Headlines: August 23rd, 2006



Vehicles are often among the major assets of debtors, but recovering debt in this way can be time consuming and slow. A debt recovery service has been launched by Shergroup, a High Court enforcement agency, to help local authorities and other public bodies to track down debtor’s vehicles, with a view to seizing them and selling them at auction.

The main feature of the new service is a website, www.shercar.net, which allows users to key in a vehicle’s registration number which is then matched with those on the DVLA database. Details about the vehicle’s registered keeper are returned via email within 48 hours. Shergroup has been approved by the DVLC to access the database on behalf of clients. A condition of using the service is that a county court warrant must be in force and the case number must be included in the data supplied to the website.

When a clear link is established between the debtor and the information from the DVLC about the registered keeper of the vehicle, a further search can be made to find out if the vehicle is subject to a finance agreement. Supplementary information provided by this search includes whether the vehicle has been subject to an insurance total loss claim, or “written-off”, because of damage, or whether the vehicle appears on the Police National Computer as ‘stolen’. There is a charge of two pounds for each search. From the search information it is possible to decide whether it is worthwhile to seek recovery of the debt in this way.