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Debt collectors take wrong people's stuff

Debt collectors take wrong people's stuff

Published: 19 Mar 2012 08:27 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Mar 2012 08:27 GMT+01:00

Two Swedish women are fighting uphill battles to reclaim their possessions after agents from Sweden's debt collection confiscated their items by mistake.

In one incident, agents from the Swedish Enforcement Administration (Kronofogden) forced their way into a storage facility but ended up taking the wrong person's things.

In another incident, debt collectors simply emptied the wrong storage locker.

The first case involved a woman in Örkelljunga in southern Sweden who had swapped storage spaces with a neighbour who then moved away.

But what Aida Gazic, 30, didn't know was that her neighbour had sizeable debts and was targeted by the debt collection agency for repossession.

One day, she came home to find a truck outside her building and discovered soon thereafter that her storage locker had been emptied.

"It was my stuff that I had in my former neighbour's storage space. I had my children's new scooters, Christmas decorations, an old computer and VCR and even a kiddie pool belonging to my friend," Gazic told the local Helsingborg Dagblad newspaper.

Now she wants her things back, but the agency has told her told her to get in touch with her former neighbour.

"They want me to get proof from her that the stuff really is mine," she told the paper.

"But she's unreachable; she just doesn't care."

In a second incident, which took place just two weeks ago, the wrong possessions disappeared from Gun Persson's storage facility in Valbo in eastern Sweden.

Clothes, shoes, collectible model cars, a number of other valuables were lost when the locker was emptied by debt collection agents by mistake and her possessions sent off to be recycled.

As it turns out, the debt collectors were supposed to have emptied the storage locker belonging to Persson's neighbour, who had been evicted.

As the agency had requested help from the landlord, who in turn hired a contractor, it remains unclear exactly where the mix-up occured.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

09:30 March 19, 2012 by Luke R D
Screwing up, then lacking the humility to admit a mistake and apologise? This doesn't sound like Sweden at all (*cough*splutter*)
09:42 March 19, 2012 by J Jack
In the first case, if your store your things at someone else's location unless under a contract, It belongs to them by default and KF are right to ask for proof of ownership. In the 2nd case KF really screwed up, hiring inept contractors.
09:59 March 19, 2012 by RobinHood
@ J Jack

You do not forfit ownership of your property by storing it in a place you do not own.

Kronofogden are subject to the same laws as everyone else. In both cases, report them to the police for theft.
10:25 March 19, 2012 by bolababu
@Luke, this is very much like Sweden, people here would rather go jump off a bridge than admit their mistakes and "God forbid" -apologise! ..They never apologise for anything even when they have obviously done wrong, i am currently in court with Kronofogden for wrongfully black-listing me and making me un-credit-worthy based on a mistake they have made, they are too afraid to admit their mistake so they tried to back their actions up with silly laws that do not exist thereby costing me thousands in Lawyer's fees. Saying "sorry we made a mistake" has never been known to kill people but in Sweden, there seems to be something extremely wrong with that, there must be some kind of story attached to it that we do not know about.
12:20 March 19, 2012 by Luke R D
Bolababu - that was irony....dripping with irony.
20:46 March 19, 2012 by Trenatos
When I was renting a room a few years back and got in debt, they paid me a visit, an inspection, and even though I had papers on that I only rented a single room and didn't own anything outside of it, they literally told me that it doesn't matter, I have access to the whole house and thus they inspect they whole house for items to take.
21:35 March 19, 2012 by Grandson of Swedish Emigrants
When agents have so much power, there must be checks and balances on that power for freedom to remain.

What is clear from reading this newspaper is that the Swedish legal system is not poplulated by people with common sense and consideration for the rights of others. There appear to be few checks and balances that reign in out-of-control government agents.

How sad. It is too bad that the Swedish people don't demand more from their government.
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