Series following high court enforcement officers. Lawrence and Kev seize equipment from a sports car specialist after a botched repair left a car dripping oil.
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Meet the sheriffs.
My name's Mr Grix. My colleague and I are enforcement agents.
-It's do with a High Court order.
-They work for the High Court.
And if it says you're 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'll 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.
Coming up, a repair to Tony Grace's pride and joy wasn't up to scratch.
I felt angry that they'd not done the job properly.
But will the sheriffs be able to find enough assets
to get his money back?
This is a remapping device.
About £3,000-£4,000 brand-new.
A debtor's not happy to find Tommy on his doorstep.
I'm not talking to you. This is not my house. You're not coming in.
And the sheriffs face resistance on a factory floor.
-Can you move?
-On a commercial property,
we can force entry if we need to, sir.
-It's a court order, sir.
-But you ain't got to come in.
Enforcement agents Lawrence Grix and Kev McNally are on the road.
They're heading to Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire
with a writ against a car garage.
There is no doubt that the motoring trade is a common cause
of disputes, and, as a result,
it provides a steady stream of work for the sheriffs.
Today's debtor though is not the normal, run-of-the-mill garage
and the vehicle at the centre of the dispute is no everyday car.
We're going to see Porsche Dynamics Ltd.
The money they owe is £1658
and the debt is relating to some work they did.
It's actually for a gearbox gasket replacement.
The claimant in the case is heating engineer Tony Grace,
a lifelong Porsche enthusiast,
and the proud owner of a dolphin grey model.
I've always had Porsches.
I've always had a passion for them.
I like the engine in the back and the sound of them.
They're not overstated, the Porsches,
but the 966 Turbo, it's the best one out of all of them.
It's such a fast car and good fun, you know.
If you have a row with your Mrs, or something,
it's good to get in it and blow the cobwebs away.
But even the finest engineering isn't without its flaws,
and one day, Tony discovered his beloved car
had sprung a leak in its gearbox.
I noticed patches of oil on my drive and I thought, you know,
I don't want to leave it because, obviously,
it would damage the gearbox.
So he looked around for a suitable specialist and someone he knew
recommended Porsche Dynamics Ltd.
When I first saw the garage, it seemed OK.
I wasn't mad on the guy.
He didn't seem as knowledgeable as other people that I've used,
but you can be wrong on that,
so I wouldn't hold that against him, you know.
The man said the garage could fix the problem and charged Tony £700,
but it didn't seem to make any difference.
I kept taking it back and forward.
I don't know whether they misdiagnosed it,
but every time I got it back, it was leaking.
So, in the end, I took it to a garage.
I got it up on the ramp, and when I looked,
they'd used a sealant on it and it was probably about six inches long,
and I thought, you can't do that on a car like that!
That's not really going to stop the pressured leak on the oil.
Even I know that and I'm not a mechanic.
Tony's final confirmation that he hadn't got the service he'd paid for
came when the second garage made the repair he'd requested all along.
He changed the gasket within five hours.
He'd done a really good job and, touch wood,
I've never had a problem with it.
the other people didn't do the gasket.
And that's when Tony began to get annoyed.
Because I had to take it somewhere else and pay again,
I've sort of had to pay double,
and I've thought, well, that's not right.
If I pay for something that's cost me 700 quid
and then I've got to pay again.
I felt angry that they'd not done the job properly, really.
Tony got in touch with Porsche Dynamics Ltd to complain,
and initially, it sounded like they were keen
to get the matter resolved.
He said, "Oh, yeah. We'll give you your money back."
So he didn't argue at first.
But this went on for weeks and weeks.
In the end, I had no alternative but to sort of take it further,
but I gave him plenty of warning.
I didn't really want to go down that road,
because I would have just preferred my 700 back and go somewhere else.
Tony took the company to court
and won his case when they didn't offer a defence.
They haven't paid.
Now he's escalated the case to the sheriffs.
Yes. It's been over a year now, and the sheriffs are my last resort.
