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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have a judgement entered against the defendant (company)

Resolved Question:

I have a judgement entered against the defendant (company) who have now changed their name, what action can I take in order to retrieve monies owed?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi, thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX can help with this.

tdlawyer :

Has the company simply changed its name, or is it actually a different company? You can tell by looking at the company's registered number at Companies House. It's unclear from your question whether it is actually a limited company registered at Companies House, so double check from their letterhead what it says about this, if anything.

Customer:

The company is not a limited company and therefore it is not registered with company house

tdlawyer :

So what kind of business is it, a sole trader, a partnership?

Customer:

not sure but think it could be a sole trader

tdlawyer :

Okay. Do you who the individual owner was?

tdlawyer :

The name used by the business, which is a sole trader or partnership, will be a trading name only. At means that you would sue the individual, or in the case the partnership, you would sue one or all of the partners or the trading name of the partnership.

Customer:

the owner or person that I dealt with gave his name as Russ but did not provide a surname

tdlawyer :

Obviously, if this was a company, it would be much easier to identify, and you would issue proceedings in the name of the company.

tdlawyer :

Okay.

tdlawyer :

You have any paperwork from him? Or at least an address?

tdlawyer :

It might be worth trying to discover who the person is, as proceedings would need to be issued against him, if he was a sole trader and this was his business.

tdlawyer :

Technically, sole traders and partnerships need to set out their name (so people can easily sue them!) on all of their letterheads, stationery, cheques and so on.

tdlawyer :

To be honest though, even if they do not do this, there is very little you can do other than refuse to deal with them. In the real world, people deal with individuals running businesses, that do not state their name as they're supposed to, all of the time and this is one of the issues that then arises - who to sue!

Customer:

the proceedings were against the company of Hollinwell Trade Car Centre the address wasXXXXXNottingham, the problem I have is in Identifying the individual

tdlawyer :

Yes, this is a very common problem.

tdlawyer :

A useful starting point might be to identify who the owner of the property inXXXXXis.

tdlawyer :

You can do a search at HM land Registry.

tdlawyer :

The wbsite is www.landreg.gov.uk.

tdlawyer :

This might give you the name of the individual, or somebody with the name "Russ" that might lead you in the right direction.

Customer:

so how do I proceed, as the company is no longer trading under Hollinwell then what can I do to collect the monies owed

tdlawyer :

You could make enquiries of people in neighbouring properties, or others that have used his services. It would also be worth speaking to your local trading standards department to see whether others have had dealings with him, and whether they know anything of him.

tdlawyer :

You need to identify the individual fast.

tdlawyer :

First.

tdlawyer :

You do not need to worry about his trading name - this is irrelevant.

tdlawyer :

As a sole trader, he remains liable individually irrespective of his trading name.

tdlawyer :

He is not a company and cannot just vanish. His own personal assets will be at stake if he is a sole trader or an unincorporated partnership.

Customer:

even though the judgement was made against the trading name?

tdlawyer :

Was this a judgment in default?

Customer:

yes the judgement was made as the company failed to defend the claim, and are liable to pay

tdlawyer :

You keep using the term "company"and it would seem that that might not be correct.

tdlawyer :

To avoid confusion with others, it is probably best you refer to it as a "business".

tdlawyer :

So the starting point is to identify whether you got it right to start with, by suing the trading name.

Customer:

Hollinwell Trade Car Centre is the defendant

tdlawyer :

If it was a partnership, then you can sue the firm name, and you can enforce against all of the partners of that firm. In other words, the judgment you have would be perfectly valid and enforceable.

tdlawyer :

I have just had a quick look at their website.

Customer:

even though the trading name of the business has changed

tdlawyer :

It's not clear what the legal entity is, or how it trades. However, I do see they offer finance.

tdlawyer :

You know who the finance company is?

Customer:

the last time I looked at the website which was yesterday, it had been removed

tdlawyer :

What did you sue them for?

Customer:

I purchased a car from them and it was returned several times for repairs which were unsatisfactory, and the person who I was dealing with promised a full refund but did not deliver

tdlawyer :

Okay. Did you have a written contract with them? If so, who does it say you purchased the car from in the small print?

tdlawyer :

Also, did you pay cash?

Customer:

there was no contract but a receipt given, unfortunately there is no information on the receipt as to who the owner is

Customer:

paid in cash

tdlawyer :

Okay.

tdlawyer :

And I'm afraid you need to go back to identifying who the appropriate contracting parties were. In other words, who you purchased the car from. That is, at least, the proper answer, although I know be difficult to you to do that.

Customer:

if the owner has now changed the name of the business can the judgement be delivered to the new name

tdlawyer :

It might be worth you having a word with a High Court Enforcement Officer and seeing if they will attend the premises with a view to enforcing the debt. That might result in you discovering who the correct defendant is, if you have got the wrong one. It might not be the wrong one, if this is a partnership, and you would in no circumstances be entitled to sue in the name that you have done.

tdlawyer :

No, you cannot just change the defendant like that.

tdlawyer :

It would be like a judgement against me, but then I decide to transfer it to you. You need to go through a whole new claim.

tdlawyer :

Have a word with these people: http://www.hcegroup.co.uk/

tdlawyer :

They enforce court judgements and should be able to help you.

tdlawyer :

If you need to issue new claim, and that's what you have to do, in the name of the correct defendant. As I said, it might be that you have got the correct defendant if this is an unincorporated partnership. The difficulty with that is identifying precisely who you can enforce against, but that's where the High Court Enforcement Officer can help you.

Customer:

unfortunately the costs keep rising and bearing this in mind, would contact with the High Court Enforcement Officer cost me more money

tdlawyer :

The High Court Enforcement Officers usually takes teir money by way of commission from the sale of goods when trying to enforce the judgment. This is why they can often be much more effective than standard court bailiffs!

tdlawyer :

I certainly think the HCEOs are worth talking to.

tdlawyer :

They can have a look at your paperwork and guide you as to the best way forward.

tdlawyer :

They will not give you legal advice on the underlying claim, but can assist you in terms of carrying out the court judgment that you have.

Customer:

ok, well thanks for the info, although I am no further forward.

tdlawyer :

I appreciate it probably feels that way. However, the key is identifying the precise defendant, and there is another potential service you could use to do that.

tdlawyer :

It is called Finder Monkey. http://www.findermonkey.co.uk/

tdlawyer :

Between the two websites that I've given you, you will have the answer.

tdlawyer :

Finder Monkey will help you if this is a sole trader.

tdlawyer :

The High Court Enforcement Officer will help you if this is a partnership, and you have sued the right defendant. Either way, with those two sites, you should have everything you need.

tdlawyer :

But it makes sense to use the HCEO first as you already have the judgment.

tdlawyer :

So you should now have an absolute way to resolve this.

tdlawyer :

And you also have the two routes available to you, depending upon which is correct, which you will find out from the HCEO.

Customer:

thank you

tdlawyer :

You are very welcome.

tdlawyer :

You can always come back to me later and ask any further follow-up questions you wish once you've spoken to the HCEO.

tdlawyer :

So long as you're happy with the service so far?

tdlawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you