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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I’ve a question about a group of companies that owe me money

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Hi, I’ve a question about a group of companies that owe me money for services provided and wondered if anyone could help me as I don’t seem to be getting far trying to deal with them civiliy
Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I haven’t no you’re the first and Uk for both
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I’ve approached them on several occasions about payment and have been told of different days that I would be given a copy of the invoice and get paid and said days come and go and they have excuses for why it’s not happened
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: There’s a whole list of other things that’s gone on other than the lack of payments

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you this evening.

How many companies owe you money here? Have you threatened to sue them?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
On paper 2 companies but they are the same company one half hires the vehicles and the other one effectively arranges the work via Amazon I haven’t as of yet mentioned suing them as they are very difficult in every way even down to trying to get my copy of the contract that was signed

Thanks, ***** ***** in any way related (subsidiaries?). I am just thinking about the best approach to pursue them if you had to involve the courts. You can easily sue two defendants (via the money claim website) or more with the paper method (N1 claim form).

Have you sent them a letter before action to demand repayment?

If you do sue them they have to disclosure relevant documents including the contract.

I would recommend that you send both companies a formal letter before action to demand payment within 14 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded. You will need to tailor this letter to your situation.

You will need to register at http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

Claims between £10,000 and £25,000 are subject to fixed costs only so if you lose then the risk is minimal. Further, the money claim website allows you to sue for an amount up to £100,000. For sums over this figure you would need to use the paper method (I have the forms if required).

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (details of the money claim fees are listed here at page 5: http://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.

There are other enforcement methods which I can help with, including bank account freeze, charging order on their property (and then apply to force a sale), apply to summons them to court for questioning, all of which can ensure you are actually repaid the money.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

JimLawyer and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you very much I will get on and get that letter drafted up over next couple of days

My pleasure, I hope this helps. Please come back here if you would like further help.

Have a good evening.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Jim, I’ve been doing some digging this morning about the companies in question if appears that over the last few years the companies have been incorporated and dissolved a few times, and there is rumour on their vans being leased. If this is the case how do I stand with getting payment from if they are using dissolvancy
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
As a way of not paying and obviously if their vans are leased they can’t be take. In to consideration if we was to go down the asset and account freezing route?

Hi there, there are a number of methods to enforce - as follows.

1. Apply to court to order they attend a hearing and confirm what they can pay. You do this by filling in and sending form N316 with fee of £55 payable to HMCTS:

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n316-application-for-order-that-debtor-attend-court-for-questioning)

2. Instruct court bailiffs to attend and collect. Fill in and send form N323 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n323-request-for-warrant-of-control)

A fee of £77 is payable (if you sued online) or £110 (paper method) payable to HMCTS.

Alternatively you can apply to transfer the CCJ to the High Court so that you can use the high court enforcement officers (who have far greater powers than county court bailiffs including seizure of goods to sell at auction and forcing entry to premises). The following company can do this for you and they add their fee to the CCJ sum: https://www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk/services/ccjs-transferring-high-court/

3. Apply to freeze their bank account (if it is in credit) and the court orders the funds to repay the CCJ :

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n349-application-for-third-party-debt-order).

£110 fee payable.

4. Apply for a charging order on their property (if they own it) so the money is repaid when the property sells. You can also apply to force a sale :

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n379-application-for-charging-order-on-land-cpr-part-73).

£110 fee payable.

5. Apply to wind up their company (the liquidator sells their assets to pay the CCJ).

https://www.gov.uk/wind-up-a-company-that-owes-you-money

£280 fee payable initially.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ok thank you I just started to wonder if that is the case and they do try to use them methods as a way of non payment would I end up getting nothing back in the long run
It’s a risk with a company although imthey can’t dissolve it whilst a claim has been issued and court proceedings are ongoing
I’d issue the claim against them ASAP
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Right ok so basically as long as they’ve a letter for demand of money they can’t close up shop? So to speak?
They can do it’s only when you’ve issued a claim they can’t do that. You could issue the claim today if you had grounds to believe they would deliberately dissolve the company to get out of paying a CCJ
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Right ok and the ccj is the cheaper option after the original writing a letter request the owed, am I right?
The letter would normally be required - it’s a letter before action which gives them notice you intend to sue them and demands they pay you to avoid court proceedings. The CCJ is the only way forwards if they refuse to pay you. If they still don’t pay then you can use one or more of those enforcement methods I talked about
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ok, I presume if I went straight to ccj for the grounds of suspicion that they will just close down to avoid payment that I would need to show some form of evidence to show some form of suspicion and that it isn’t that I didn’t just want to skip stages if you like?
They couldn’t dissolve the company until court proceedings end though. You can issue the claim now like I say and it saves having to wait 14 days - if they argue it was premature then you can argue they have history of closing companies to avoid paying
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Right ok thank you