Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

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dandermon
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#1 Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by dandermon » 07 May 2016 11:00

I'm looking for some advice and wonder if anyone can help? I have recently received a Notice of Issue of Warrant of Control.

Back in April 2015 a retail customer of ours was supplied some software and service by a business of mine. The customer became dissatisfied and unreasonable and in November of last year began proceedings through Moneyclaimonline.gov. He has named the shortened trading style of the business as the Debtor, not the legal entity, so firstly there is no one here by that name. In addition the business that made the transaction has since changed its name and ceased trading. This was in the August of last year long before this claim began.

The business ceased trading as being standalone it was not profitable. We took the decision to wipe out its debts to its sole supplier (my other business) which has since taken on the premises.

At every stage we have tried to inform the county court centre of this situation, but they have refused to listen. Every time they sent our paperwork back they returned it saying it had to be filled in by the '<Business Name> (not the legal entity). Needless to say this could not be done as the name on the documents didn't exist in either person or Legal Entity, so there was no way to complete the form and sign a declaration saying it was being signed in a capacity.

It was come to the stage now where the claimant has issued a Notice of Issue of Warrant Control, stating that Baliffs will visit.

My question is, given the Debtor listed on the judgement does not exist in either a personal or commercial capacity, and given the business that traded as the trading style listed as the debtor has ceased trading, do I have anything to worry about? Will the Baliffs be reasonable enough to listen to my explanation that the Debtor does not exist, and the business that made the transaction no longer exists? Or am I going to have a problem? Is there a way to stop them turning up?

Any help or advice would be very gratefully received.

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#2 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by Pote Snitkin » 07 May 2016 11:38

What was the status of the business? Was it sole trader, or were you a director?
On 29/07/17, Compo said "If you are interested I actually typed the word label. My spell checker interpreted it as liable" Discuss.

dandermon
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#3 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by dandermon » 07 May 2016 11:44

Thanks for the reply. The Business was a limited company, and I was a director.

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#4 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by Pote Snitkin » 07 May 2016 11:48

Then you're not personally liable for the debt. In any case, as the name on the claim form is wrong you can ask the court to strike out the claim. The claimant can apply to change the name via an N244, but that'll cost him further fees.
On 29/07/17, Compo said "If you are interested I actually typed the word label. My spell checker interpreted it as liable" Discuss.

dandermon
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#5 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by dandermon » 07 May 2016 11:54

I already asked the court to strike out the claim, I didn't attend the hearing as it wasn't really clear whether it would be a hearing I should attend or whether it would be done via telephone. At the time of the hearing I was also off work with a bad back and unable to drive.

All I received in the post was that the striking out claim had been turned down, but this is all still addressed to a 'Trading style' which doesn't exist legally, and the legal entity that did exist at the time has ceased trading.

No matter how many times I call or send their forms back with explanation they won't listen. All I'm trying to do now is run my other business from the same premises but I'm concerned about the effects when the bailiffs arrive (it is a retail outlet) and whether they will listen to me and then leave me in peace?

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#6 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by Pote Snitkin » 07 May 2016 12:20

If the bailiff's turn up they will be enforcing against a company called 'Joe Bloggs', even though the company was called "Joseph Bloggs Retail Ltd". Neither of those companies now trade. If he turns up at the address, he will see the company trading there now is called "David Jones Retail Ltd" and he won't be able to enforce.

The claimant may be better advised to see what other options he has, such as whether his card issuer can refund what he paid.
On 29/07/17, Compo said "If you are interested I actually typed the word label. My spell checker interpreted it as liable" Discuss.

dandermon
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#7 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by dandermon » 07 May 2016 12:57

Thanks for your reply.

That's what I'm hoping for, I'm just hoping the bailiff will be reasonable and understand what has happened and where this has gone wrong. The claim that has been brought is against a Defendant that never existed. Even then if you made the link that the Defendant was a trading style of a particular business, you would find that particular business has now ceased trading, and another business is now in its place therefore the Warrant is unenforceable.

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Schedule 12
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#8 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by Schedule 12 » 07 May 2016 13:49

Its not whether the debtor has ceased trading. The bailiff cannot take control of goods unless they belong to the debtor.

Paragraph 10 of Schedule 12 states;
  • An enforcement agent may take control of goods only if they are goods of the debtor.
No money is owed because there are no assets. The debt dies.

If the bailiff takes control goods belonging to another, the owner makes an interpleader claim. Big bill for the bailiff company. http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/interpleader.htm
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dandermon
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#9 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by dandermon » 07 May 2016 20:15

Thanks for your comments Jason, this is interesting and really what I was hoping to hear.

In reality I hope it turns out to be this simple!

What I would really like to know is if there is a way to communicate this to the bailiff prior to them showing up. I ideally I could to with this not happening in front of staff or customers.

Also to put this into perspective, the customer who brought this action is quite a piece of work. The debt in question is £330.00 - I read somewhere that Bailiffs may not show up if the debt is less than £600.00 is that correct or have I interpreted this wrong?

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#10 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by Schedule 12 » 07 May 2016 21:39

If the debt is under £600 it means the debt is county court. It cannot be enforced in the High Court.

If you owe it then pay it. Otherwise apply to set it aside.

No need to.communicate with the bailiff. The debtor doesn't exist. Keep your CCTV on because if the bailiff inflicts damage to your business reputation then you must have video evidence to establish liability.
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dandermon
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#11 Re: Warrant of Control - Business has ceased trading

Post by dandermon » 08 May 2016 08:51

Hi Jason, thanks again for your comments and your advice re CCTV. We have supplier invoices for everything tangible proving it is owned and paid for by the other business, so it seems the bailiff will be unable to seize it.

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