If they don't get nowhere, I'll just have to accept it.
Lawrence and Kev are on their way to the debtor garage
and it seems they and Tony have a lot in common.
Rather than tactics,
the top conversational topic is the finer points of Porsche.
I had one a few years ago, now.
I had it for a long time. I loved it.
Never had any drama with it.
Did everything pretty well.
It was a good car. I enjoyed it.
If I had had the money, I would have had one when I was younger.
I probably wouldn't now, to be honest.
I'm getting to the time of life where I don't want to be
getting down onto the level of a tea tray to get into my car.
The sheriffs arrive at the industrial estate
they're looking for and the debtor company isn't hard to spot.
-There it is.
-The Porsche was a bit of a giveaway.
That's how I roll.
Like a ninja.
The sheriffs head inside in search of £1,600.
-Are you the guv'nor?
-No, I'm not. He's in there.
Oh, is he?
My name's Mr Grix.
My colleague and I are enforcement agents.
We're here with a High Court writ of control against Porsche Dynamics Ltd
in favour of Mr AJ Grace.
-We're ordered here today by the court to take control
of goods to the value of £1,658.02 to clear this debt.
The only way to prevent further action is to pay in full.
At this point, the man asks our cameraman to leave,
while the conversation continues inside.
Do you know about this?
The boss said he does and that he'd sent the sheriffs an e-mail,
but a cheque would have been better.
The sheriff's writ demands that they seek payment for Tony
and they plan to get it,
but while the line of Porsches outside suggests that,
on the face of it, the business is doing well,
it soon transpires that the situation might not be that simple.
Well, we were chatting to the owner in there.
He hasn't got the money to pay it. That's the problem.
The money he's actually offering to pay right now is very minimal.
The debtor says he's got plenty of work but cash flow's a problem
and so he can only raise £400,
with the remainder to be paid over a period of weeks.
But to go on a payment arrangement,
Lawrence wants at least half the debt cleared today,
and he'd need to take control of goods on the premises as security,
and that's where there's a problem.
It seems Porsche Dynamics Ltd has another unpaid debt,
and a different enforcement agent has already called
and had first dibs on everything here.
They've actually listed and got an inventory of goods
they've taken down into their possession.
So, we've got to find other assets that they haven't taken control of.
So, while the boss calls around to see if he can raise any more money,
the sheriffs are on a treasure hunt for any assets that are left.
Predictably, the cars are all owned by customers,
so Lawrence and Kev are focusing on the garage equipment.
And so far, it's hardly proving to be a gold mine.
As of now, there's only one diagnostics bit of kit
that's worth... probably worth a couple of grand.
We're just seeing what else there is.
Most of the stuff's on finance as well.
So he's getting the finance documentation together, as well.
We'll get a result of sorts on this job.
It just depends. It depends what it is.
The sheriffs pride themselves on being able
to get money back for their clients,
but in this case, it's going to be difficult.
It soon becomes clear that the boss can't raise any more money.
The sheriffs have little option but to refuse his offer of £400
and remove anything they can find which hasn't already been bagged
by the other enforcement agent.
45 minutes later, they are out the door with goods in hand.
This is a remapping device,
so you can remap the engine's ECU to give better performance,
I would guess about £3,000-£4,000, brand-new.
This is a snap-on bit of diagnostic kit,
and it basically communicates with
the car's computer system to read faults, reset faults.
Brand-new, this would probably be £3,000-£4,000,
but again, at auction, you'd probably get half of that.
It may not be the Crown Jewels,
but it should raise enough at auction
to cover Porsche Dynamics' debt.
That's if the man doesn't come up with the money first
and within seven days.
I think he'll potentially buy it back.
I think he'll try and get the money together to buy it back
before it gets sold. Hopefully.
In fact, the boss never did make any payment at all
and his equipment has been listed for auction.
The claimant, Tony Grace, should get his money back any day now
and is delighted to see the matter finally coming to an end.
