How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

My 74 year old friend has another problem. The same woman who

This answer was rated:

My 74 year old friend has another problem. The same woman who persuaded him to gauantee a short term loan of £5000 and who had no car also persuaded my friend to go with her to a car hire firm where she signed a four week hire agreement (which my friend did not read and was not provided with a copy). My friend gave his credit card details for payment in case she could not pay again acting like a guarantor although he signed nothing. Several months later he discovered that he had paid out £1560 for the care hire which was still continuing including parking fines. I contacted the car hire firm and explained they had no authority to continue taking his money and they stopped doing so. He asked for a refund and although the person we spoke to was very sympathetic the following week he was fired. So we wrote to the company who have washed their hands of the matter, saying it was a matter between the women and my friend. My friend's bank have reported it to their Fraud Department who have written to the company but are doubtful if they can help because he voluntarily gave his credit card details.
Is there any way he can get his money back?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What is the fraud that you allege? I realise she probably did take advantage of him but she didn't deceive him?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I suspect there was no fraud but it is the Fraud Department at the bank which has taken up the issue for him.

Basically he is a vulnerable adult who has been ill over the last 2 years and this was quite obvious to the guy who was fired when I took my friend into see him.

I appreciate he may be in difficulty relating to the 4 week hire but he was given no information or understanding that he might in effect be guaranteeing an unlimited hire and particularly not parking fines. The women has no money so cannot repay him.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When will I receive a reply?

That is not good news I am afraid.
Of course, she is behaving disgracefully but that is between her and him. The lender is not liable. You are right. There is no fraud on these facts. He agreed. Of course, she should not have let him but some people behave badly. That doesn't give him a defence in law to a contract.
Come what may, he paid and so they can evidence a contract. Whether he signed anything or not is a non issue. Similarly whether he read the contract or not is not important. Very few people do read contracts in detail.
The only option is to sue the lady concerned if there was an agreement between the two of them that she would pay or would reimburse him if he had to.
I am sorry but I have to give you truthful information. Her misconduct is not down to the lender or the hirer.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is there any responsibility on the hirer to not take advantage of a vulnerable person? Should they have tried to contact him when the hire continued beyond 4 weeks?

No, and no.
I am sorry but there is no way around this.
There is a legal argument called undue influence that goes to guarantors but that only covers the loan. In truth, it would be irresponsible of me to tell you this is a strong argument anyway. It isn't really made out here and anyway they wouldn't sue for £5k. They would just add a default to his credit rating. He might not mind that of course.
But in relation to the hire, he isn't a guarantor. He is the party to the contract. I realise that is not to his benefit but that isn't down to them.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you