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Hi all!


New to this forum so be gentle!


I'm going to put this issue in bullets as otherwise it will get REALLY long winded...


- Last April/May (2010) I went with a group of friends to get outfits for my wedding (about 10 of us)


- Found a trader in Birmingham willing to make and deliver the outfits in time for the wedding in July. Paid 50% deposit (just shy of £1k). Got a receipt (2 actually as deposit was paid in 2 parts)


- Surprise! Despite numerous calls, visits and reassurances the clothes never arrived!


- After more calls and visits, the trader's father (who seems to own the shop) supplied us with a refund cheque


- Surprise #2 - the cheque bounced! Numerous phone calls, reassured it would go through second time, it bounced. Phone lines cut off so can't contact.


- Sent a letter requesting payment or contact, no reply!


- Started small claims proceedure through Money Claim On Line


- No answers, eventually got to the warrant of execution stage, they applied to have it deferred on the basis they would make £50/month payments. Court clerk accepted.


- I disputed the application for payments, and requested a hearing. Hearing granted.


- Meantime defendant made no payments. Hearing came, defendant didn't show up. Hearing went in my favour. Forthwith Judgement given.


- Re-issued the warrant, county court bailliff has been in and noted items to seize. Defendant has informed him they will be reapplying to get the warrant suspended. Defendant needs to show they have done this by next week when the bailiff comes back, or they can seize goods (I think?).



Can anyone give me some advice on where I stand and what I need to do? It seems clear that these cowboys are just wasting time, but is there anything I could/should be doing further to hurry it along???! It is coming up to a year from the original date I placed my order...



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If you have no luck with the bailiffs then try a High Court Enforcement Officer - those guys are generally a lot more effective than court appointed bailiffs. There's a link here to someone with a similar problem:-



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Thanks Nicklea... what's your view? I was thinking of at least waiting until next week to see if the guy tries to get it set aside. If he does can I immediately apply to get it sent over to HCEO's?


Have I got this right, there are various companies offering an HCEO service, they take the CCJ, sort out the paperwork and admin to get it transferred to the High Court, and then get the necessary HCEO's on to it...?


All your opinions are valuable!



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Yes, wait until next week. There's no point in doing anything else if the bailiffs can get your money for you.


I would suggest that it is unlikely that they will get it deferred but it is important that you turn up to any hearing to make sure that the judge hears your point of view.


You are right about how the HCEOs work. I only mentioned it in case the bailiffs have any bother and can't get your money for you.

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I never would have bothered with the bailiffs as they are useless.


You will need to wait for the bailiffs to finish trying to execute the warrant before you can instruct the HCEO as you can't have them both chasing the debt!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry pop_gun - i didn't see any notices for your post so this is the first time i'm seeing it! How does a statutory demand work?


Just to update: the bailiffs levied a charge, the guy said he was making an application to suspend.

He has made the application to suspend the warrant, and applied to pay £100 a month. His revenue/take home and expenses are clearly ridiculous though! (As an example he has put his turnover is £65000 a yr, his take home is £400 a month, and his expenses are £5k a month!!!)


I need to reply to the court so am thinking I will reply back with three points and ask for a determination:

- there are two defendants

- they have made previous offers and never honoured them

- the amounts on his reply are very questionable and I beleive he can pay more


Should I include examples of why they are questionable? I know my numbers and can put together a set of figures that would be very professional, but would it help show how ridiculous these numbers are?


Also I haven't previously applied for interest or other expenses (foolishly I was trying to be kind and get this sorted quicker), am I able to do so now?


Thanks for reading and your help!

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a statutory demand is a precursor to a winding up petition (insolvency proceedings).

the winding up petition has to be advertise in a regional or national paper. this is to give other

creditors the chance to come forward.




if the trader has property or equities, stock etc, go for a charging order and then follow this

with an order of sale. you can google this and come to you own conclusion to which best suits





this is for interest after judgement. court interest applies. any expenses which you can convince a judge

you're owed.


p.s. you only have to convince a judge if the expenses cost are challenged.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks Pop Gun, but does the Stat demand or Charging order apply against a simple defendant instead of a solo trader? I ask because they are being chased as simple defendants (i'm not sure of what the technical term is!), ie it is just in their name and not as solo traders or otherwise.


We are due back in court on the 28th July, as I didn't want to accept his offer, and didn't believe he would pay in full of his own volition, and feel that some other method (in this case bailiffs) would prove better.


I'm a little bit stuck as I'm not sure how to change from bailifs to something else (even if i can?).


Also I've applied for expenses and court interest at 8%, which should add about £300 to his bill. Can't believe this has been dragging for over a year! We will have celebrated our first anniversary, and our first child is due in October before a refund for wedding clothes resolves itself - mental!!

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all, quick update:

the court hearing on the 28th July - the defendant didn't turn up (surprise!). We requested no further applications and some expenses.


The bailiff reissued the warrant, and went to the shop. The defendant insisted he would pay no more than £50 a month (for a £1k debt to a customer!) and when the bailiff said he would take goods the shopowner said, the goods are not his!!


The bailiff has told me he is happy to go take the goods but under the protection of a court indemnity. Essentially this seems to mean that if the goods aren't the shopowners, then I am liable.


Ok so firstly, what does this mean exactly, what value am I liable for?


And secondly anyone think this guy owns the stock and is bluffing?? Surely if it wasn't his he would have said that the first time?!


As always all your opinions and advice is hugely appreciated.

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In my view the Bailiff should have seized the goods but left them subject to a Walking Possession and if anyone else claimed ownership they would have to make a 3rd Party Claim.


It could be he sold the goods in question, it may be he has them on account and not paid himself meaning they still belong to XX Co Ltd. This normal business practice. My view is this is someone well versed in wriggling out of debts. A HCEO if employed would have seized and removed and any claim for 3rd Party could have been subject to an Interpleader.



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Hi ploddertom, thanks for replying. Let me update what's happening;

- the bailiff is applying for indemnity from the court to ensure that if they take the goods they are not liable, we are.

- the defendant has dropped a tenancy agreement into the court office which states that the property and all it's goods belong to someone else

- the "someone else"'s name is the same as his wife's

- on his original offer to pay the defendant claimed he was paying a mortgage, and nothing was mentioned of rent


On to your suggestions, what's a HCEO? High Court Enforcement Order? And how would that be different? How does it fit in with the new information?


Really appreciate your help on this everyone. It's more the principal now, that a trader can treat his customers so badly and think he can get away with it. Shocking.

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It doesn't matter how much someone owes you or how many other people they owe even if each person has a Judgment telling them to pay up, they can just choose to ignore it and carry on regardless. This is where enforcement of the debt is supposed to help. The County Court Bailiff is good to a degree but as he gets paid a salary there is nothing to make him go the extra mile. There are however other options available all with differing degrees of supposed compliance by the debtor. Have you read Form EX321 http://etclaims.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/ex321_0406.pdf also Form EX325 http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/ex325_1208.pdf and lastly Form EX324 http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/ex324_0309.pdf


In my view you seem to have come up across a person who is well versed in not paying. Possibly owns nothing but lives well and has lots of toys but all owned by another. If you want to see them squirm then applying for further information as said in Form EX324 would be a good idea. Don't forget any fees you have to pay may be added to the debt. You must remember that there is no guarantee of success with any of the methods you employ.


Although in many cases the use of a High Court Enforcement Officer would be of benefit I think you may find this time he has already circumvented that route.



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