Yeah. Good news. Probably, with the money,
I'll probably end up spending it on the dog.
She's got a bad foot.
It's nice to have it come to an end and put it to bed,
and then forget about it and move on.
Life's for living.
Porsche Dynamics Ltd told us that...
Using the county courts to try to recover money you're owed
One and a half 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're 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.
First and foremost, sheriffs are looking to get their clients money,
but that doesn't always mean going in hard.
Sometimes, it pays to play the long game and take a gentler approach.
In the Midlands, enforcement agents Tommy Coyle and Craig Wild
are on their way to a tricky assignment.
We're out early this morning, very early, in fact.
We're out on the outskirts of Oxford.
We're going to go and make an early call today
to hopefully catch a gentleman at home. It's a home address,
and it's a lot of money.
The debtor is called Philip Blakeman
and he was taken to court by a friend who sold him his Land Rover
for £10,000 over a year and a half ago.
But, after receiving the vehicle, Mr Blakeman never paid for it.
He didn't defend the case
and default judgment was made against him.
The sheriffs are now here to collect £14,625,
including costs and fees.
The first thing they'll be looking for is that Land Rover.
If the vehicle would cover the total value of the debt,
there'd be no discussion.
The vehicle will be gone, or we want full payment.
But in this circumstance, it wouldn't cover the full debt,
but it is sufficient still to remove if there's not going to be
a substantial offer on the plate.
But as they arrive at Mr Blakeman's home, the sheriffs are dealt a blow.
There's no cars at all on the driveway.
Nothing there, is there?
Where's the Freelander?
There's no sign of the Land Rover, or, for that matter,
any other vehicles.
You wouldn't live here without a car, would you?
One possibility is that he's already left the house,
but there don't seem to be any tracks in the frost on the drive.
It looks like the sheriffs might have lost
their main bargaining chip,
but either way, they need to speak to Mr Blakeman.
A light's on inside but there's no answer at the door.
Craig, meanwhile, discovers the garage is unlocked,
meaning the sheriffs are legally allowed to enter.
That's... Yeah. That's open.
See if the car's in.
Tommy sneaks a look for any sign of the Land Rover, but it's no joy.
It's not there.
And there's still no answer at the door.
I think we've missed him, mate.
It looks dead as a dodo.
It's like a toilet light.
-A bathroom light.
-A bathroom light, and all it is is a hallway light.
I think he's gone, because, look, the cars aren't here either.
Do you think the car's been there?
I think, Craig, let's get back in the van.
There is a chance Mr Blakeman has popped out
and could return with the car,
so Tommy and Craig decide to wait in the van,
but just as they're getting comfortable.
Oh, there's someone in. I've just seen him go past that window.
Big guy. So, he's in.
He just doesn't want to come to the door.
It seems Mr Blakeman was here all along.
Let's go back and knock.
This time, he answers.
Hello there. Is it Mr Blakeman?
-Yeah, that's me.
-I'll show you some identification.
I'm not talking to you. I've already spoken to you on the phone.
You're not going to be talking to us. Why's that?
It's going to be paid at the end of the month.
It's going to be paid at the end of the month?
If you're saying that you can pay us in full at the end of the month,
we can facilitate that, but we need to secure the debt today.
This isn't my house, for starters.
There's nothing in here that belongs to me. I just use a room here.
-I've already told them that. So, that's the end of it.
Right, well, it's not the end of it, sir, because at the moment,
they want us to execute this order.
Yes, but it's not my house. You're not coming in.
Can you show me anything, evidence-wise,
that you are going to get that money at the end of the month,
-and I can obviously...
It's being borrowed and being paid at the end of the month.
Mr Blakeman isn't being very cooperative.
Although he says he's going to pay, Tommy needs more than that.
We can't just take his word for that.
There's a process where we can do a controlled goods agreement,
but he doesn't appear interested in that.
So, I'll try him again.
But there's still no answer
and Tommy knows they might have their work cut out.
Our main lever here is the vehicle.
Hence coming out early.
