Series following high court enforcement officers. Tommy and Craig attempt to recover more than £10,000 owed to a couple who bought a boat that turned out to be a wreck.
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-Meet the sheriffs.
-My name is Mr Grix. My colleagues and I are enforcement agents.
They work for the High Court and if it says you are owed money,
it's their job to go and get it.
I'm here for £6,072.18.
They can demand payment on the spot...
I'm here for the full balance.
How are you going to pay it?
..or remove assets instead.
The car will be going unless you can pay it.
You will have a week to pay in full before it gets sold at auction.
Obstructing their work can be a criminal offence.
I wouldn't do that if I were you.
The door needs to stay open.
Every year in England and Wales
unpaid debts totalling more than £80 million are recovered by the sheriffs.
Valerie Hull spent £10,000 on a boat, only to discover it was a wreck.
The engine was rusty and in pieces, basically.
But the man who sold it is in no hurry to refund her cash.
Can I pay £1,000 now and pay the rest shortly?
We have to collect that today.
At a demolition company, Lawrence eyes up some seriously heavy goods.
We've been sent to this address today to take control of goods
which at the moment are the excavators and the crusher.
Ken meets a debtor with an identity crisis.
This guy, in a roundabout way, is trying to palm me off.
And Chris tells a wok seller it's time to pay his debt.
Tell him we're here with a High Court writ and it's for us to take
everything out of the property.
Enforcement agents Craig Wild and Tommy Coyle are in the van
and on the motorway before the sun is up.
They've got a High Court writ for more than £12,000
against a member of the public and they are on their way
to his home address.
It's early in the morning, it's just 7 o'clock,
we are off to a little village which is just south of Birmingham.
We are going to see Mr Jason Holdsworth.
It's in relation to a boat that Mr Holdsworth sold on eBay which wasn't
apparently fit for purpose.
Mr Holdsworth sold the boat to Valerie Hull.
She and her partner had their hearts set on owning a boat
and, after months of deliberation, had decided to take the plunge.
We had retired. It seemed a good idea to be able to go to the Tewkesbury Marina
and have some leisure time on this boat.
I'm not saying we'll ever go out to sea on it but it just was a nice way of
relaxing and enjoying our retirement.
When they found what they thought was a good deal online
for a Crownline 250 CR, they leapt at the opportunity.
The pictures of it were beautiful. It was in excellent condition.
Couldn't see any fault with it,
and at £10,000 it seemed like a really good buy.
The seller was Jason Holdsworth and he invited them to his house
-to talk it over.
-He was a very amenable chap,
he was lively, polite, welcomed us into his home.
We sat down, chatted about the boat and the good condition it was in.
But there was one problem. Mr Holdsworth said he needed a quick sale.
He said that where it was moored, which was Cardiff Yacht Club,
he was having to pay £150 a week for it to stay there.
It was too far away to go and see it at short notice
so, fearful of losing out,
Valerie and her partner agreed to a blind purchase.
And the arrangement was the next day, just after nine o'clock,
I would put the money into his bank account by bank transfer
and he would pay for having it delivered from Cardiff to Tewkesbury.
But no sooner had Valerie stumped up the cash,
Mr Holdsworth called to change the arrangement.
An hour later I got a phone call from Mr Holdsworth saying we couldn't
have the boat Thursday now, it would be the following week.
We were a little bit perplexed because we thought in that
time limit, we could have actually gone to Cardiff and looked at it,
but we didn't see the point,
I'd already put the money in his bank account, so we just left it.
The boat was delivered the following week, but Valerie was in for a shock.
First there was the delivery.
The company that had towed it there asked for the fee for towing it
and we said that was part of the deal, it was a free tow.
He went, "No, he hasn't paid us."
And then there was the boat itself.
It's damp, it's musty, inside the fridge it was rusty.
All the wiring was hanging inside the boat,
so none of the wiring was connected at all.
The front leather seats, which in the pictures were beautiful white seats,
were actually dark grey and torn.
And the engine in the engine bay
was rusty and in pieces, basically.
It was just horrible.
There was every indication that it had gone underwater
at some point in its life.
I just said, "This is not right."
