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Anyone know anything about small claims in business?


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Hi there, I've been trying to obtain payment owed to my husband who is a plumber from a company (one man band) that he did work for back in November. I've sent an invoice allowing 28 days but payment was not received. I followed this by another invoice sent recorded allowing 14 days for payment which he refused to collect from the post office and has been returned to us, so have now sent a final demand stating another 14 days or court, this was sent both recorded and 1st class, the recorded one has been returned again saying that he refused to sign for it.

Now I'm quite happy to file a claim if he doesn't pay up (don't think he will) and I would imagine, from the way he's dealt with the invoices plus the fact that he's one of these builders that goes bankrupt alot, that he will ignore the claim and we'll end up winning by default. If this happens and we need to enter judgement and send the baliffs in are we likely to see the money if the business has gone bankrupt again?

Hope this makes sense?!

PS I can't find any mention of company being Ltd Plc etc- not sure if good or bad:-|

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Issue a letter before action and then the claim form 7 days following.


If the firm is limited and if he decides to liquidate the firm then you are unlikely to recover anything. If he has a history of this, then you need to weigh up seriously whether in pursing the debt you will create yourselves further losses.


Type the name of the individual here:

Disqualified Directors Search


If the firm is unlimited then it is a different. You can then go after him and his personal assets. My experience is that you have a much better prospects with pursing individuals over Ltd companies.


Who was invoice addressed to, the individual or a limited firm? Did he write to you instructing you to undertake the works as a limited firm or individual. You need to resolve this point prior to commencing proceedings or in the alternative claim against both. If you decide to claim against both I can advise you specifically.

If I have been helpful please click on my star and add a comment.

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As far as I can tell it's not a limited company, just a one man band. LBA has been returned as 'addresse gone away' and not refused as I first posted. Upon digging around a bit I have found that this guy declared personal bankruptcy about 3 months before the work was undertaken, he is not yet discharged. I decided to speak to the office dealing with his bankruptcy who said that they too were unable to find him and any information that I have they would be grateful if I would share it with them!

So, shall I just leave it and say bye to the money or should we file the claim, let it be won by default (I would imagine this will happen) and then let the baliffs find him - I expect they've more chance than I have.

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This is the problem, I have the address on his business card that he advertises in yellow pages, but this is the address that the letters were returned from. Looks like he's done a runner!

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Hmm, does sound like he has done a runner to be honest. Is it a local address? I mean, without going to knock on his door, you could see if he lived there or not?


A claim is likely to not go very far a) if he's bankrupt, as if he had anything of any value, they would have taken it and b) there is no fixed abode for him and c) if you did get a default judgement, would he be able to pay it? If he's bankrupt, he's probably cash in hand and has no assets of his own.


It will catch up with him one day, as he'll leave a footprint and be gone. He won't be able to get credit and everything will have to be done on the sly, which is never good if you're in business. He's obviously not bothered at all!


However, maybe some bad media will help? Long shot, but naming and shaming seems to do well these days!

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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