Having seen no vehicle,
the external assets we have in the garage are well insufficient,
so if he's not going to cooperate, we're a little bit stuck.
So, he keeps trying.
Mr Blakeman, can you just come to the door for a moment
so I can explain the next process, what we're going to be doing?
I just want to explain to you,
we're going to be taking control of the goods inside the garage for now.
All right. OK.
Mr Blakeman is finally playing ball.
Tommy and Craig begin listing any assets of his
they can find to use as security against the debt.
There's not much in the garage,
but there is some expensive sports equipment,
including top of the range cricket kit.
You've got three Kookaburra bats.
Pads, one aero.
And a valuable bicycle from a well-known brand.
-Racing bike, is it?
Once they've listed everything they can,
they just need Mr Blakeman's signature.
This is going to be a controlled goods agreement you're signing.
It's a legally binding contract.
It's going to give you until just before the Wednesday.
If Mr Blakeman doesn't make the payment he's promised
by the end of the month, they'll be back.
-You take care. Cheers.
The sheriffs don't like to walk away without payment
but sometimes they find it's better to cut a debtor a bit of slack.
Bit of a difficult job, really,
because the main lever we were going after was the vehicle.
The vehicle wasn't present,
so all we had to work off was trying to get in the house,
and he was quite adamant, as you could see, not to let us in.
He's got three cricket bats in there,
expensive sort of kit bags
and pads and gloves and a helmet.
They are expensive.
However, in comparison to the liability he owes,
but it does facilitate the situation for us to give him time to pay,
which I think is what he wanted.
But later, has more time solved the problem?
The sheriffs return to visit Mr Blakeman once again.
In the North West, enforcement agent Alan Pennington is on his way
to see an asbestos removal firm.
We're off to Westhoughton,
just the other side of Bolton,
to see a company called Malrod Environmental.
Malrod Environmental Ltd have been taken to court
by Heysham Demolition Ltd, who say they own some equipment
hired out for use on a construction site, but never got it back.
The judgment was awarded by default,
and now Malrod Environmental Ltd owes £4,521.
But the case may not be as clear cut as Alan would like.
The debtor has been in touch,
claiming that the case is going back to court,
and in the meantime, there's an order in place
called a stay of execution, which puts any enforcement action on hold.
They say that they've got a stay of execution on the case.
That has not been seen yet by the officer or myself,
so we'll be there shortly and if they've got it,
they'll need to produce it.
If they haven't got it, then they'll need to pay their debt.
It's now down to Alan to find out whether Malrod's version of events
It's up to the debtor to provide the relevant court paperwork,
and if they can't, then the sheriffs have every right to enforce.
Quite a big company, so I'm sure they will have
no issue with the payment.
Let's see if they've got a stay of execution, eh?
As Alan walks into reception...
..a man immediately comes to see him who knows about the debt,
so Alan gets straight to the point.
If you've got a stay of execution, I need to see it.
They've not done it yet?
It seems the man has misunderstood the situation.
He's applying to have the judgment against Malrod set aside,
but as he hasn't yet heard from the court,
there's no guarantee the application will be successful,
and so currently, that original judgment stands.
A set aside is different to a stay of execution,
but it doesn't sound like he's got either.
That still needs paying because enforcement actually continues
until we receive a stay of execution.
That money goes into an account for 14 days.
-If a stay of execution comes in, it is refunded back.
It's not what the man wanted to hear,
but it doesn't look like he's going to put up a fight.
So what I'll do, are you going to pay by BACS, like?
So if you can do that for me, that figure there.
The man is going to pay in full.
The money will be held by the sheriffs for 14 days
before being passed on to the claimant,
giving the company time to make a legal challenge if it wants to.
-All right, thanks for your time.
Great stuff. Thanks, love. Ta-ra.
Malrod Environmentals Ltd's application
to get the judgment set aside was not successful
and the demolition company got the money the court said
they were owed.
Malrod told us they don't believe they owed the debt
and said they would have paid it willingly if they did.
