€3,000 repossession fees for contractors
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.