Yesterday night we saw our team on the new ‘Call the Bailiffs: Time to Pay Up’ Channel 5 tv show. In episode 3 there was catching stories, and it showed that enforcement agents have to be good investigators to ensure they are not mislead by people refusing to paid their debts. If you missed yesterday’s episode, it can be found on Channel 5’s catch up programmes (My5), below is a synopsis of what happened on this week’s show in episode 3.
Next Monday at 9 pm on the ‘Call the Bailiffs: Time to Pay Up’ Channel 5 tv show you will see our Absolute Enforcement, high court enforcement team again enforcing on a High Court Writs working hard to get the clients their money, more exciting and eye-opening stories to come.
Interested in how we got involved in doing a TV show? Click here to find out.
Front Line Debt Recovery
£2801 Mark & Virgil – Unpaid cheese supplier
In this case the Claimant entered a claim in respect of invoices outstanding from March 2020 for goods supplied. The judgment was entered in the 19th November 2020 in the County Court Money Claims Centre. Shergroup arranged to obtain the necessary certificate from the County Court for the debt to be transferred to the High Court for a Writ of Control to be issued. The Writ of Control was sealed on the 6th April 2021 for an amount of £1,764,51 including costs of execution with interest accruing at 8% from the date of transfer. Enforcement Agents acting under the delegated authority of Claire Sandbrook collected the amount in full. The Claimant is delighted with the outcome and the continued updates received from Shergroup’s dedicated Business Solutions Advisor.
Since the attendance an application has now been made by the debtor for the judgment to be set aside the hearing is listed for 22nd February 2022. The claimant will strongly defend the claim made to set aside the judgment. Shergroup are offering every assistance to the Claimant in respect of the application made to set aside the judgment.
Mark & Virgil high court enforcement agents from Absolute Enforcement are on their way to a pizza restaurant to recover a debt for unpaid cheese. On the way to the restaurant, a call is made to check if the restaurant is open.
On arrival, a chef is busy preparing fresh pizzas and the team ask for the owner to be contacted. A person with the same name as the debtor is contacted by phone although the person on the phone denies he is the debtor. The owner states that their company is using the previous trading name, but the old company is dissolved and the supplier that is owed the money isn’t a recognised name.
Virgil asks for proof to be provided and informs the owner that he will give them 20 mins for the paperwork to be located and produced. The high court enforcement agents start to search through the paperwork to try and obtain a link between the company and the claimant. Paperwork is found which connects person they are talking with to the debt.
Still on the phone, the debtor informs the high court enforcement agents that the debt will not be paid. The Enforcement Agents inform the owner that they will now start to remove goods to be sold to which the owner replies “remove the goods but it will be stealing”. Mark comes out with a classic line “the only reason I am here is because you haven’t paid your cheese bill”. Mark then continues to watch the chef prepare dough while he waits for the dough (cash)!
Whilst waiting, Mark finds further paperwork from the cheese supplier in the files and also copies of the court papers showing that the case has been heard.
The manager arrives at the restaurant and he has the same name to the debtor (he says he is a different person to who was on the phone), he is shown the paperwork that has been found but he still denies all knowledge of the debt.
The team send the photo evidence over to the office for their approval and permission to remove the goods. The high court enforcement agents then respectfully wait outside to give the people inside room to discuss their options. The office call back and the green light is given to remove the goods.
Mark moves swiftly and explains to the debtor what the situation is. The debtor emphatically denies again that the debt is not theirs and tells the agents to remove the goods and he will pursue through the courts.
A friend of the debtor tries to explain the law to the agents who listen and wait until he has finished before explaining the mechanics of high court debt recovery just as the office call and inform the agents to remove the people from the restaurant and that the locks are going to be changed. Should they refuse to leave then the Police are to be called. The high court agents explain the situation to the owner and after 4 hours of being on site, the debtor offers a symbolic payment of £1k and will then take the agents to court. He also advises that he is unable to pay more as he does not have sufficient funds.