They say they originally filed a defence against the claim
but their form was returned to them by the courts.
It's another early morning start for Tommy and Craig
who are on their way to see Philip Blakeman for a second time.
He owes more than £14,000 after buying a Land Rover
from a friend over 18 months ago which he never paid for.
On their last meeting, he promised the sheriffs he'd clear the debt
within a week, but three weeks later they are yet to receive any money.
He's been in contact via text message with myself,
initially saying he's going to be paying a few days later.
That didn't come to fruition.
There was another promise of payment and it has not come in a week later,
hence we are here early this morning to enforce.
So far, the decision to give Mr Blakeman more time hasn't paid off.
Today, they could remove the goods from his garage
which they've already taken into control.
But they are not worth that much and Craig is still pinning his hopes
on finding the Land Rover.
We are primarily looking for this vehicle today
which has a lot more value in it.
This time they have come even earlier
in the hope of finding it on the drive.
No, nothing there.
But once again they are disappointed.
Can you believe it?
Without the Land Rover to use as leverage,
for a second time they are going to have to rely
on their powers of persuasion.
GARAGE DOOR CREAKS, KNOCKING
Mr Blakeman. You all right?
The payment didn't come in.
Unfortunately we are here to enforce it today.
You were talking about your mother before...
It shouldn't have taken this long to clear.
All right, so how come you didn't get in contact to tell us
it was going to be 14 days?
It doesn't look good, does it?
But whatever the reason, Mr Blakeman doesn't have the money,
so Tommy tries a different tack
and decides to reveal his knowledge of the key asset,
the missing Land Rover.
You've got a vehicle registered to you.
Where's the vehicle?
It's not working?
So, in order to satisfy their writ,
the sheriffs will have to take some of Mr Blakeman's other goods,
provided they can cover a reasonable amount of the debt.
They already know the contents of the garage won't be enough,
so they turn their attention to the property itself.
What about the goods inside the house?
I know you keep saying it, we've not seen any evidence of that so far.
You cohabit or own here, Mr Blakeman?
If there's no payment today,
you need to show us evidence of what belongs to who.
You know we can't do that.
I mean, obviously, you signed a controlled goods agreement,
the last message I had from you was that you were going to pay it.
Obviously we've not heard from you since.
Mr Blakeman goes inside to get evidence from his landlady
to prove it's not his house and he doesn't own any of the contents.
He soon returns with a bundle of paperwork.
Scottish Power, that's fine.
Santander, that's just the insurers. Yeah, that's fine.
That was the electric, utility bill. Lovely.
His story seems to be checking out.
If he really can't pay now and his only assets are those in the garage,
it might be best to give him a bit more time.
If there are insufficient assets here,
then we leave you documentation today
which will give you seven days to make the payment in full.
But that deal's only on the table if the sheriffs can satisfy themselves
he really doesn't own anything else.
On that basis, Mr Blakeman agrees to let Tommy inside
to take a look at his room.
When he returns he explains what he's seen.
-He's just got a small room.
-Has it been slept in tonight?
-It's been slept in.
Unfortunately, I think we've done as much as we can today.
It's all we can do, isn't it? End of.
The sheriffs are going to have to call it quits for now.
At this stage, I do actually believe everything he is saying.
I think he has no money.
And he is just staying in a room here as a friend.
He said to me it's still going to get paid within seven days.
In fact, it takes nearly three weeks,
but Mr Blakeman did finally raise the money
and paid £14,735 to clear his debt.
The friend who sold him the Land Rover has finally got his money.
If you have won a County Court judgment and haven't been paid,
for £66 you can get the case transferred up to the High Court
which will issue a writ for enforcement by the sheriffs.
My job is to collect in full or remove goods.
They've got special powers of entry.
We don't have to take any notice of your security protocol, I'm afraid.
And there is no limit on the size of the debts they can pursue.
If they're successful,
they will recover your money and costs from the debtor.
Have you got the cash now then?
