View Full Version : putting a customer in court for debt

10-09-2015, 01:52 AM
Got a customer who owes me an amount of money for repairs,he keeps stalling and my only option is to put him in court but when I threatened court action the response was he will shut down its a Ltd company with little or no assets, question is can he shut down he is the only director and the likelihood is he will start up again under a different name or do I ride it out in the hope he will come good all his assets are leased maybe it's a lesson in life for me painfull lesson any advice appreciated

10-09-2015, 08:07 AM
Well he has to make Lease payments and various other Monthly obligations so you might be able to negotiate a payment plan.

10-09-2015, 12:48 PM
When I say leased that's not true in the full sense of the word,he rents small premises his vehicle is hired and does not belong to the company I asked for some type of payment plan he says that is not possible ,after doing some research on his past he shut down some years ago and started up again my gut feeling is not to bother with court because he most likely will only pay me so little or disappear

10-09-2015, 03:58 PM
Depending on the amount start a small claims court procedure, it's not expensive or difficult (online now I believe) and will at least put a marker down against him.

I would also double check that he is actually a Limited Company and not just calling himself that.

10-09-2015, 04:45 PM
You can check him as a director here (https://companycheck.co.uk/)

And his limited company here (https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-a-company)

charlie patt
10-09-2015, 07:51 PM
Which ever way it ain't pretty. He ain't going to pay u no that so do I if he had any intention of paying he would of made a effort to give u something depending on the amount is it worth your time option b pull a gah of the roof if he owns any of it what was work for

10-09-2015, 10:55 PM
It was for commercial stuff ,the thought of removing equipment did cross my mind but I cannot get access and it looks like he is not doing much business now plus he definitely is limited so if I put him in court he more than likely shut up shop.

11-09-2015, 01:22 AM
Try the small claims court as suggested by Brian, but sounds like your client has a bad cash flow business or is using creditors like yourself to fund his life style. Next put him into liquidation and get paid cents per dollar owed, but at least he cannot trade a new company as a director.
Did you get client to sign off a terms of trade agreement before starting any work for client, as that will stand up in any court as a commitment to pay for services.
Last resort do a midnight raid and reclaim an asset or equipment or something that will screw his business. generally not recommended though as police could get a bit pissed off.

11-09-2015, 01:32 AM
My advice is to forget it and move on. Easy to say, difficult to do. But after the first few times the novelty wears off and you just accept its going to happen every now and again.
When I left my job all those years ago I asked my boss what the secret was and he said " you can't win on every job, just make sure you win more than you lose and you'll be ok"

Stay lucky


13-09-2015, 08:03 AM
Hand the debit over to a debit collection agency they will do it on a no win no fee basis.

13-09-2015, 10:06 AM
Took once a customer to court, judge made him pay double:D.
From that moment i check them in advance and if I'm suspicious, I take the cost of part in advance or send them to find someone else.

15-09-2015, 11:26 PM
After talking with my accountant we do not stand a chance he is Ltd and its a company with little or no assets,pushing it to a petition will cost me a thousand pounds and although the debt is more than that I will be throwing good money away,but I am told he could be a director of another company or just set up again in his wife's name so I have decided to blacklist him with as many other fridge companies.

Kev The Tool
16-09-2015, 06:21 AM
Feel for you Cad but i had the same back in the UK i was owed £6500 and it cost me £2300 in solicitors fees and other bulls**t, the guy waited until he was due to go to court and pulled the plug on his company. he set up a week later in his wife's name, in my honest opinion i'm with eggs just move on and hope you see him out having a meal or a drink and accidentally kick his F**king head in. All the best mate!

17-10-2015, 02:33 AM
Just had a letter his Ltd company is ceasing to trade and is insolvent no assets whatsoever to pursue him any further will cost me money a lesson learnt albeit a hard one.

17-10-2015, 11:31 AM
Hi Cadwaladr

I've had this trouble once before, but I tried a fast one (on the advice I got from a solicitor) and it worked out;

The debt was for about £12,000 that had been a year overdue. When I took the debt to the small claims court, I placed both the owner and the limited company on the paperwork. If I was to be asked to explain (which I was not), I was to say that “I was never instructed who I was carrying out the work for”. If the customer had attended court, then this would have been quickly corrected, simply because they can present the invoice with the Ltd name on. However the company did not attend court, so the judgment passed through without any trouble.

Months passed, and surprise, surprise…….. I got a letter saying “XYZ Ltd” had gone bust. I went straight to the High Court enforcement Officers and they was able to go to the Owners home to demand payment, as his name was on the judgment. I’m not sure the series of events that happened at his house, but he did pay in full. I do know that he had a near new Audi S6, which I guess they could had used as leverage.

I might have got lucky. I understand that they could have got the judgment put to one side right up to the day the High Court enforcement Officers knocked on their door. However, what I was told is that that people are very unlikely to attend court when they are guilty of owing the money, and that there is a good chance that they will ignore and/ or not properly read all the paperwork sent to them following the court case.

06-02-2016, 12:34 AM
Thanks for the comments,decided to bite the bullet,been told that to get this guy to court to bust him will cost me money as he will just let me start the procedure then hey Presto the company has folded,I may have said this before I went down the route of using vultures no win no fee,but they pulled out when the likelihood of losing loomed,it's a joke these customers know how to play the system annoying!But that's life.

06-02-2016, 08:07 AM
I feel for you cadwaladr (a good name for someone from your part of the world!).

I suspect there are quite a few on the forum that have tasted the bitterness of your dilemma, myself included.

I am glad you are surviving this and good luck for the future, thanks for the update as well.