The locksmith arrives and the agents again explain the choices open to the debtor, and they are
- Pay the debt – they can dispute this in court later
- The agents will close and lock the restaurant
Mark from Absolute Enforcement explains on camera the importance of patience.
We finally see the agent’s perseverance, patience and the benefit of their experience when the debtor makes a full payment.
The scene finishes with an explanation that if an appeal is successful, the money will be returned.
£5865 KC and Alex – Rent Arrears
In this case the debt is in respect of unpaid rental arrears on a property rented to the defendant by the claimant. The judgment was entered in the 30th May 2017 in the County Court Money Claims Centre. Shergroup arranged to obtain the necessary certificate from the County Court for the debt to be transferred to the High Court for a Writ of Control to be issued. The Writ of Control was sealed on the 12th October 2020 for an amount of £4,584,98 including costs of execution with interest accruing at 8% from the date of transfer.
Enforcement Agents acting under the delegated authority of Claire Sandbrook made a 3rd attendance to the property address. During previous attendances a payment plan was set up to pay £100.00 per month however this was defaulted and a 3rd attendance was made. It was clear to the Enforcement Agents that the debtors are of very limited means and whilst the payment plan is going to take several years for the debt to be paid it was felt that this was the only option. The vehicle seen at the property was of low value which would result in the cost of removal far outweighing any money the vehicle would fetch at auction, it would therefore have no impact on reducing the debt. Shergroup accept that removal of a vehicle can result in the debtor making full payment however it was clear from the evidence seen by the Enforcement Agents (debtors bank statements) that they did not have the ability to pay the debt in full. (not sure about the next bit Claire but thought it should be mentioned) Shergroup also accept that this is not the best outcome for the Claimant however previous attempts by DCBL to enforce a Writ of Control did not achieve any payment. The payment plan with Shergroup is being adhered to. The Claimant is being kept updated by their dedicated Business Solutions Advisor.
The high court enforcement agents had visited this case twice previously and had negotiated a payment plan. However, the debtor has defaulted.
The agents immediately clamped the vehicle on arrival and went to discuss the debt with the debtor. KC explained they are trained to help people work out how to resolve the debt, the intention isn’t to cause distress or similar but to help.
The debtor has paid 2 payments of £200 then suddenly stopped, they explained that they are unable to pay. KC and Alex explained that communication is needed if they are unable to pay and they could have reversed the charges to the enforcement agents and discussed their options.
It was explained by the high court enforcement agents that they have a responsibility to the person (claimant) who is owed the debt. This was a difficult case because if they took the car, it would not cover the full amount. Plus, the car is needed for the debtor to be able to get to work, if they don’t have a car, they can’t work.
The agents helped find a pathway for the debtors to make a payment of £100 the next day and to reinstate the payment plan. The clamp was removed, and the agents had some light hearted banter with the family as they left the home.
£4000 Chris & Gavyn – refunds owed to two customers of an airline
In this case the Company acting for the individual is in respect of monies owed for flight delay compensation claims. Shergroup were instructed to collect two separate debts for the same airline. (1) The judgment was entered in the 16th January 2021 in the County Court Money Claims Centre. Shergroup arranged to obtain the necessary certificate from the County Court for the debt to be transferred to the High Court for a Writ of Control to be issued. The Writ of Control was sealed on the 26th April 2021 for an amount of £830.21 including costs of execution with interest accruing at 8% from the date of transfer. (2) The judgment was entered on the 16th October 2020 in the Liverpool County Court. Shergroup arranged to obtain the necessary certificate from the County Court for the debt to be transferred to the High Court for a Writ of Control to be issued. The Writ of Control was sealed on the 26th April 2021 for an amount of £792.84 including costs of execution with interest accruing at 8% from the date of transfer.
Enforcement Agents acting under the delegated authority of Claire Sandbrook collected the amount in full. The Company acting for the individual were delighted with the outcome and the continued updates received from Shergroup’s dedicated Business Solutions Advisor. This particular Claimant send many cases to Shergroup for recovery of the debt and are absolutely delighted with the service provided by Shergroup.