As well as their own fees, which are set by the Government.
She's paid, the judgment is settled.
Thank you very much.
If the sheriffs can't get your money,
they'll ask you to pay a fee of £75 plus VAT.
It's mid-morning and Tommy and Craig are on the outskirts of Birmingham.
They are looking for a man who runs a sandwich business
and who owes thousands of pounds to a former worker.
We're off to go and see Mr Trevor Johnson.
He trades as TJ's Sandwiches.
This one's an employment tribunal case,
so it's clearly a dispute between employer and employee.
The claimant says she'd worked for Mr Johnson for ten years
before he made her redundant without notice.
He also made unauthorised deductions from her wages
and owes her holiday pay.
Mr Johnson didn't attend the hearing
and the tribunal ruled against him by default.
He still hasn't paid and owes £4,036.
As the address on the writ appears to be
for some kind of industrial unit, rather than Mr Johnson's home address,
the sheriffs are hopeful of finding suitable assets.
I think this is actually where they prep and make the sandwiches,
so we'll be looking for the prep tables
and actual machinery that may make the sandwiches,
and refrigerated vehicles is always a good one in places like this,
we'll be looking for them.
Hopefully, we'll get the employee the money
that the court has said that she deserves.
But all this talk of sandwiches is making Tommy hungry.
Oh, I do like a good sandwich, two slices of granary bread, no butter,
some Mexican-style chicken,
some green and black olives with some salsa,
a bit of avocado and some crispy bacon.
That's a lovely sandwich.
It's also unlikely to be on offer today,
but he will happily settle for payment instead.
The sheriffs reach their destination and head in in search of Mr Johnson.
-Is Mr Johnson about?
Can he be contacted at all?
Has anybody got his number?
No? Who's in charge whilst he's not here?
So, there's no-one in charge and no-one can contact the boss.
Craig is sceptical.
Nobody has got his telephone number at all?
Who would you phone in an emergency?
You just deal with it yourselves?
I'll explain who I am.
My name is Mr Wild and we are High Court enforcement agents.
We are here today to execute a court order, a High Court writ of control.
So we need to get in contact with Mr Johnson.
As a matter of urgency.
But just then a man emerges from the back.
Hello, sir. Are you Mr Johnson?
Hello, Mr Johnson.
My name's Mr Wild.
It seems Mr Johnson was here all along.
And he now excuses himself momentarily to switch off a machine.
Well, there you go.
All of a sudden, he turns up at the back, so...
Door was open, there, look. He's now trying to tell the staff
they're in the wrong for leaving the door open,
which clearly gave us peaceable access into the industrial unit.
We'll put him right.
When Mr Johnson returns, he asks our cameraman to leave.
Inside, Tommy and Craig explain they're here on behalf
of his former employee and their writ empowers them
to collect just over £4,000.
Otherwise, they'll have to remove goods to cover the value instead.
Thankfully, Mr Johnson knows all about the debt
and the sheriffs are spared the task of working out
whether any of the vehicles outside belong to him
or weighing up the auction value of a whole lot of lettuce
and bread rolls.
He agrees to pay, and half an hour later, Tommy and Craig are leaving,
slightly surprised about how straightforward it was
considering the reception they got when they arrived.
We've gained peaceable access,
met the workers who initially said that our guy wasn't there.
But like the Scarlet Pimpernel, he appeared from the back.
His wife was actually in the office at the front of the building,
so explained the situation and ultimately we got paid in full.
Normally, that would be the end of the matter, but in this case,
today's enforcement is only half the story.
The debt itself was an employment tribunal case,
it appears to be one of two employees.
He's expecting another one to come through quite quickly,
so Tommy explained to him if he can get that resolved before we turn up
it's going to be more financially viable for him to do that.
Following the sheriffs' visit,
Mr Johnson also paid the second tribunal award,
meaning that both of his former employees have now got the money
the employment tribunal said they were owed.
Back in the south-east,
Lawrence and Kev are also looking for a businessmen with a debt to pay.
