Consumer wrestler Len Dastard tackles owed debts
Por favor, cállate my flock. Los ladrones de la justicia have issued a warrent for my arrest, in connection with a viscous murder in Querétaro in 1979. I am certain of my innocence, given that the Mexican wrestler personae is merely a character - that, and the fact I wasn't yet born. Regardless, they continue to peruse me, therefore I must dispense my advice while wearing a false nose.
HUKD member Yasin has asked how you can claim a debt that is truly yours, once you have wrestled your opponent in to submission. Her case related to a dispute with a builder and their shoddy workmanship; a claim was brought for the cost of remedial works and that is the balance that was trying to be recovered.
Let me take you through some of the ways which you would go about doing this:
County Court Bailiff
For debts up to £5,000 the bailiff will attend at the debtor’s property in an attempt to recover goods which can be sold to satisfy the debt. There is a court fee payable (usually £100) regardless of whether or not the money is recovered, if the bailiff is successful, he will attempt to recover sufficient goods to cover this fee.
High Court Enforcement Officer
For debts over £600 it is advisable to instruct the High Court Enforcement Officer instead of the bailiff.
The Enforcement Officers costs are taken direct from the debtor, in priority to the money owed to you. If the enforcement is unsuccessful you will be responsible for their fixed fee. Their fees are usually higher if they are successful. These points should be considered before instructing the Enforcement Officer:
- Do you know the debtors current address? If not, you could ask an enquiry agent to trace the debtor.
- Is the debtor likely to pay once they know you have instructed enforcement agents?
- Do they have enough items that can be seized? The enforcement agents are only able to seize goods belonging to the debtor and not any third party. They also cannot take any items which are tools of their trade, bedding, clothing and household equipment used for basic needs.
Attachment of earnings
This is an order made by the court that the debtor’s employer must pay some of the debtors earnings into court. You will then be paid on a regular basis. The disadvantage to this method is that the debt will be paid off slowly and will depend on the level of earnings.
If the debtor owns a property you may consider securing your debt against the property. This is a slow method of recovery as the property will need to be sold before your money can be released. Problems will arise when there is not enough equity in the property to satisfy all debts (including the mortgage).
Third Party Debt Order
If you have (probably unlikely) the debtors bank details, you may seek an order to recover money directly from the bank account. If the debtor operates within his or her overdraft you will not be able to recover money as this overdraft belongs to the bank and not the debtor. There can also be complications where there is a joint account.
This is a demand for the money you are owed under the judgment, stating that you will issue bankruptcy proceedings against the debtor if the debt is not paid within 21 days. There is a statutory minimum level which does change from time to time. Following up with bankruptcy proceedings is expensive so you really ought to consider your chances of being successful.
This is just a basic overview and it is up to you to judge your case on its own merits.
Has anyone had any experiences (good or bad) with any of these methods?