It didn't even have a propeller and it couldn't be put in the water.
As the couple were inexperienced, they sought a second opinion.
An engineer came, did a report for us and he said, "This engine is rusty,
"it's not going to turn, it's never going to be any good
"and, quite frankly, my advice is to try and get your money back
"because it's not going to do anything, this boat, at all."
The couple began trying to get their money back from Mr Holdsworth.
They had hoped he would be responsive, but it wasn't to be.
We did try various things, we went through all the right sequences,
but even when we rang him on his mobile, he ignored us.
He just cut us off.
I don't even know whether he thinks in his own mind he did anything wrong.
Court was the only option and the couple won their case when Jason didn't attend.
But he still hasn't paid them back and, in the meantime, they are
forking out more than £300 a month in mooring fees
when they don't even have a usable boat.
It's heartbreaking, really.
We are pensioners, we are retired.
It's an awful lot of money, perhaps not to a lot of people, I don't know,
but to us it's an incredible amount of money to lose.
All we can do now is leave it with the sheriffs and keep our fingers
crossed and hope that they will be able to do something for us.
Tommy and Craig are on the outskirts of Birmingham.
More than 60 miles from the nearest coastline, it's an unlikely location
to find a boat dealer.
Nevertheless, it appears to be where Mr Holdsworth lives.
They think they're on the right road,
but there's no sign of any boats conveniently sitting on a driveway.
Also, all the houses here just seem to have numbers,
when they have only been given a name.
I can't see it. I think it's back there.
But Craig thinks he's worked it out.
It's this one here.
So they pull up and try their luck.
Sorry to disturb you. I'm trying to find a property called The Stables.
But the man says this isn't it and he's not Jason.
You are not him, no? This isn't The Stables?
-But something tells Craig that the man knows more than he is
Cos on the back of your jacket, it's got Holdsworth.
And that's not all.
Sir, is Jason your son, is he,
or summat? And this is The Stables, yeah?
Down the bottom there, on the brick.
Craig is right on the money.
The man shows him ID.
-And he is indeed Jason's father.
He says Jason doesn't live here and he will try to get him on the phone.
A bit early for him, I suppose, isn't it?
What do you do yourself?
Oh, right, yeah, new builds.
Craig is not getting far with his small talk and Mr Holdsworth senior
heads off for a meeting, leaving the sheriffs alone on the driveway.
Just as they wonder what to do next, Jason appears on foot.
-Are you all right?
-Hello, mate, Jason, is it?
-Hi, I'm Mr Wild.
-How are you?
-Not too bad.
It's to do with a High Court writ, a court order, for...
She's obviously took a court order against you
for some boat or something you sold.
Jason clearly knows all about the case and invites the sheriffs in
Got my solicitor to reply to the order and that's all I've heard.
Jason claims he thought the legal process wasn't over,
but it is and the sheriffs are here to collect.
The balance stands at the moment at just over £12,000.
It's gone up by £2,000?
At the moment you've incurred £1,200 enforcement fees,
£535 judgment costs, and £129 interest.
It's more bad news for Jason.
Sheriffs don't work for free and, by not paying the court order
when it was due, the bill has gone up.
Are you in a position to pay that?
No. What happens with the boat that she's got of mine?
It's worth 12-£15,000.
The order that I've got at the moment is just to recover the money from you.
When he didn't defend the case in court,
Ms Hull was granted a default judgment and Jason lost his chance to ask
for the return of the boat to be included on the order.
If they want the boat, that's fine.
I could sell the boat quite easily...
for more than...
..they paid. Yeah, yeah.
Unfortunately, the court order commands us to come along today and demand
-payment from you.
Ms Hull doesn't want the boat and Mr Holdsworth is welcome to it back,
but he'll have to organise that himself.
Craig doesn't do boat delivery.
He is just here for the money owed.
All right, can I pay that this weekend?
We have to collect that today.
Um... What time?
I can, yeah, I'm just waiting for some money to come through from another
boat today which is 12 and a half.
-But he hasn't paid it this morning.
-But I can pay it.
I even checked this morning and it hasn't come through yet.
