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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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We have bought a business shut down and have been found personally

Resolved Question:

We have bought a business shut down and have been found personally responsible for the redundancy costs for previous employees. We have money of our own (husbands retirement funds). But want to sell the business to pay what is owed. Can the court take our personal money from bank account
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was the business a limited company?

Customer:

yes but we did not respond in time the judge has said it is against us personally as answers did not match

Ben Jones :

what answers?

Customer:

When we initially responded we responded as ourselves - realise should have taken advice. Went to court when it went against us and said it should be vs the Ltd company judge not allowing.

Ben Jones :

The court will never have a right to take your own money from your bank account. All they can do is issue judgment against you and order you to pay the money that they have decided you owe. It is then for you to pay that money, using whatever funds you want. If you happen to sell the business in time and get money from that then you can use it to pay the judgment. A court order does not allow anyone to just take money from your account – if you refuse to pay it then means the claimants can pursue you for what is owed and try different enforcement methods until they get paid. These could be getting the bailiffs in, getting a charging order on a property, etc – but this is only on the assumption you refuse to pay what is due and they then take enforcement action. As mentioned, by then the business may be sold anyway and you could use those funds to settle the judgment. So to answer your query, the court cannot take your money – they make an order for how much you must pay and then it is for you to decide how you settle that.

Customer:

Thanks that has helped although I could kick myself we did not know to respond as the Ltd company. Some of the staff are claiming more than owed the solicitor is also claiming substantial loss of earnings and uplift for not following acas rules is this correct ??

Ben Jones :

Failure to follow ACAS code is only applicable if this was a disciplinary dismissal or you failed to deal with a grievance properly - it is not available if this was just a redundancy dismissal as the ACAS Code does not apply to redundancies. If the dismissal was unfair then they would only be entitled to the following:

1. Redundancy pay
2. Notice pay
3. Loss of earnings from dismissal to trial date, plus any reasonable future losses. If they have claimed benefits or have found another job then these will be deducted from what is owed, also you will have to consider what a reasonable period is, how long it may take them to find a new job, the market at the time, etc

Customer:

The business was shut down by the previous owners committee members. They let the company be run by another holding company for 6 months who did not pay the bills etc. We took over and opened 3 months after closure, dismissed at the first hearing brought back at later date. We did not realise the implications.

Ben Jones :

Ignorance is not an excuse unfortunately but what they are claiming is not necessarily what you will be liable for as mentioned

Ben Jones :

Could you please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? It is important for us to know either way so we can track customer satisfaction or identify whether I need to help you further? Thanks

Customer:

yes answered

Ben Jones :

thank you all the best

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