But this is a very different kind of business
and an unusual case for them.
We are in Epsom in Surrey today.
We are going to see Kieran Midwinter,
trading as Epsom Rocks Tanning.
So, as you probably can guess, it's a tanning salon.
It's for sale of sunbed tubes.
They didn't pay for them.
Mr Midwinter has been taken to court by the supplier of the sunbed tubes.
He didn't defend the case and judgment has been made by default.
He now owes £3,373.
Neither Lawrence nor Kev are especially familiar
with what goes on in a tanning salon.
Not really into sunbeds, to be honest.
I like going on holiday and getting a bit of tan.
I know Lawrence is a fan of that, as well.
Yeah, because there's quite a lot of me to get tanned, really.
I'm pretty sure I remember him telling me he's got yellow Speedos,
I think. I think it is. Is that right?
No, I haven't got any budgie smugglers.
But a holiday seems a million miles away
as they slog through the Epsom traffic.
Yeah, go on.
So, I think parking's going to be a bit of an issue.
Lawrence does manage to bag what he thinks is a good spot.
Only to be disappointed.
Oh! Permit holders only.
I'll stay here if you want. Just give us a shout if you need us.
Yeah. All right, mate.
Let me know if them beauty technicians give you any grief.
Right, if they jump me and, like, pin me to the floor, you mean?
Yeah, them sunbed assistants.
So Lawrence heads to the debtors on foot,
while Kev does the decent thing and minds the van.
It's not always ideal to leave Lawrence on his own.
For safety reasons more than anything.
But there's nothing worse than getting a parking ticket,
so Lawrence will be all right in the sunbed shop on his own.
The sheriffs are banking on the tanning salon
being a fairly unthreatening environment.
They obviously hadn't factored in the soundtrack.
LOUD DANCE MUSIC
Hello, sir. I'm looking for Kieran Midwinter.
Would that be yourself, sir?
It is indeed the man named on the High Court writ.
Lawrence tells him he's got an unpaid debt
and that's he's here to collect.
MUSIC VOLUME DECREASES
That's better. I'm here today to take control of goods
to the value of £3373.41.
The only way to prevent further action is to pay in full, sir.
So that's what the debt is.
While they do, our cameraman has to step outside.
Mr Midwinter tells Lawrence he didn't know about the debt,
but he doesn't dispute it and wants to pay,
only he doesn't have the money.
The gentleman didn't appear to know anything about it.
He knew there was an original small debt
but he didn't realise it had gone to a debt collection company, etc, etc.
He hasn't been running the salon himself for quite a while.
He's only just gone back in there,
so it looks like any of the post that went there
with regards to this he didn't actually get.
Whether the staff threw it away or whatever, I don't know.
Lawrence has explained to Mr Midwinter
that if he doesn't come up with the money
then he'll remove his sunbeds,
and soon the pair agree to a creative solution
to the problem, as a slightly bemused Kev
explains from the comfort of the van.
OK, so I got an update from Lawrence.
The debtor, he has sold his car recently.
The money for that is actually at another premises
which is about 20 miles from here.
That would cover the debt that we're after.
20 miles from here, maybe,
but just a few miles from the sheriffs' office
and their colleague Tommy.
It's a bit long-winded and round the houses
but hopefully Tommy can go and collect this money,
give us a call that he's collected it
and we can be off from here without removing goods.
Tommy may not be used to playing the role of Lawrence's courier,
but his help will save the sheriffs hours of time
and possibly get their client paid quicker.
Half an hour later, his efforts have paid off
and Lawrence explains his tactics.
There are three sunbeds in total and they'd all be a bit
of an effort to remove,
and they wouldn't have sold for very much anyway.
And with that in mind,
Lawrence is satisfied they have made the right call.
He's paid £2,810 off the debt today
and I've got a controlled goods agreement in place
and he's got to pay just under £600 in two weeks' time
to clear the debt, so I'm quite happy with that.
Thank you, Tommy.
