Farm Ireland

Wednesday 24 January 2018

€3,000 repossession fees for contractors

Bruce Lett

Contractors are facing repossession fees of up to €3,000 for individual machines, as well as being liable for all outstanding money owed after particular units are sold by finance companies.

More than 70 members of Professional Agricultural Contractors (PAC) picketed a major machinery auction in Kildare to highlight their plight.

The angry contractor protest disrupted the Ganly Craigie auction in Naas, where many repossessed machines are sold.

PAC's Tom Murphy said the level of repossessions highlighted the real difficulties contractors were facing.

He said the manner in which the machines were being repossessed also needed to be addressed, and that an agreed protocol was required.

"When a machine is repossessed, it should be a requirement on the company to carry out a checklist and take photos of it. A copy of this should be given to the owner."

Mr Murphy said this would provide a record of the condition of the machine when it left the owner's yard.

The PAC official said contractors were being charged up to €3,000 for the actual repossession of machines, as well as being liable for the difference between the finance owed and the fire-sale value of the unit.

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Mr Murphy slammed the approach taken by some finance houses to the financial pressures facing contractors.

"If you take the tools away from someone, how can they earn a living to repay their debts," he said.

A claim by PAC that stolen machinery was being sold through the Naas auctions was rejected by auctioneer Robert Cragie. Mr Cragie accepted that a stolen tractor had been offered for sale recently but he said this was an isolated incident which the Gardai were investigating

Irish Independent