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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10973
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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A person owes me £37000 since 2013. My solicitor advised me

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A person owes me £37000 since 2013. My solicitor advised me to get a court hearing to make him bankrupt. I have the hearing on the 01/09/15. It is unlikely that he has any assets. I am now wondering if this is the right course. If he has no assets does it not simply help him and I lose my money? In these circumstances is there a better way forward?
In this case I signed a document giving him authority to sell my car on my behalf which he did but never gave me the money. Would I also be able to get the police to treat this as a crime as I don't want him to get away with not paying or just getting away scot free.
1. Firstly, you will never get your 37k back if you simply make someone without money bankrupt. There needs to be money there to pay you off if the threat of bankruptcy is to have any effect.. Instead you should simply get an instalment payment order against him. Effectively, you can back up any instalment payment order with the threat of jail for contempt. This is the method credit card companies use to collect their debts. Effectively, if this person is earning any money or even Social Welfare, you get it redirected to you.2. Secondly, the police will not treat the failure to pay money over to you as a crime, but will instead leave it to civil remedy. In retrospect, you were very foolish to give any car to sell on your behalf. However, as you did, the police will not now treat the case as one of theft. Merely a civil dispute.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks. Can you advise how I go about getting an instalment payment order against him. Also do I have time to cancel the Bankruptcy hearing which is on the 01/09/15. Seems I have been badly advised by this solicitor but yes rather Naive in trusting someone like this also


3. I would leave the bankruptcy petition in place and just adjourn it for a period of months when it comes on. This is to ensure you keep the pressure on. Very likely, the person who owes you money won't want to go bankrupt. However, you should instead issue debt proceedings and get a judgment against him for the £37k. These should be summary debt proceedings and you should get a judgment within 21 days. Then you serve the judgment on the debtor and seek an instalment payment order, as well as seeking a lump sum payment. In essence, you want to make clear to the debtor that he has to pay you one way or another. Most defendants have the means to pay money over time. Not immediately. So, whilst it will take you longer to get paid, you will get paid. Bankruptcy doesn't really work if the defendant has no assets or available money to pay you. In your question, you suggested this person might have no assets. So instead, you seek to get his available cash flow and pay yourself out of that.
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