Today, enforcement agents Tommy and Craig
have been working in the Midlands, and in the middle of the afternoon,
their third call of the day leads them into the city.
We are in the centre of Birmingham more or less today,
off to a limited company called Zebra Worldwide Machinery Ltd.
It's run by a Simon Graham Wintermore.
We believe it's in relation to a machine that he supplied.
The claimant is a customer who wasn't happy with a lathe he bought.
He took the matter to court and won a judgment against the company,
but he didn't receive his money.
Two months down the line,
the sheriffs are hoping to collect £5,834.
But as they approach, it doesn't look promising.
It's all locked up, mate.
That doesn't look good, does it?
The sheriffs park up and ring the bell.
Big old place, isn't it?
It's a huge unit, but the shutters are down
and there's no sight or sound of heavy machinery.
Can't hear any noise.
Just when they're beginning to suspect this visit is a lost cause,
the door opens.
Hello, sir. Trying to get in contact with Mr Simon Graham Wintermore.
My name's Mr Wilde, I'm a High Court enforcement agent.
OK, so I need to leave the door open.
Yes, I have to. No, sir.
It's a commercial property. We can force entry if we need to.
-Yes, we have.
-We've got a court order to come in.
Are you Mr Wintermore?
I'll wait here.
The door needs to stay open, we need to speak to him.
Otherwise, we'll have to force entry and get the police.
No way, sir.
We'll stay here until he comes down.
The last thing the sheriffs want is to get locked out.
Although they could legally force entry if they needed to,
it's a situation they'd rather avoid.
We weren't going to let the door be shut on us.
We'll be polite to these people as much as we can,
but we are here with the authority of the courts to do our job.
For now, they are happy to wait at the entrance
where they've got a decent view of the assets.
This lot, they are lathes, aren't they?
They are pillar drills.
That looks like a guillotine cutter.
That's a scrubber, a floor polisher thing.
The machines might be a challenge to remove,
but they definitely have value.
Meanwhile, a man emerges from the office upstairs.
What do you think? Is that the same guy?
No, it's a different guy.
-Can I help you? Hold on, that's a camera crew.
It is indeed the company boss,
but on spotting our camera he is less than pleased.
We are asked to leave and it's left to Tommy and Craig inside
to explain that it's time for Zebra to pay its debts.
The answer isn't exactly what they expected.
The boss says he's already paid and produces proof
of a recent bank transfer.
On closer inspection, it appears he's made a payment
direct to the claimant's solicitor,
but it's only for the amount owed
before the case was transferred to the High Court.
The director is not happy at all because he's saying
the payment he made, he thought it was going to resolve the case.
Obviously, court action has been taken
and that's why we are here today,
and he needs to deal with us, but he's not happy at all.
Because he didn't pay to begin with,
Mr Wintermore now owes another £868.
He's not happy.
Nevertheless, he reaches for his credit card,
and the sheriffs are soon on their way,
satisfied they have carried out the Court's wishes.
Got a bit fruity on the door, one of the employees.
We managed to put the foot in the door, secured the access.
The director produced evidence that he paid direct
to the claimant's legal representation, just under £5,000.
So we've checked that out, that's come off the bill
leaving a short balance outstanding
which we have just collected in full.
It didn't come to listing down the company's goods,
but aside from the valuable machines they first saw,
there was one asset inside that made quite an impression.
Oh, yeah, the zebra head.
There was a zebra head mounted in his office.
But for now, the boss's machines and taxidermy are safe.
The sheriffs are leaving with payment in full
and the claimant has got their money back.
Mr Wintermore told us he did offer the claimant who bought the lathe
an alternative machine and says he wasn't aware he owed any fees
at the time he made the payment.
Lawrence and Kev seize equipment from a sports car specialist on behalf of a customer whose car was left dripping oil after a botched repair.
Tommy and Craig have a tricky assignment trying to recover money at a residential address, and the sheriffs face resistance from a worker whilst trying to enter a Midlands factory.