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Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum and am in need of a bit of advice. A local businessman owes our business some money. He can pay he just won't pay. I took him to court and he didn't dispute the debt so a CCJ was given to him. I've not had any money. He drives a very nice car and I've carried out an HPI check on it and discovered that it's bought on Finance. The Finance is due to be paid up in the next few months. I am considering referring the debt to the High Court so that the car can be seized on paper at least, then we could just wait until he is the legal owner and take the car if he still doesn't pay. The car would more than pay off the debt to us. But, someone told me the other evening that if he defaults on his last few payments, the Finance company probably won't re-possess the car. Instead they are more likely to give him longer to pay the remaining balance. That in turn means that we will have to wait longer for the debt to re-paid. Could he string it out until the car is too old and not worth enough to cover our debt?? Is this true?? But, if the car has been seized on paper by the High Court, is this not sufficient leverage for the car to be re-possessed?? He's a slippery character who I have since found out, owes money to other local businesses and indivduals as well, but continues to live the high life at our expense. I hope he doesn't see this post as I may have given him a good idea (although I suspect he already knows this trick if it's true)!! Thank you.

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My personal opinion is that it would be better NOT to wait until the finance was paid off. The reason for this being that once the finance is clear the individual is then legally entitled to TRANSFER ownership to a friend, family etc. At present he cannot do this.

 

Do you know whether there is a "balloon" payment to be paid at the end of the term? You need to get this information.

 

If the finance is nearly clear then a HCEO will be able to seize the car and most times, the company will be able to obtain permission from the finance company to undertake to pay them the small balance remaining on the finance from the sale proceeds.

 

Such payment would have to made first before any other disbursements are made.

 

This is why it is important to ascertain how much is outstading to the finance co and whether there is a "balloon " payment.

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If the finance on the car has been paid leaving little outstanding, I have been given to understand the HCEO can infact seize it now and remove it. There would follow ...negotiations with the finance company to get permission to put the car to Auction and as long as the amount outstanding to the finance company is settled first and there is sufficient equity remaining to cover ALL the HCEO's fees then you will get the balance.

 

WD

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If A vehicle on finance or hpi is removed by a bailiff the sale of the vehicle must cover the outstanding hpi, auctioneers fees and majority of the debt.

A vehicle without a key or logbook will typically fetch 25% of the average guide price.

None of the beliefs held by "Freemen on the land" have ever been supported by any judgments or verdicts in any criminal or civil court cases.

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It is very difficult to seize a car on finance. You could instead take out an injunction on his bank account.This effectively freezes the account for a number of days preventing any movement on the account.

If it is his business account that would truly disrupt his business and no doubt would want him pay you off. His bank could not even pay cheques or debit card payments already issued.

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Thank you for your swift replies. That's all very interesting and informative. I hadn't thought about the lack of log book/key reducing the value of the car and I'm not convinced that 25% price guide will be enough to clear the debt. :(

I may have to consider other options.

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I've considered the option of freezing his bank account. The debt is from when he was trading as a sole trader but he's a ltd company now. My guess is that he will be an employee of his own company and probably appears to pay himself a very small salary. I need to find out about drawing on a Directors Account etc to see if that's how he lives. I know that I can ask for him to go to court to answer questions re his finances. That may be the best option at the moment.

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If a solicitor is owed money they tend to take a much different approach and one that is far cheaper.

 

What they do is to issue a summons ORDERING the debtor to appear before a District Judge for an "oral examination". Such a summons have remarkable results!!!

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Thank you Tomtubby. This is an option I think I will have to consider. I gather it will give me a better idea of this financial situation.

 

Thanks to everyone for your advice. I will try and remember to report back here hopefully with good news when the situation is resolved.

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