A bank repossessed a man’s car saying he’d defaulted on a loan, only he never opened an account with them.
Bureaucracy breeds nightmares. It sounds like it should be a famous quote, and maybe somebody important has said it at one time or another, but it’s less words of wisdom and more just a fact of our modern life. Your car can be there one second, and one tiny error on a spreadsheet can make it gone the next.
Tage Kendall found this out the hard way when the Royal Bank of Canada repossessed his beloved 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. The only problem was he owned the car, never took out a loan on it, and never even opened an account with RBC.
One day while at work, Tage got a message from a repo company stating that they were going to take his car due to a defaulted loan. Since the message came through Facebook and not in a letter or even a phone call, Kendall ignored it. He owned the car and could prove it, so any funny business wouldn’t stand up in court.
That and Kendall works as a miner in the Yukon two weeks every month, and so he wasn’t even in town should anybody come snooping around. He’d have to be there for someone to repo his car, right?
As it turns out, no. Kendall later got a call from his superintendent in July saying that they were taking his prized possession. Now, Kendall had to deal with this issue as the bank informed him they’d auction off the car in three weeks if they didn’t come to some sort of an agreement.
Kendall took an emergency leave from work and flew back to Vancouver where he tried to explain to bank representatives that he owned the car and there was no loan. Reps with RBC replied that he’d co-signed on a piece of debt that went bad, but they refused to show Kendall that signed documents.
According to the CBC, this went on for a few days before the Subaru was plonked back at his apartment building without any explanation other than a letter from RBC saying they no longer had interest in the car.
In a statement to the Canadian news outlet, RBC explained 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."
But Kendall isn’t taking this lying down. He’s suing the bank for lost wages, his airline ticket, and damages. So far, RBC has yet to a defense statement against the suit.