Trying to enforce CCJ against limited company

CCJ and high court writ against limited company but difficulty enforcing

Didn't find your answer?

We have a CCJ against a limited company for the cost of repairs to a used car bought from them.

When making the claim we searched their name and on companies house there was a listing for the company, though with a slightly different name, but both including part of the name of the owner/director. The trading address was the same as on their website, auto trader and social media and SIC code 45112 - Sale of used cars and light motor vehicles. They were incorporated in February 2023 and we bought the car in July of that year. This is why we claimed against the limited company.

We followed all the rules for making a claim. We have proof of delivery of the letters before action to which we got no response and the CCJ was a default judgment as no defence was made.

We planned to give them time to pay but then saw on companies house they applied to strike off, so we instructed a HCEO firm and Companies House and they have suspended the strike off on the basis we have the CCJ and were not informed of the strike off and also in the process of enforcing it.

The HCEO have visited but concluded the business was shut as noone was there, signage had been removed, it was dark and locked up. We know they are still trading on an appointment only basis from this address, and have informed the bailiffs of this sharing the proof we have, but the bailiffs are informing us they are legally not able to make an appointment. 

What can we do now? The limited company is still active but I'm assuming they are trading as a sole trader again which is how the company began ten years ago (if indeed they ever stopped doing so), or they would also be breaking the law having applied to strike off the limited company whilst still trading.

Everything just smacks of them doing this to avoid paying us. We don't want them to get away with it!

 

Replies (15)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By Leywood
19th May 2024 09:16

This is a legal question and not one for an Accountancy website (that is for accountants discussing technical issues).

You need legal advice.

Suing a company with a similar name, despite having the same address/Director is not a good idea.

Thanks (4)
Replying to Leywood:
avatar
By Elle80
19th May 2024 09:24

Sorry, I'd seen an earlier post on this site from someone asking about a CCJ and it had received a number of replies, so it appeared as if it was a subject I could ask about.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Elle80:
avatar
By Tax Dragon
19th May 2024 10:00

You (and anyone) can ask whatever you (they) want. You cannot control who replies, and you don't know who the respondents are, what their motives for responding are, how much they know or - most of all - whether the replies are reliable.

I wouldn't take legal advice from an accounting forum. In fact I wouldn't take legal advice from a public forum of any kind.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Tax Dragon:
avatar
By FactChecker
19th May 2024 14:53

Absolutely ... particularly the last sentence.

Unless OP knows a firm trading as my-baseball-bat-is-bigger-than-yours* the money is sadly not going to be recovered - yet another example of where 'justice' and the practicalities of the judicial system part company, and the crooked sail through the gap.
[* = not a recommended route unless OP wants to explore the criminal side of the law as well.]

Thanks (2)
avatar
By paul.benny
19th May 2024 10:20

Was there a finance company involved? Did you pay anything at all on credit card?

Take a look at guidance on s75 of the Consumer Credit Act on MSE. If you paid even £1 of the original purchase on a credit card or took out a loan specifically to purchase the car, the lender is likely to be on the hook for the full amount.

The problems with enforcing CCJs are (a) finding the trader and (b) enforcing it if they have no money or assets. In this case, even the cars they are still selling may not belong to the company you have judgement against. I'd counsel against spending more money unless you have high confidence in recovery.

Thanks (1)
Replying to paul.benny:
avatar
By Elle80
19th May 2024 10:22

No unfortunately not. A loan was taken out separately and then the purchase done via BACS transfer.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Elle80:
avatar
By paul.benny
19th May 2024 10:50

Then unfortunately, I think you have lost your money. You might want to investigate bank liability for authorised push payments but I don't hold out much hope of redress by that route.

Thanks (1)
DougScott
By Dougscott
19th May 2024 12:23

Having watched several TV series about Bailiffs, Debt Collection, etc I think you are stuffed. Don't throw good money after bad is my advice!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Paul Crowley
19th May 2024 19:18

Cannot think of any way that you are going to win. Any assets of the company would have been taken out before requesting strike off.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Paul Crowley:
avatar
By Elle80
19th May 2024 22:20

I find it hugely depressing that the system is so stacked in the favour of people with no moral values. I have the UK Consumer Rights Act stating we have the law on our side, a CCJ, and high court writ and this company is just allowed to revert back to being a sole trader to avoid paying what is due to us. It makes a mockery of what is a supposed 'justice' system and has real consequences for those left with the debt. I'm at a loss to be perfectly frank and deeply saddened by the stress, time and impact it's had on us which will be long lasting.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Elle80:
DougScott
By Dougscott
20th May 2024 08:25

The Law is an [***] and the only people who win are lawyers (and accountants when it comes to tax law). Unfortunately buying cars from dodgy dealers who don't accept credit cards has always been fraught with risk. I had pretty much the same experience as you with my first car but I quickly accepted I had been "done" and didn't waste time, effort or stress on worrying about it. I did however make sure I got future potential car purchases checked by an independent mechanic (AA) or were from a main dealer who supplied a proper warranty.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Elle80:
avatar
By Paul Crowley
20th May 2024 12:06

If you took legal advice before starting the claim, they should have warned you of the risks involved.
A company with no track record at companies house would have zero credit rating. Not paying the fee to defend the claim was a marker that there was a problem.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Paul Crowley:
avatar
By Elle80
20th May 2024 12:37

We did take legal advice, but it didn't tell us anything we didn't already know from looking online.

I completely understand where you're coming from with your advice, but when you're owed thousands from someone, paying the court fee to make a claim is relatively small in comparison and at least gives you a chance of recovering the money. People not standing up for themselves and their rights as a consumer is what leads to companies continually getting away with this sort of thing and it'll never change if we all do nothing. What we have spent trying to enforce the judgment is also a small amount relative to what we're owed.

We're likely in a situation now where we have to accept that we won't get our money back from them, but I'll be following up with HMRC, Companies House and my MP to at least make sure my voice is heard. This will probably fall on deaf ears too, but at least we won't have rolled over like a dog.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Elle80:
DougScott
By Dougscott
20th May 2024 13:47

It sounds like what you need is a dog with big, bitey teeth to bite this guy on the [***]. Or should I say "posterior".

You will see some other threads on this forum about the scandal that is Companies House who allow all and sundry to set up Limited Companies.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Dougscott:
avatar
By Elle80
20th May 2024 14:11

LOL!

Thanks (0)