A modern Christmas tale – who let the dogs out?
21 December 2015: We met with a couple; together with the lady’s father they all attended the BRI head office in Northampton. The lady’s partner had been running a company which had suffered a bad debt and, because of this, had recently ceased trading and had notified creditors accordingly.
However, a bailiff, taking action in respect of one of the company debts, had been knocking on their housing association home front door seeking to gain entry to take assets “purchased with money taken from the company”. The bailiff was due to return that evening “with locksmiths” unless payment in full had been received.
They, the lady in particular, were distraught. She was trying to look after her three children, one of whom is severely disabled, all of them having spent an evening in fear as the bailiff had been repeatedly knocking on their door, trying to get access. Their youngest child has been very upset, was having nightmares, and the whole family are now scared to stay in the house and go to the door; but nor do they want to go out of the house for fear of what they might find upon their return.
Another member of the BRI team had met with the company director some weeks previously and assured them that a liquidation would be a sledgehammer to crack a nut. He and his family had now returned insisting that we should take their money and start a voluntary liquidation straight away. We reviewed the facts and the figures (though the arrival of the bailiff had already doubled the amount owed to that creditor) and we again concluded that if a liquidation was required by the creditors it should be them who instigated it – there were no assets in the company to fund a liquidation and the director has guaranteed a number of the creditors. Rather than do as asked we sent them all, together with the frightening looking forms from the bailiff, to local solicitors to respond and call off the dogs. Taking no chances the lady and her children decided to spend the evening with relatives.
We now believe that the solicitor’s letter did the trick. Nobody attended that evening and all passed without event. It is clear that the bailiff has been behaving inappropriately under all of the circumstances. We hope that the BRI team have again demonstrated our desire to do what is best irrespective of the outcome for ourselves.
At this Christmas time we hope that this true story will have a very happy ending with a little help from the BRI Northampton office team.