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JimLawyer
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I have issued proceedings against someone, and judgment was

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Hi, I have issued proceedings against someone, and judgment was entered into in July 2019. The tracing agents cannot find him. However, when I lent this money it was to him and his girlfriend. I have messages between her and myself and also bank transfers showing the money going into her account. I now wish to add her to the proceedings. Is this possible? Thank you, Linzi
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Manchester, UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: See above
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

Am I right in thinking you already have a CCJ (county court judgment) against the person you issued against? But you want to now pursue their girlfriend?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Yes. I have a UK CCJ. Please see attached claim form and judgment. I now want to pursue his girlfriend. The money was sent to both of them, and I liaised with both of them, but I issued proceedings against him only, thinking it would be easier. However, give the tracing agents cannot locate him, maybe they are living under her name somewhere. I don't know if it's easier to issue proceedings against her separately, or amend the existing claim I have against him. Please advise.

Hi there, yes, you now have a final judgment against him and you would need to bring a fresh claim against her. Ideally, both should have been on the claim form (the money claim site allows you to sue two parties). You can enforce the judgment against him in a number of ways - you could try BNH Associates who use ex-Police and have a high success rate - to trace him.

It may be possible to apply to amend the current proceedings (the cost is £255) and the court may require you to attend a hearing - if it grants the application then the court would order you to serve proceedings on the second defendant who then has to reply. It may be easier to issue a fresh claim but can I ask which tracing agency you used previously?.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thanks for your swift reply. I think for ease, I will issue a new claim against her. The tracing agents I have used are DCB Ltd. They found every address they could on him, bailiffs attended, but unfortunately they were not there. The case has now been placed on a 12-month tracker. The closest contact we got to him was when the bailiffs attended his mother's address, but she did not give any updated contact details for her son. He is aware of the judgment as I have told him via Facebook Messenger, and he has responded to these messages. Again, he will not provide me with an updated phone number or address. I feel like I am running out of options.

Yes, it must be very annoying - has he gone abroad?. I think it would be best to issue a fresh claim. It would mean you do not have to attend a court hearing and be asked by a judge why the second defendant was not sued at the time, etc. You simply add the court fee to the claimed sum but you'll already know that.

If there's anything else let me know - I am happy to assist. Likewise if you want to know about enforcement methods, I can detail those for you.

I hope this helps – if you can please give a positive rating by clicking 5 stars (at the top of your screen), I can answer any follow up questions at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

 

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I have their bank details, so can I enforce that way? I do not know their current professions or where their place of work is though.

Yes, you can actually. Though for this to work they have to have money in there (not in their overdraft) and it's one application at one point in time - when the court makes the order then future deposits in to his account are not affected.

You can apply to freeze his bank account and the court orders the funds to repay the CCJ :

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

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you. Is there any other enforcement options available to me?

Yes, there are a few 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. If he is employed, apply for attachment of earnings order :

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n337-request-for-attachment-of-earnings-order).

£110 fee payable to HMCTS.

4. Apply to freeze his 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.

5. Apply for a charging order on his 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.

6. Apply to make them bankrupt if they owe you £5,000 or more:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-to-bankrupt-someone

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi, they owe me £5000, but with the fees and interest etc, it’s now in the region of £6300. I have attached the claim form and judgment. I’ve had the matter transferred to the HCE but we’ve not been successful in tracing him.

What’s my best chance for success? I am worried that if I put a third party debt order to freeze his account, they’ll be nothing in it, and as you said I can only do one application at a time, I’ll be then be screwed.

If I do option one for him to attend a hearing, and he doesn’t attend, what would this mean? Is that criminal offence?

It'd be contempt of court, so a civil court judge could potentially make an order for his arrest yes. For a small fee I'd be inclined to try BNH Associates to trace him. http://www.bnhassociates.com

Mr Bedwell runs it (he is ex Police) - if the defendant can be traced then it would be a great result as you could then enforce.

If he can be traced and he works for someone then an attachment of earnings order would be a good idea

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I’ve already had the matter transferred to high court enforcement (I paid the fee) and they’ve not been able to find him.

They are only useful if the defendant has assets to seize though

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I don’t know if he has a property or not, so can’t go down that route. Also, I’ve no idea what Joan profession is currently or where he works.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
How would making him bankrupt help me?

Maybe give Mr Bedwell a call at BNH and see what he thinks - for all you know the defendant has moved abroad so it's worth speaking to someone who used to be in the Police to get their view.

Bankruptcy is only useful if he has assets, same as the high court option.

If you know his bank account details then this is a good option for you in my view.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Okay, you’ve been a great help. Can I keep this chat open until the end of the week? I might come back for more questions...

Yes no problem, the question will stay open. The system will notify me when you post a new question so we can speak again shortly.

JimLawyer and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi, I’m going with option 1:

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.

I’ve filled in the form. How do I send this? Where to? And do I attach a cheque?

Yes, send a completed copy to the court with the form and a cheque for £55 payable to HMCTS.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Is it the County Court Online, Northampton address?

Yes, send to that one.