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Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71135
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good afternoon I have a customer who owes our company £22000.00,

Customer Question

Good afternoon

I have a customer who owes our company £22000.00, their account is running into 105 days.

I know he owes a lot of people money so want to secure the debit before other people take action.

He has agreed to sign any documents, I suggested putting a charge on his property?
basically what equipment he has in the shop..

I know if we took the business over we could make it work.

What would you suggest?


Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Can i presume you don't have a CCJ against him?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jo no not at this time, we are still supplying him weekly and he pays each invoice within 7 days.


The problem is the debit is not reducing and I fear he will run the business into the ground.


As I said I know we can make this Business work but until then we want to secure our debits by securing the business property before other creditors take action.






Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
As an individual or by a limited company?

Will he agree to give you a charge over his house or over the business assets and the business?

What value does the business have?

Would he let you have the business in return for walking away bearing in mind that you would also inherit the business debts?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He owns no property, he has agreed to give us a charge over his business assets.


I estimate the business to be valued at £50000.00.


I can stop supplying him and the business would cease to run. The business carries our name but under a different post code and he is tied in to purchasing goods from us.


I would rather take over the site but not the business name.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I do not need to know the business name.

However, I do need to know if it is him as an individual trading or in partnership, or whether it is a limited company. I do not need to know the name of the company.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

His son is the sole director, it is a LTD company.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Not answering??
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

I note you have relisted the matter.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. As the claim is for more £10,000 or less it will be a fast track claim and you will need representation.

Clearly it is a matter for you whether you take things further, given the commercial relationship. But your business clearly would suffer if you are supplying goods and not being paid.

Sadly you can not just go in and take over the business. If you get a CCJ and make it bankrupt, you could potentially purchase the business from the Administrators.

Indeed once you get a CCJ you could get a charge on any assets or bank accounts they have.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your response Alex, how would I go about securing the debit?


How do I get a charge on his assets so no one else can take them over?


If I can secure his assets I can still work with him.

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
You can only get a charge on property, shares or the bank account once you have a CCJ.

Unless you have a CCJ then you can not get a charge. Therefore proceedings is your starting point.

Of course he may even, before you issue proceedings be interested in a buyout from him - so have a talk about these first.

It could be that he agrees to sell you a share of the business in lieu of the debt.

Can I clarify anything?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Alex


Is he able to sell the assets to me, we basically want to protect them?

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Yes indeed he is - again this may be in lieu of the debt.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. Sorry for the intervention.

It is a limited company, you are in a position to take charge over the work in progress, the business itself and the assets. It is not a limited company, the process is a lot more convoluted and very difficult to enforce.

The charge must be registered at companies house for it to be valid and it must be registered within 21 days of the date of creation.

It is not registered within 21 days, companies house will not register it without a court order. They will not even consider it if it is one day late.

Do remember that will not give you control of the business, it will only mean that the assets in effect cannot be sold to pay debts.

I would urge you not to try to do this yourself because it is an extremely specialist job and it is extremely common for things to go wrong. If that happens, your charge would be worthless.

If you get a solicitor to do it and it goes wrong, you have a claim against the solicitor.

You should get the creditor to agree to pay the solicitor's legal costs. You need to also insist that he takes legal advice so that he cannot at some stage say that he was coerced into doing this

The first thing to do is to get the creditor to give you a list of all the company assets and all the work in progress. You need a warranty (guarantee) from him that there are no other charges over any of the assets or work in progress and, more importantly, you need a warranty from him that he owns everything and that nothing is subject to any kind of finance agreement.

Can I clarify anything for you?