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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I attended a Order at County Court as the creditor

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I attended a Order for questioning at County Court as the creditor not debtor - After two years of attempting to settle this claim /judgement the debtor finally attended with Warrant of arrest. He is 27yrs old and runs his own business but he brought his Mother with him. His Mother answered most questions even though he signed his agreement. I was informed by the Officer of the Court prior to the meeting that I could attend but could not ask questions or contribute.
Question 1: Is this acceptable/allowed - can I request that she does not attend? (as I am aiming to repeat the process - see below)
The debtor did not produce major documents i.e. bank statements for a second account and provided 'handwritten' bank statements! he also said he had not 'traded' since 2010 and yet he owes me rent (reason for claim) for trading from my salon premises through 2012 and through the two years he has been clearly working full-time in his own salon (the bailiff has served all summons docs to him at his work premises throughout!)
Question 2: He made an offer to pay off the debt (£3,500) at £50 per month - I think this unreasonable when he runs his own town centre salon but claims his takings are low!!! but mainly because I believe his 'handwritten' bank statements are false and inadequate as they don't identify sources (basically they are list of In and OUT with no further info. Why have the court accepted these and why can he NOT produce the documents requested in the order? (I submitted some extra questions to get information about this 'second account' also).
My aim is to respond to the court to say I want to repeat the order for questioning but without his Mother and to insist he provides 'original' bank statements and the missing statements for the other account that he admitted and where requested on the order. I feel he has been unlawful by lying under oath and want true documents so I can request he pays more per month - possibly £200.
Question 3: Will I need to pay again for a request for questioning as the court accepted falsified documents and allowed him to not provide what was requested?
This is my first ever experience of trying to recover money owed to me and the process has been a nightmare - it seems it is totally weighted to support the debtor!
Sorry - its complicated - but I appreciated any help you can give.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. May I ask if you have sought any other enforcement action to date other than the order for questioning? You mention bailiffs? Were these county court bailiffs? What was the outcome?Do you believe he is insolvent as he claims or do you believe he has sufficient assets to cover your and potential other debts?Do you know his bank account numbers from the questioning?Finally does he owe the debt personally or as a limited company?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua,

I think I have tried everything to date! At the beginning of the claim (Judgement May 2013) - I had the services of a solicitor and was advised / and did use High Court Enforcement Officers but all they established was that the debtor said he didn't own the salon and neither was he employed there (although he was the lead stylist five days per week). I applied for an Attachment of earnings but his brother wrote to the court saying he wasn't employed there but worked there on a self-employed basis. So not employed and not self-employed? He runs his own salon in the centre of town full-time so I would presume he has far more income than the £200 per week as he stated but he hasn't supported this with original bank statements - just handwritten lists showing IN and OUT - not good enough - why did the court accept these? He did not produce any statements for a further business account that he admitted to - court didn't question this? I have full details for his personal account and this further business account but the bank wouldn't allow me to get further details surely? He owes the debt for non-payment of rent when he traded from my premises in 2012 - he set up DDebits in his name and accounts for utilities etc - these were set up using this second account that he failed to bring documents for. I gather this is a joint account but he still should have produced the docs. as they were requested by me in Additional Questions and Documents submitted with the summons to Questioning. I fear he has not disclosed income for several years to HM Revenue. He also stated at the examination that he has not received benefits but his personal statements show he has been in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance - whilst he was running his own salon! He is definitely not a limited company.

He has never responded to anything from the courts until the threat of arrest. I could apparently verify information through HM Revenue but cannot get through to anyone by telephone and when I did no-one seems able to tell me how I could do this! I truly believe there is tax and benefit fraud connected to this case and the man has no scruples about lying under oath. My letter from the court gives me few choices: they say 'if I am not happy with information in the statement I must make a fresh application and pay a further fee' yet he failed to supply the information requested and the court accepted handwritten statements and allowed/ ignored that he didn't provide other requested information - so why should I pay again? they say if I do not accept the offer I could look at other methods of enforcement but he's apparently not employed, makes no money self-employed, has no personal assets etc etc etc. I am currently responding to the court setting out that I feel he lied under oath and sending evidence to support this. I really want to get him to questioning again - this time with original documents. I want him to pay at least £200 per month (i'd rather it was paid in full!) can I make that as an offer? Would he have to then produce true evidence to prove that he couldn't afford that amount? If he does pay in instalments - what happens when he does't pay - do I have to start again. I just wish I could get it before a judge - I have masses of evidence and I feel it would be settled if there was just me, him and a judge! He also gave details of a personal injury claim he has pending - this may be a substantial payment as he 'claims' he was left with a broken leg, trapped nerve etc etc and no doubt loss of earnings (although he apparently doesn't work or earn!) could I put a charging order on that payment - I have the claim number and details of the company? It is very complicated and to be honest I feel this family are well rehearsed in avoidance and the bailiff did tell me that he is often delivering summons to each of them! Hope this helps.

Thank you. Collecting from individuals who are self employed without significant assets who are unconcerned with the impact a CCJ has on the credit rating can be frustrating to say the least. The semi positive news is that there is no statute of limitations on a court judgement so it does not expire and you can seek interest at 8% per annum on the amounts owed under s69 County Courts Act. This is not much comfort if the money is needed nor does it do much for frustration levels but unless he goes bankrupt there is no timelimit after which he would be free of your judgement.My experience of orders for questioning is that they are a very weak affair to the extent that they are often barely worth pursuing. They can be useful for discovering bank account numbers for the debtor which and be used for third party debt orders which as you will know our orders issued by the court to a specific bank to deduct monies from that bank account and directly to you and they can sometime reveal some useful information but if the person is willing to risk lying on oath they are of limited use and court officers tend not to challenge information given. If you can prove he lied on oath you could apply to the court for an order of contempt but you would need conclusive evidence of his lying on oath.As to how to extract the money if you belive he holds money in the account(s) he has produced you could consider a third party debt order as above though this will only be effective to the extent that he has money in the account at the time. You may also consider a statutory demand. This costs no money and is a formal warning that unless he makes payment in full or formally applies to the court to attempt to set aside the statutory demand where he will need to convince a judge that he does not owe the money demanded to do so, he may be made bankrupt. If he fails to do either of the above, after 21 days you can apply to make him bankrupt though there is no requirement that you do so. Statutory demands can be a powerful weapon to convince unwilling creditors to pay what is owed without the need for court action though only if they wish to avoid bankruptcy of course. If he is unconcerned about potentially being made bankrupt then it may fail but as above there is no requirement to follow thought so it costs nothing really to tryThe form you need can be found below and should be sent by recorded delivery or delivered personally. If you are unhappy about the manner in which the questioning was conducted you can make a formal complaint and ask that a further order for questioning is issued to address your particular complaints to which the court must send a formal response. If you are not saitsifed with the response, you can ask for a review by a senior manager. If you remain unsatisified with the senior managers decision, you can appeal to the Communications and Customer Service team who should reply within 15 days. If you remain unsatisified you may be able to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman though you fo complaints about courts you nomally have to cotact your MPs office to request that they refer your complaint to the Ombudsman on your behalf as the Ombudsman will not typically accept complaints about the courts service directly from the public. Sometimes barring bankruptcy petitions it is very difficult to collect debts from individuals and of course even with bankruptcy if he has other debts you are not guaranteed to get back what you are owed, and where this is the case it can sometimes be a matter of biding your time and hitting him with a further enforcement demand once he has become more successful and has acquired some further assets adding interest to the judgement in the meantime. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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