On arrival at the premises, they were found to be closed but it was noticed that the previously hand delivered letters have been collected.
A locksmith arrived and gained entry, locks were changed and they took control of the premises: allowing them to take control of goods and to sell them at auction to recover the debt owed. It was noted, once inside that there were not many assets and some of the internal doors were locked.
Chris the director of Absolute Enforcement explained that there was now a need to ensure that there was no one staying in the property behind the locked doors, which as Chris explained, was not an unusual occurrence but that he needed to ensure the building was empty before locking up.
Gavyn located a staff list and contact was made with a staff member who attended the office but she advised that she has nothing to do with the debtor but she works for another company. The lady then puts the agents in touch with her boss and she found a number for someone at the debtor company.
The high court enforcement agents are about to drill through the internal door locks and the lady reappears and tries to help with more keys. The door has however been blocked from the inside by someone placing a piece of wood on the back of the door to stop access through.
The high court enforcement agents finally gain access and start searching for assets and whoever wedged the door closed as the agents were concerned that someone may have been locked in.
Gavyn uses his detective skills and finds evidence of a wet sink and fresh food and milk in the fridge which is still in date. Chris calls the airline contact who advises that they sometimes use the rooms for short term periods “guest house” where he sleeps occasionally. Chris explains that he will leave access via the back door but the offices will now be closed off.
The agents then take stock of what assets are available to cover the debt. Chris receives a call from the debtor and explains the situation. Debtor advises that he can’t pay for another 5 days, so Chris explains that they need to take control of the premises and change the locks. This gets completed, allowing access to the residential area from the rear doors.
The debt was fully recovered a few days later as promised and the keys were provided to the debtor.
£19k KC and Alex – Money owed to a lawyer
In this case the Solicitor acting for the Defendant instructed Shergroup to collect the debt. At the hearing costs awarded to be paid by the Claimant to the Defendant (a reverse action case) The judgment was entered on the 15th April 2020 in the County Court at Staines. Shergroup arranged to obtain the necessary certificate from the County Court for the debt to be transferred to the High Court for a Writ of Control to be issued. The Writ of Control was sealed on the 3rd September 2020 for an amount of £17,297.84 including costs of execution with interest accruing at 8% from the date of transfer. Enforcement Agents acting under the delegated authority of Claire Sandbrook made the attendance and was eventually able to speak with the Defendant. He has set up a payment plan which is being closely monitored, if it defaults it will be necessary for the Enforcement Agent to make a further attendance. The Solicitors acting for the individual have continued to kept updated by their dedicated Business Solutions Advisor.
Alex is annoyed that the debtor has evaded them, the debtor has alleged to the Police our agents have harassed him and attempted to break in.
On arrival the high court agents are trying to communicate with the debtor through the letterbox (at the foot of the door) but he refuses to answer the door. It is agreed that the high court agents have no other choice but to seize the car. The car (a Porsche) is no where to be seen outside the house so, the authorised high court officers drive around the area looking for the vehicle. Perseverance and a detectives instinct prove themselves to be key skills as the team locate and clamp the Porsche. The agents return to the house and advised the defendant that he has 90 mins before the tow truck arrives to remove the vehicle. They estimate the car to be worth £17k at auction and this will cover most of the debt. A helpful neighbour verifies the Porsche still belongs to the debtor.
The agents wait, as advised to the debtor, next to the car. The debtor finally arrives and explains he has taken legal advice about the debt and has been told not to speak to the agents as an appeal has been lodged to have the judgment set aside.
A call to the office, and Alex is able to confirm in November a stay was put on the case but this was removed in December. Alex explains that enforcement is to continue. Defendant offers to pay 10% today and gets time to speak to his legal team before making further payments and then he can re-appeal.
On departing the debtor shows he understands the agents position and appreciates their help by telling Alex “you are alright you know” and they fist bump goodbye.
Below is the link to the My5 Channel 5 catch up for episode 3, Call The Bailiffs – Time To Pay Up:
See us on the Channel 5 TV Show “Call The Bailiffs: Time To Pay Up” (Episode 3)