Finding a debtor. Any recommendations?

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    Finding a debtor. Any recommendations?

    Having exhausted my own avenues of enquiry, I think I need to employ a company to find my ex-tenant who owes me a lot of money. I beleive he has gone to live with his father who lives in some kind of commune or travellers site!
    If so, what are the chances of finding him. I have his name, date of birth and National Insurance number. I think he can afford to pay because he inherited an almost new holiday caravan (£30K new)
    Can anyone recommend a tracing agent. Is that allowed on here?
    If he is found, and it is in another part of the country, what is process regarding serving notice on him and going to court. Would it be his local court, meaning I could have to travel a long way? Do i need to actually attend?
    I am not familiar with the process. Is there some guidance written on the net i could check out?
    (This is a different tenant to my other post, not had much luck lately!)
    Thanks

    #2
    Originally posted by davidm View Post
    Can anyone recommend a tracing agent. Is that allowed on here?
    I can't recommend a specific one, but there are many to be found on Google and, yes, it's allowed. I think they charge around £75 and some offer a no-find-no-fee deal.

    If he is found, and it is in another part of the country, what is process regarding serving notice on him and going to court. Would it be his local court, meaning I could have to travel a long way? Do i need to actually attend?
    The claim can be started in any court, but if the defendant files a defence, it'll be transferred to his local court. You would need to attend the hearing, but you can, I think, add your travelling expenses to the claim. (Also, it's possible to apply to have the hearing transferred to a different court, such as one half way between where both parties live - it's then up to the court to decide if this is fair/reasonable).

    I am not familiar with the process. Is there some guidance written on the net i could check out?
    If the claim is for less than £5,000 buy this book: Small Claims Procedure: A Practical Guide by Patricia Pearl & Andrew Goodman, 2008.

    If it's for more than £5,000 (the maximum for small claims) then hire a solicitor, as you can claim your legal costs for claims not allocated to the small claims track (assuming you win the claim).

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      #3
      Thankyou for your advice. It is for less than £5k .

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        #4
        Don't underestimate the possible power of Google etc; for the cost (ie nothing) and minimal time it takes it's worth a go. eg, I was recently trying to locate an ex-tenant of mine; happening to know he had an interest in a particular sport led me to the website of a local club showing lists of teams and fixture dates...

        If your guy is living in some sort of commune that's not great, as you need an address for service of papers and it would be very easy for him to just up and off.

        Once you've found him, got him into court, and won your case, you've then got to enforce the debt. The 30K holiday caravan does sound promising, but can you prove he owns it (and even that it exists?) (eg , if ultimately he tells the court he knows nothing of any caravan, what's your response?)

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          #5
          Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
          The 30K holiday caravan does sound promising, but can you prove he owns it (and even that it exists?) (eg , if ultimately he tells the court he knows nothing of any caravan, what's your response?)
          OP could serve an Order to Obtain Information, forcing debtor to disclose their full financial circumstances.

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            #6
            Maybe I'm a pessimist but I think the OP is throwing good money after bad. I have had to swallow debts and it hurts - but better than wasting more money!
            Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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              #7
              Originally posted by westminster View Post
              OP could serve an Order to Obtain Information, forcing debtor to disclose their full financial circumstances.
              Yes, but by 'ultimately' I meant that if he lied then, too... I realise that would be a very serious offence but if there was no evidence that the caravan even existed, other than the hearsay of the landlord...?

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                #8
                Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                Yes, but by 'ultimately' I meant that if he lied then, too... I realise that would be a very serious offence but if there was no evidence that the caravan even existed, other than the hearsay of the landlord...?
                As you say it'd be a serious offence to lie about it. But assuming OP knows who it was that died and left T the caravan, OP could request documents with the order such as copy of the will, (or obtain a copy himself, as I think wills are 'public' documents), or if the caravan is on a site it'd probably need a licence so that could be requested.

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                  #9
                  Yes, but T may say he gave (not sold) the caravan to one his traveller mates, who had then gone on holiday, or it had gone missing one day...

                  davidm: I have found people/defaulters by:
                  (1) searching for them on Facebook/MySpace.
                  (2) doing a credit check on them several months after they have gone 'AWOL'; e.g. the Experian Credit report will reveal undisclosed (or linked) addresses.
                  The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

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                    #10
                    The caravan was his mums. I met her when he began tenancy. She was just moving into it, hence he needed a place. She died. He said she left it to him. I saw his for sale advert for it in local shop window and was being patient with him because of his mum and because i knew he had an asset to sell. Then I found out from his employer that they had sacked him because of his absenteeism, so gave notice as he had also been lying to me. He disappeared shortly after. I visited the caravan site but they wouldn't give me any info.
                    I tried to trace relatives on internet but did not have enough info.
                    Tom999, I hadn't thought of facebook,etc, not being a user. If i did come across him on there would i be able to find his address or anything useful anyway. Any tips?

                    Eric, island girl, comments noted, but i feel he should not be allowed to get away with it so easily, esp. as he abused my trust, and it is a significant amount.

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                      #11
                      Hmm. I tried pursuing a tenant through the small claims court, and it was transferred to their local court.

                      I can't prove it, but I believe the court officials actively tried to help me lose my case:

                      1.) Local court denied all knowledge of case until I sent them copies of correspondence from my court saying it had been transferred.

                      2.) Court staff failed to present evidence I sent in to the judge. (I was doing it all by post.)

                      3.) Court staff failed to notify me of outcome of case.

                      4.) At re-hearing, judge ruled against me, despite me proving to him that the tenant had told him a pack of lies at the previous hearing. (The one without my evidence).

                      Forget pursuing a tenant in small claims court. You are throwing good money after bad.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by jamesknight0 View Post
                        Hmm. I tried pursuing a tenant through the small claims court, and it was transferred to their local court.

                        I can't prove it, but I believe the court officials actively tried to help me lose my case:
                        This is a ridiculous assertion. What possible interest could court staff have in your case? County courts are notoriously poor at handling the paperwork, and it's advisable always to check that things have been received, correctly filed/sent, etc.

                        If you didn't attend the hearing(s) and present your case, your claim would be far more likely to fail. If you did attend (the second) hearing, the reason you lost is almost certainly due to insufficient evidence to support your claim.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by jamesknight0 View Post
                          Forget pursuing a tenant in small claims court. You are throwing good money after bad.
                          Well, just to redress the balance - in my case I won, and subsequently got back from the tenant every penny I was due.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by westminster View Post
                            This is a ridiculous assertion. What possible interest could court staff have in your case? County courts are notoriously poor at handling the paperwork, and it's advisable always to check that things have been received, correctly filed/sent, etc.

                            If you didn't attend the hearing(s) and present your case, your claim would be far more likely to fail. If you did attend (the second) hearing, the reason you lost is almost certainly due to insufficient evidence to support your claim.
                            Nope. I had both schedules of condition and dilapidations. I suspect the reason was Northerners-vs-Southerners solidarity.

                            The reason I did not attend the hearings was because I was unwilling to spend money on travelling 200 miles each way and pay for hotels. Just as well I didn't in the circumstances I think.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by jamesknight0 View Post
                              Nope. I had both schedules of condition and dilapidations. I suspect the reason was Northerners-vs-Southerners solidarity.
                              which are you?
                              The reason I did not attend the hearings was because I was unwilling to spend money on travelling 200 miles each way and pay for hotels. Just as well I didn't in the circumstances I think.
                              So why didn't you ask for the case to be held at an intermediate point? By default it is transfered to the defendants home court, but if you can present good reasons that can be changed.

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