-So as soon as that's in, I'll pay the balance, that's fine.
Can't I pay £1,000 now and pay the rest shortly?
Craig is not keen on vague promises of future payment,
so Jason's dad steps in,
offering to pay on his cards and from his savings account,
but he'll have to make a trip to the bank when it opens in an hour or so's time.
Craig doesn't want to wait around,
but he's also not willing to leave without a guarantee of getting
Valerie's money, so he comes up with a plan.
The Stables is where you live which is just further down the lane, is it?
-Have you got a vehicle?
-Yeah, I've got some cars there.
-If I can list something down now,
you sign the form, it acts as security until nine o'clock.
Provided Jason's vehicles are worth enough, then a control of goods agreement could be the answer.
It would effectively give the sheriffs ownership of the cars until the debt is paid off.
Jason's house is close by and, on arrival, the sheriffs see just what they want on the driveway.
There is his Jag there.
A large motor, isn't it?
The Range Rover and the pick-up behind.
That will do.
Only one of the cars is on finance
and the other two will do nicely.
So Craig gets straight down to business.
The two vehicles act as security.
If I can get you to sign and print your name there for me.
The deal is done but Jason isn't particularly happy about it.
He still says there was nothing wrong with the boat he sold Ms Hull.
What I think is they found out it's going to be £5,000 a year
to keep the boat in the water and they didn't want the boat any more,
so basically I said, "Look, if you want to bring the boat back to the yard,
"get it delivered back to the yard on a trailer,
"then we can have a look at obviously refunding your money."
I didn't hear anything back from them for a few months and then got the court letter
saying that I owed £10,500.
I rang my solicitor, she dealt with it all,
they've sent me a letter back to The Stables, which I haven't received.
-Cheers, guys. Take care.
-Thanks for your time, mate. Take care.
Nevertheless, the court made its decision and Jason must now pay his debt in full.
The sheriffs are confident he will.
I think they've got the money all day long.
They are going to pay at ten o'clock in full.
Clearly he signed control of the goods of his vehicles over to the custody of the court
so if they don't pay,
we'll be back this afternoon to remove them.
Mr Holdsworth did indeed settle his bill later in the day
and Valerie has finally got her money back.
We can now carry on with our retirement...
..hopefully look forward to getting back on the water with another boat.
We are just so happy we've got the money back.
And she has some words of advice for any other prospective boat buyers.
Don't do what we did.
Always go and view something like this before you purchase it,
that's a definite.
But if you do get in the same position, don't give up.
Using the County Courts to try to recover money you are owed
isn't difficult. 1.5 million money claims are made every year
in England and Wales,
involving anything from faulty goods or poor workmanship to unpaid invoices.
Claims can be filed by post or online for a small fee.
Both parties in the case will be asked to submit evidence and you may have
to attend a court hearing.
If you are successful,
a County Court judgment or CCJ will be issued against the debtor and if
they still don't pay, that's when you call the sheriffs.
Enforcing a writ often requires the sheriffs to draw on all of their
powers of persuasion and negotiation.
These tactics work best when the debtor is willing to engage in a
But occasionally, debtors simply don't want to play ball.
In the South East today,
sheriffs Lawrence Grix and Kev McNally are about to demonstrate that
persistence is another useful skill to have.
This morning we are on our way to Pyecombe in West Sussex,
just outside Brighton.
We're going to see Wealden Haulage & Demolition Limited.
And this debt is relating to...
..tipper hire charges, crushed concrete haulage, and muck away.
In other words, waste disposal services, supplied by another company,
who haven't been paid.
Wealden Haulage & Demolition Limited were taken to court and didn't
offer a defence. So judgment was entered by default.
Three months later, and they still haven't paid,
but the sheriffs are hoping to finally make sure they do.
They owe a total of £16,335.
They actually operate off a farm, so we're going to go there.
As they turn into the address,
they immediately set eyes on a haulage truck.
This is the right place, innit?
They head past the farm shop and up the track towards a house.
Hello. Hello, you two, hello!
I'm looking for Wealden Haulage & Demolition Limited.
It's Markus Saich, the company director.
