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Episode 1 | Story #1 | The Second Hand Car Dealer Sued By A Disappointed Customer | Debt Value £14,000+

As Claire has said in her podcast – not every creditor who goes to Court and gets a judgment is a large business.

In this storyline, we see Shergroup Enforcement Agents tackling the director of a second hand car dealership who has been sued by a customer for a faulty car.  The creditor is a consumer and has gone to Court to get her money back.  You will see the enforcement agents in this episode really stand their ground with a director who is not at all happy about the vehicles on his drive being taken into legal control.

The background to this case is that the solicitor acting for the individual consumer who was sold a faulty vehicle instructed Shergroup to collect the debt.

The judgment was entered on 18th February 2020 using the Money Claims Online system.  Lots of creditors and their solicitors use this system to issue a county court claim and seek a judgment against the named debtor.

When Shergroup was contacted we arranged through our law firm, Shergroup Legal, to to obtain the necessary certificate from the County Court (Form N293A) for the judgment to be transferred to the High Court for a Writ of Control to then be issued.

The Writ of Control was sealed on the 28th April 2020 for an amount of £11891.58 including costs of execution with interest accruing at 8% from the date of transfer.  There is a gap between the time the judgment was entered and the time the Writ was sealed but as this was right at the start of the pandemic taking hold, delays were inevitable in court procedures.

When allowed to do so Enforcement Agents acting under the delegated authority of Claire Sandbrook attended the director’s home address.  Normally we can’t attend at the home addresses of directors unless we can find goods belonging to the company at that address.  In this story we were able to find the cars which were the stock of the car dealership parked on the driveway of the director’s home.  This meant that address became an address where the company was trading and was therefore an address where enforcement action could be taken.

As can be seen in this storyline, the conversations between the enforcement agents and the director become heated as the director puts up various defences to the enforcement action taking place.  The solicitors acting for the individual judgment creditor were delighted with the paid in full result and the continued updates received from Shergroup’s dedicated Business Solutions Advisor as the enforcement process unfolded from the driveway.

Agents Alex and Sherry worked through the details of the Writ to escalate the matter from Stage 1 enforcement through to the Sale & Disposal Stage.  The escalation was driven by the director’s refusal to engage with the enforcement process and make either a payment of the full amount or an offer of payment in instalments.  This is a mistake that people make time and time again and it costs money.  A denial of the enforcement process and a refusal to co-operate with the enforcement agents will lead to this escalation process as the goods are taken into legal control.  This fact provides the leverage we need to compel payment.

However throughout this process, you can see the Agents being verbally abused by the director and the director’s family member.  The director was adamant that the cars that were parked at the address had nothing to do with the Judgment Debtor company.  The director reeled off reasons why the cars couldn’t be taken and even went to the lengths of removing his name from Companies House while the agents were on site in an attempt to distance his address from the enforcement process.  Sherry was right on top of all these excuses and you can see her showing the director screen shots on her phone of the vehicles that were on the drive, being advertised for sale on the company’s website.

The important thing to understand here is that the enforcement agents stood their ground.  They have a job to under the terms of the Writ of Control and they were steadfast in their approach.  This is because Shergroup Enforcement Agents are picked for their professionalism and tenacity.  They have to be able to collect in debt not just push paperwork through the letterbox.  This combination of qualities see us continue to add competent and capable agents into on to our national panel framework.

As the cameras keep rolling through the day when Agents Alex and Sherry are on site, it starts to get dark by the time the tow trucks arrive.  The agents patiently take each objection as to why the cars couldn’t be seized and dismantled by the judgment debtor’s direction and deal with that objection on the spot.  This takes some nerve but Alex and Sherry held their stance which was simply, you pay what’s owed or the cars are being removed for sale.

£2,000+ of additional charges were added to the amount of the judgment due to the director’s wilful refusal to engage in the enforcement process.  Again we say that programmes like “Call The Bailiffs” shine a light on how robust we can be in our process to get the money.  We are not aggressive, we are just firmly pointing out to anyone who refuses to accept the authority of the Writ, that the time has come to pay up.

Our enforcement agents will call the police if they feel, as they did in this storyline, that tensions are reaching breaking point and a breach of the peace could occur.  With body cams rolling, a TV crew also filming and the attendance of the police and their body worn cameras also recording the actions of words of ALL parties, there is a contemporaneous record of events.  Back in the day this evidence did not exist in video form but now it does and will be shown to the Court in evidence if parties insist on taking matters that far.

Normally the presence of cameras will modify the behaviour and language of anyone being recorded but unfortunately in this episode there were a few bleeps added to the audio as a member of the debtor’s family hurled verbal abuse of a sexual nature at Sherry.  We take our hat off to Sherry for retaining her composure just as a police office would have to do in what might to many people be a very intimidating situation.

Once the debtor sees that we are not going to back down from our lawful authority, we are not going to be intimidated by their physical or verbal abuse and we will get a tow truck to remove the goods, then a debtor with money will pay what is owed to stop the process.

Again we hope these TV shows reinforce the authority of the High Court enforcement’s capability.  The content of this show, and the others programmes in this series, underline the seriousness of a High Court Writ and the power that comes with it.

call the bailiff

See us on the Channel 5 TV Show “Call The Bailiffs: Time To Pay Up” (Episode 1)

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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