses not to live up to their obligations. Legal action should be taken against those “deadbeats” when it happens.

Years ago, I worked as a data entry clerk for a collection agency and I heard saw the tactics that the agents had to use in order to obtain payment. It’s not pretty, but their tactics are sometimes necessary. The same can be said for someone who obtains credit cards and other financial instruments through fraudulent means, and criminal charges are appropriate in those circumstances.

Returning to my argument earlier, we also have to be mindful that when a wrongful seizure occurs, it has ramifications for the personal credit rating.

Agencies like TransUnion are constantly on alert for defaults and seizures, and when someone is wrongfully targeted, it can be difficult or impossible to reverse the damage.

So, let Tage Kendall’s experience with RBC be your guide regarding wrongful seizure.


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