We have a High Court writ to execute against Wealden Haulage &
Demolition. The amount outstanding today is £16,335.99.
-We're ordered now to take control of goods to that value
-to clear the debt.
And the only way to prevent further action is to pay in full.
Yeah, but I've applied to the courts to have that set aside,
and I'm waiting to hear back so...
Right, an application doesn't stop enforcement, sir.
I'm told... I'm told it does.
-By a solicitor?
Yeah, no, it doesn't.
Is this your private residence, or is the business actually run from here?
The business is run from down there, this is my private residence.
Right. I'm assuming you don't want goods removed.
No, I don't know what goods you are going to remove,
cos there isn't anything here that isn't on HP.
But before Lawrence can probe the details, Mr Saich simply walks off.
It's a bizarre turn of events, but Lawrence isn't fazed.
I'm just going to make a note of some registrations,
then we'll go down to where the business is run from,
because we're more likely to find some assets down there, I would think.
The sheriffs get in the van and drive back to the farm shop,
where it looked like Mr Saich was headed.
As they approach, Kev thinks he spots movement inside.
-He's in there.
-What, in the shop?
-Is that where he is?
But any hopes that they may have found Mr Saich soon evaporate.
No, it's shut.
The farm shop is locked, and there's no sign of anyone inside.
There was someone in there, 100%, and there's no-one else around,
-No. There might be an office at the back or something.
Lawrence has a nose around, but there's no other way in,
and still no sign of Mr Saich.
Their best option now to get the debt paid is to identify some company assets,
which, on paper, should be straightforward.
They've got fixed assets of 674 grand, or they did have in November '15.
So they've got a hell of a lot of assets.
The problem is, not many of them seem to be here.
We've got 4X4s and things outside the house,
which he's turned around and said are all on finance.
But whether they belong to the company or not...
There's also this tipper.
That truck's what we need, really.
But it's massive.
We can't really clamp it, can we?
I don't think there is a clamp on the market that will get on the wheel of
one of those. Cos that would have to go on an articulated low-loader.
Or possibly be dragged, but if you are going to drag it,
you've got to take all the driveshafts out.
-It's a pig of a job.
-It's too much for now,
especially because if the debtor's appeal is successful,
then the sheriffs wouldn't be able to recover the costs.
So with no assets and Mr Saich unwilling to cooperate,
this time the sheriffs will have to call it quits - for now.
We'll check out all the vehicle registrations.
If any of them do come back to the company and they're clear of finance,
we can come back and take them.
So at the moment, I'm just going to leave paperwork, and that's that.
Later, the saga continues when the sheriffs pay
Wealden Haulage & Demolition another visit.
Enforcement agent Ken Warby is no mug,
and today his nose to sniff out a tall story is going to come in handy.
He's on his way to Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire
in search of a local businessman.
We are going to visit someone called Mr Rostami,
trading as LJ's Nightclub.
Mr Ebi Rostami's been sued by a woman who was injured
after slipping in his club. A court's ordered him to pay, but he hasn't,
so it's Ken's job to collect £5,213,
including costs and fees.
It turns out Ken is no stranger to the nightclub scene himself.
Give me a half of shandy, and...
I can pull a few shapes on the dance floor, absolutely.
But sadly, we won't get to see that today,
as it seems the nightclub has shut down.
We was there a couple of weeks ago, and that's empty,
so we're turning our attentions now to this new address.
Sheriffs are permitted to visit any address where they believe
the debtor may have assets,
and they've been told Mr Rostami also runs a cafe.
This second business could be the key to Ken getting his claimant's money.
He reaches Aylesbury,
and heads into town on foot, passing the nightclub on the way.
Just checking to see no-one's moved back in there,
but it is as it was a couple of weeks ago.
Off to the cafe, and hopefully our guy is there.
The cafe is just down the road, and Ken heads in.
Hello. I wanted to speak to Mr Rostami.
He's the owner, yeah?.
I need to speak to him urgently.
Can someone get hold of him?
The barwoman heads off to see if she can track down Mr Rostami,
and shortly afterwards a man appears from the back.
It's Mr Rostami I want to speak to.
Sorry, are you a... Are you a manager here?
