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Guards now tracking loan defaulters

Armed with only a car logbook, it is now easy to secure a loan from dozens of willing lenders. But what happens when you begin to play cat-and-mouse with the lenders past the due date?

Painfully, you will find out that the security guard is not just the docile, scanner-wielding fellow you have always imagined him or her to be.

This is because the guard will most probably be the one to report you to the lending company in exchange for a fat cheque.

Every few weeks, a seemingly harmless small advert will feature in local dailies offering a reward for anyone who has spotted particular vehicles with their registration and description given. It becomes payday for one with a keen eye.

According to Albert Mwangi of Spanken Limited, the recovery arm for Meridian Acceptances that offers car leasing services, once they post the ads, they recover up to 70 per cent of the vehicles in the list.

“You will see guards scanning papers and assume it is because they are idle but they are looking to cash in on what many of us overlook,” added Mr Mwangi.

He said adverts were more effective compared to other means like hiring private detectives.

“They will be seen by people who know you; your family members, friends, enemies, co-workers, those who work in parking lots and others. It is impossible to hide,” he said.

The company offers a Sh20,000 reward for a credible tip. Once the vehicle is spotted, they swoop in and take it away. You will then either pay the interest for the extra days you used the car or be reported as holding stolen goods.

He added that they had improved security by installing tracking devices on any vehicle whose logbook they hold against a loan but the systems can only be so much effective. Payday for those with a keen eye is not likely to go away.