| 6.7°C Dublin

Ex-cop on dole because bank sold his van

A former policeman had his Mercedes van containing valuable documents repossessed by a bank -- even though he paid his debts in full by a date the bank had requested.

Anatolie Bagrin from Bray took out a loan of €9,000 from Bank of Scotland in 2006 to buy a Mercedes van for €13,500.

For three years he successfully met his repayments of €199 per month until June 2009, when he missed three payments in a row because his work as a tradesman had slowed down.

Mr Bagrin claims that when he contacted Bank of Scotland to discuss the problem, they were very unhelpful and they sent a repo man who took his van last November, allegedly with his tools inside.

He contacted the bank again and was told that the only way he would get the van back was to pay the €1,900 which was outstanding on the financing deal within two weeks.

"They said I owed them €1,900 and that they'd hold the van for two weeks. I put the money into an account but they said they couldn't see it and they wouldn't be able to see it until the next week," he claimed.

Anatolie who is originally from Moldova, claims that even though he lodged cash to the bank's account on December 4, he had to wait for a week before the money was received.

As soon as the bank confirmed the money was in the account it also said that his van had already been sold off.

"All my tools were in the van. I work for a company fitting floors with all my tools inside. And all my paperwork was in the van," he said.

"They took the van and left me with nothing, and nobody cares. I had nearly paid everything."

Mr Bagrin estimates that all his tools were worth €3,000 and though he eventually got half his tools back, he is still massively out of pocket.

He says that even though he complied with the bank's request for payment, his livelihood is now lost and he has joined the long queue to receive Jobseeker's benefit.

Cllr John Ryan who has been helping, said: "They got all the money from the loan and the interest, and they got the additional money from the sale. It's unbelievably unfair."

The bank refused to make any comment.