In fact, although Ken has no way of knowing it, this is Mr Rostami,
and he's being somewhat economical with the truth.
He's not here?
Well, you need to get him on the phone,
because I need to speak to him urgently, thank you.
Mr Rostami walks off, and although he doesn't know the full story,
Ken smells a rat.
Well, this is interesting. I think this guy, in a roundabout way,
is trying to palm me off to someone else.
But first impressions, yeah, plenty of assets in here, so, um...
we'll wait and see.
One asset that particularly catches Ken's eye
is a grand piano in the corner.
Taken a few away in my time.
They can fetch good money,
but they've got to be a good make.
Get the odd Steinway, they're worth quite a few grand.
Not sure what make that is.
First impressions, it's not a Steinway.
It's ten minutes since Mr Rostami disappeared
before a new member of staff comes to speak to Ken,
and now it seems the story has changed.
Right. We were informed that the guy owned this as well.
Right, OK. Did he used to own this, then?
Right. I need to speak to the owner,
because I've got a High Court writ of control,
which gives me authority to remove goods from here in lieu of an
outstanding amount that he owes.
So you need to make some phone calls
and get him or her down here straightaway.
So while one staff member thinks Mr Rostami owns the cafe,
another seems to know nothing about it.
Ken's not sure what exactly is going on,
but he knows better than to take the barman's word for it.
"He doesn't own this, Michelle owns this."
Well, I'm not going to go away on that basis.
I need to speak to the supposed owner or new owner of this place,
and I need some proof that she is the owner here -
bills, business rates et cetera -
before I walk out the door without any money.
Soon enough, a woman turns up who appears to be a manager.
Are you Michelle?
Our cameraman obliges and steps out onto the street.
Ken follows shortly afterwards,
and it seems Michelle has told him the same thing as the barman.
She just confirms that he shut the nightclub down, this guy,
and he has nothing to do with this place.
I said, "I need to see some proof that you are the sole owner of this place."
She said, "Well, it's going through."
And then I said, is your name on the business rates?
She said, "No, it's still his name."
I said, "You need to find this money and find it all,
"because I will be removing your goods."
So we're going to wait and see.
She's gone to make a few phone calls.
I'm just going to get back in there and
tough this one out, I think.
If Mr Rostami has indeed sold the business to this Michelle,
it must've been fairly recently.
There's even still a job advert in the window with his name and mobile
number on it. Not to mention his earlier appearance behind the bar.
Ken is not going to walk away from this one in a hurry.
And soon enough, there is an offer of payment.
She said that she can't come up with the full amount of money but she can
come up with £2,000 and she has offered to clear the debt in three weeks.
So rather than shut the business down,
which in effect is what it will do if we remove everything from there,
I'm going to get on and do that now and hopefully that will be good enough for the client.
The news is she is actually, um...
Mr Rostami's ex-wife,
so that's the connection.
Dig a little bit deeper and we always get the truth in the end.
Ken heads back in,
where he persuades Michelle to part with a further £213 up front,
leaving a neat £3,000 to pay over three weeks.
Ken's confident she'll make good on her promise.
I'm pretty sure they're going to have the funds.
It's quite a good result, really,
because originally I was given the story
the guy had nothing to do with her place any more and that isn't quite the case,
so a good result for the client, on to the next job.
Following filming, the debt owed by Mr Rostami was paid in full.
The young woman who was injured in LJ's nightclub
has now got the money awarded to her by the court.
When debtors can't pay on the spot...
I'm assuming you haven't got £5,000.
-..the sheriffs won't always remove assets to get your money.
Goods go for about a fifth of their true value at auction,
and it's often better to agree to a payment plan.
If you can come up with half of it today...
Do you reckon you can do 200 a week?
They will make a list of assets...
Ice machine, bar chiller cabinets.
..and a controlled goods agreement is signed,
making it an offence for anyone else to remove them.
When you sign the form, it acts as security.
The sheriffs will only return to take the goods
if the debtor fails to make payments.
I've signed him up for £1,000 a month.
Providing you stick to that, you won't hear from us again.
