The debtor has stock in a shop – what are my options?

Updated: 2 days ago


As we write this blog - there are plenty of businesses suffering from a downturn in business due to the pandemic. This means they could fall foul of a county court judgment being entered against them, and goods being chased by enforcement agents, to take into legal control. The effect of this is that if the debt cannot be paid, the debtor's goods will be sold at auction to pay the debt.


If you are a creditor you may yourself find yourself being squeezed by your own creditors, or bank, and as a result you have no option but to seek to recover what you are owed by your debtor or debtors.


Stock, plant and machinery, business equipment, are all potential targets for this type of enforcement action.


We would like to say that enforcement is an easy process but there are obstacles and in seizing goods please consider the following |


  • Goods supplied on a sale or return basis may not be owned by the debtor and so cannot be seized by an enforcement agent

  • Goods supplied under a finance/hire agreement may not be in the name of the debtor and therefore cannot be taken into legal control

  • Goods owned by a third party, including for example another related company, spouse, or business partner may not be available, although this can be tested by using the procedure set out in CPR Part 85 relating to Controlled Goods Subject to a Third Party Claim


What you think and know about your debtor is always very important in taking that first step towards positive enforcement action. Don't be put off if you are not entirely sure. It is the job of the High Court enforcement professionals to help you find out whether goods are available, which are then used as leverage to get you paid.


If you believe your debtor has assets which can be taken into legal control a court officer and sold to pay off the debt you are owed then this is the method of enforcement you need to choose.


Depending on the circumstances of your debtor the success of this choice of enforcement will depend on whether the goods can be seized, whether they are worth anything and what is the “inconvenience” factor to the debtor of having them removed for sale.


Of course we hope that we won’t actually have to sell anything but seizing goods, taking possession of them, and escalating a case towards sale does focus the mind of the most intransigent person or business.


This is where Shergroup Enforcement can add real value to your enforcement process. We will help you get over any obstacles until you get to the best possible place.


Use our FREE tool, CHECKMYJUDGMENT for a no-obligation review of what's the best way to go forward with your enforcement action. This is a completely no-obligation way to have your judgment checked. We can then guide you on the best steps to take.


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