Most of the sheriffs' cases involve enforcing judgments made in the County Courts
as a result of money claims,
but a small minority of the cases stem from employment tribunals,
which are similar to courts,
and where workers can turn if they believe they have been treated unfairly by an employer.
About 80,000 claims are made every year,
and if they are successful, typically the tribunal will award a financial settlement.
It's one of these cases which this morning takes Tommy and Craig into the centre of Birmingham.
We're off down to Green Street in B12.
Going to see a company called AJS Midlands Limited.
The liability itself is just over £9,000,
so it is not a small amount of money, by any stretch of the imagination.
A tribunal has judged AJS Midlands Limited and its MD Jason King
racially discriminated against an employee and dismissed him unfairly.
It awarded compensation
but, six months down the line,
AJS still hasn't come up with the money,
which means they now owe £9,364.
But there has been some indication the company is willing to pay.
The actual defendant company has been in touch
to say they want to try and negotiate a payment plan.
The sheriffs aren't ruling that out,
but their writ requires them to seek full payment if they can.
They'll only settle for less if they really have to.
It's down to me and Tommy to go there today and find out what the
situation really is and
get them on a payment plan or payment in full.
-This is Green Street.
-This is it.
So we are looking for AJS Midlands Limited.
Oh, AJS, yeah. Big place.
The sheriffs find the address, park up and head in.
The entrance leads them to the customer area,
where they try to get a hearing with Mr King.
-Is the director of the company about at all?
My name is Mr Wild, on behalf of the High Court.
The employee goes off to speak to the boss,
but when he returns, it seems the urgency of the sheriffs' visit has
been lost in translation.
Is there anyone else you can get from finance or anything like that?
Right. Ideally, we need to speak to the director.
He won't be available, you say?
But production is of no concern to the sheriffs.
Their claimant has already waited six months for his money and if this
unscheduled visit is inconvenient, the company only has itself to blame.
So Craig tries again.
The issue that I've got is obviously a sensitive one.
But it's to do with the court order.
But if he doesn't want to see me now and get it resolved,
then unfortunately we have to resolve it for them,
which he wouldn't want us to do.
So if you want to go and reiterate that to him,
if he can give the job to somebody else of changing the tool and have a
chat with us, that's fine,
or if he can get in contact with the accountant we can talk to her
as well. All right?
Thank you very much.
Firm but fair.
While they wait to find out if Mr King plans to see them,
the sheriffs weigh up their leverage.
There aren't many assets in reception but if these products are
manufactured here, it seems likely there will be valuable machinery
out back. Once they have gleaned the little they can,
Craig kills time by showing off some photos from the road.
When you get these complicated jobs,
you need professional people behind you.
That's Tommy when he had hair.
He spent a lot of time out in Thailand.
Back in my Bondi Beach days.
-Quite the surfer dude.
-Quite the surfer.
Meanwhile, the man at reception has returned.
He hasn't brought Mr King with him,
but things might be moving in the right direction.
I can. Who is going to sort it out?
All right, OK. So,
as you can see the director of the company might be making a payment.
The sheriffs had been expecting the company to try to negotiate a payment plan,
and it's not yet clear how much Mr King is planning to pay on the spot.
When word comes back that he has made a bank transfer, Tommy calls
-Can you check the account, please.
Sure enough, a payment has been made and it is for the whole £9,364.
Brilliant. Cheers, Lawrence. Bye-bye.
Yeah, all sorted. I will do you a receipt.
Mr King may not have made an appearance but it seems with the sheriffs at reception,
he has decided to settle the debt after all,
much to the sheriffs' delight.
The director said, "I can't talk to anybody at the moment."
But we explained it was to do with the court order and I think when that information
was relayed back to him, he knew exactly who we were, what we
were there for and the job's a good'un.
Yeah, it's a good result for the claimant, and for us.
Six months after he was awarded his compensation, the worker who was the
victim of racial discrimination and was unfairly dismissed
has finally got the money he is owed.
Lawrence and Kev are once again on the trail of a debt owed by
a company called Wealden Haulage & Demolition Limited.
They previously visited the company's registered address,
which was on a farm.
This is the right place, innit?
But the director, Markus Saich, was far from helpful...
..and the only real asset there wasn't going anywhere in a hurry.
That will have to go on an articulated low loader.
Or possibly be dragged.
Other vehicles seen at the site have now been confirmed as being on
finance and further contact with Mr Saich hasn't come to much.
The director did contact me saying that there was an order from
the court stopping enforcement,
but despite repeated requests he hasn't provided that.
So as far as we're concerned this writ is still live.
So far, they've had the doors shut in their face at every turn,
but the sheriffs don't give up easily
and now they've got a new lead,
a tip-off of a site where Wealden might be operating.
So they're going there in the hope of collecting the £19,000 now owing.
On arrival, it appears to be
some kind of aggregate processing facility.
There aren't any signs mentioning the debtor company
but Lawrence spots a man working on the site and tries his luck.
I'm looking for Wealden Haulage & Demolition.
That's you? My name's Mr Grix.
My colleague and I are enforcement agents,
we've got a High Court writ against Wealden Haulage & Demolition.
We're ordered here today to take control of goods,
which, by the looks of it, are the excavator and the crusher.
Are you able to get him on the phone?
-Thank you very much.
-The man said it's the right place
and the machines they expected to see are here.
So far, so good...
..until Lawrence is handed the phone.
Was it you I met at the other address at your house?
It is indeed the company director, Markus Saich.
We've been sent to this address today, sir, to take control
of goods which, at the moment, is the excavators and the crusher.
Once again, Lawrence is told everything is on finance.
Have you got paperwork to that effect?
Are you able to get that to us?
-Mr Saich says if Lawrence wants the paperwork
-he can come and get it.
-Right, well, I'm not coming there, sir,
because I'm here and I'm going to be taking these goods into control.
I can't take them into control at your other premises, can I?
But not only is Mr Saich refusing to bring the documents the sheriffs
need to see,
he's now once again claiming that enforcement action has been stopped
by the courts. Lawrence is sceptical.
You told me weeks ago, sir,
there was an order from the court stopping execution.
I've asked you repeatedly for that and you haven't provided it.
It hasn't been stopped until you find out what's going on.
I have a live writ.
OK, then, sir, call the police.
It would be far more helpful if you have got...
Oh, there you go.
Actually, it'd be a good thing if the police turn up now.
That might prompt him to get down here
and that'd be better for us. It's one of the ways we can progress
this one at the moment.
Otherwise, Mr Saich's reluctance to cooperate is once again leaving the
sheriffs in a tricky position.
If the machinery really doesn't belong to Wealden Haulage
& Demolition Limited, then removing
it would be a very expensive mistake.
But it doesn't sound like the director's going to help them put
the ownership beyond doubt.
The director of the company doesn't really want to speak to us.
Whenever you get a job where you can't establish some kind of
sensible dialogue, it's really awkward to get any kind of
resolution one way or the other.
If the vehicles are leased from somebody, just give us the paperwork
-and we can go away.
-As it is,
the sheriffs will have to work it out for themselves,
so they head inside the yard for a closer look.
But as they do, the worker present asks our camera to leave and shuts
the gates behind him.
Seeing the chain go on, Lawrence gives the man a warning.
I know that obviously your boss is telling you to do things but I just
have to advise you, from your point of view,
it is a criminal offence to obstruct us.
So I'm just advising you on a personal level
because I wouldn't want you doing anything that puts you personally in
jeopardy because you're following your boss's instructions.
The employee goes back to work while the sheriffs have a nose around.
However, their exploration of the site reveals nothing beside
the huge amounts of concrete
and no further clues to the ownership of the machines.
There's a building next to the yard with another company's name over the
door, so Kev heads in to ask what, if anything,
they can tell the sheriffs about the crusher and the diggers.
He soon returns with news.
-That crusher's financed and it's owned by this lot.
But he got his boss on the phone and he was like, "Yeah, no, no,
-"it's definitely ours." And they've got no reason to...
Meanwhile, Lawrence has made a discovery of his own.
One of the two diggers has broken down on top of a pile of aggregate.
They began the day hoping to walk out of here with nearly £20,000,
but that now looks like a tall order.
# Don't know where we're going Got no way of knowing
# Driving on the road to nowhere. #
Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do because the one digger is
immobile with a knackered engine,
the crusher we've already confirmed belongs to someone else and the
digger's in use and we can't take something into control
if it's actually in use at the time,
and he's still adamant that it's leased from somebody.
More than two hours after they arrived, and with no sign
of the police,
Lawrence eventually gets a call from the debtor's solicitor,
who's only just been instructed.
They say they'll need a few days to collect the relevant paperwork.
Frustrated, but with no leverage to demand payment,
Lawrence has no choice but to agree.
If you're actually going to cooperate, which I imagine you will,
and deal with this in a sensible manner,
rather than just being obstructive like your client,
I'll give you till close of business on Monday to get the paperwork over.
And then I'm quite happy to leave it.
Otherwise, I'll be back and I will remove it.
But it never comes to that.
Following filming, Wealden Haulage & Demolition Limited paid the sheriffs
just over £19,000, clearing their debt in full.
The waste disposal company which hadn't been paid
has now got the money they were owed.
As night falls in the northeast,
sheriff Chris Pearson is on his way to enforce a debt owed
-by a watch seller.
-The monies are outstanding for
a watch which I believe was purchased online, a Rolex watch,
and the goods were not received.
The claimant bought the Rolex from a business trading as Watchwiseuk
in Huddersfield. After the item didn't arrive they filed a money
claim against the limited company, Watchwise Associates Limited,
and a man they believe to be its director, a Mr John Barker.
The case wasn't defended in court,
so judgment was issued by default and now Mr Barker and Watchwise
Associates Limited owe £5,980.
We are trying to locate the business address.
Unfortunately it's been to no end,
so we're looking now primarily at his residential address,
just on the off chance that maybe he's still trading from home
and there may be sufficient assets there.
Chris approaches the address,
hoping that Mr Barker will be in and the debt can be resolved.
Hello, mate. I'm looking for John Barker, please.
Yes, please, yeah.
Is it possible to get him on the phone for me?
It's High Court enforcement. I need to speak to him quite urgently.
Yeah, it's quite urgent, sir.
A young man has answered the door and says he'll get Mr Barker
on the phone.
But Mr Barker, it seems,
isn't understanding the seriousness of the situation.
He needs to deal with it right now, mate.
Yeah, it's... Do you know the watch business he had?
It's something to do with that, mate.
Chris is indeed given Mr Barker's number and rings it.
But Mr Barker doesn't pick up.
Chris is beginning to run out of patience.
Right, not answering. What you need to do, mate,
tell him we're here with a High Court writ and it's for us to take
everything out the property. So he needs to answer the phone, mate.
However, the man instead calls Mr Barker's son, Gary,
who's apparently also involved in the watch business
and who arrives almost instantly.
Is this the gentleman now, is it?
Are you Gary?
If you can, mate. Come on inside, Gary.
Gary heads inside with Chris,
where he explains that Watchwise Associates Limited is going into
liquidation and also that his father, John,
retired from the company more than a year ago.
Gary says it was him that sold the missing Rolex watch
and wants to clear the debt. He makes an offer of a payment plan
and, after checking out the assets in the house, Chris leaves.
As expected, there wasn't a great deal of goods on the property,
just general household items.
There's two suites in there, television, PlayStation,
just normal items, really.
Nothing of any great value.
And they have agreed to set an arrangement up of £300
a month to clear the debt.
Now, because there's insufficient assets on the property,
and I have checked the property out,
I think we need to accept that for now.
It's going to be set at that and if it can be pushed on there'll be an
increased offer within a couple of months.
Following filming, the claimant rejected the offer of £300 a month,
preferring the debt to be paid off quicker.
So far, no money has been received from either of the Barkers
and the sheriffs plan to make a return visit.
Tommy and Craig attempt to recover more than £10,000 owed to a couple who bought a boat that turned out to be a wreck.
When a debtor simply walks away from them, Lawrence and Kev track down the man's assets and are confronted with some seriously heavy goods.
Chris tells a watch seller that it is time to pay his debt, and Ken confronts a man with an identity crisis.