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-Meet the sheriffs.
-My name's Mr Griggs. My colleague and I are Enforcement Agents.
We're here with a High Court order today.
They work for the High Court and if a judge says you're owed money,
it's the sheriffs' job to go and get it.
-Hey, all the keys.
-I'm going to be calling a locksmith.
They can demand payment on the spot...
What can you pay us now?
-You're going to get the cash, are you?
-Are you paying the bill?
..or remove assets instead.
You've got 30 minutes to make the payment.
Or we'll start removing stuff from the building.
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.
-Don't lie to me.
Every year, sheriffs in England and Wales recover unpaid debts totalling
more than £18 million.
Coming up - Rob and Gerald have a debt to recover at a London car dealer.
We're going to put a clamp on the vehicle and Rob's then going to tell
them we're going to remove the vehicle if it's not paid.
But with a 12-grand Range Rover's fate hanging in the balance,
all doesn't go to plan.
You are now committing a criminal offence
-by obstructing an enforcement agent in the execution of a High Court writ.
-You're taking my car.
Sharon Tofts was unfairly dismissed from her nursing home job,
but hasn't been paid.
A big company and a little carer - you just don't normally win.
She sends in the sheriffs to get what she's owed.
And Simon Brook hasn't been paid by a customer.
I was getting more and more frustrated.
I just fit a door and I expect to be paid for it.
So Jess and Jamie visit the debtor at home and get more than they bargained for.
No, you won't be knocking him out. That won't be happening.
There are more than 40,000 successful employment tribunal cases each year
and the average award is over £7,000.
But not everyone gets what they're owed.
If you've been treated unfairly and won your case,
but your ex-employer doesn't pay up,
the sheriffs can visit them on your behalf.
Today, Gerald and Rob are doing just that.
This afternoon we're heading down to West Sussex.
We're looking for a company called Medicrest Limited, erm,
based at the Homelands Nursing Home.
They owe just over £10,000,
but Rob's done his research and reckons Medicrest Limited should be good for it.
Basic accounts that we've seen show the company to be currently valued,
or valued last year, at £3.1 million
with almost a quarter of a million pound cash in the bank.
So this, hopefully, will be sufficiently discharged
by the defendant as quickly as possible.
The employment tribunal award should have been paid to Sharon Tofts,
mother of two, and a former carer at Homelands Nursing Home.
Sharon wanted to go back to work
after taking a career-break to bring up her children and look after her mother.
My mum had died of cancer aged 60 and I had nursed her.
I just felt that my skills were in looking after vulnerable people that needed me.
It's quite a rewarding job.
She started work at Homelands,
providing day-to-day care for people suffering with dementia.
It's quite a demanding job, because people's lives are at stake.
It is a privilege when you work with the elderly
to be one of the last people they might meet and it's interesting to hear their life stories.
After three years working at the home,
Sharon received some news that was to have a devastating impact on her and her family.
I didn't even get a letter.
The manager told me by text that I had been suspended.
Didn't have any clue what I was supposed to have done.
Sharon was called to a disciplinary hearing and dismissed four days later.
She denied any wrong-doing and felt unfairly treated.
Losing her job and her income was a shattering blow.
It's really scary.
I had to sell up my home,
which was awful, because my children had to relocate schools.
The impact on them was horrendous.
I did hit rock-bottom and the doctor then signed me off
unfit to work through depression and anxiety and stress.
Made miserable by the experience,
Sharon was determined to rebuild her life and her career.
I wanted to support myself and my children -
that's very important to me, to be independent.
I just wanted my reputation cleared.
With no job and no income, she couldn't afford a solicitor.
I had to go and seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau and I was
introduced to a fantastic guy - an employment specialist,
and he basically helped me fight for justice.
With his help, Sharon prepared her case for unfair dismissal.
Without the employment specialist from the CAB,
I couldn't have done any of this. A big company and a little carer.
You know, it's...you know, you just don't normally win.
Sharon submitted her evidence and when Medicrest failed to enter a
defence, judgment went in her favour.
To see it written - this judge, got his name and his signature,
had written, "Sharon Tofts was unfairly dismissed," is priceless.
Despite the award, Medicrest hasn't paid out.
So Sharon has called in the sheriffs.
I do need the money.
And I just want total closure, so I can move on.
So I HAVE to get this, I HAVE to get this money.
In Sussex, Rob and Gerald are pondering the unique challenges
this job poses. As they may well come across the home's residents,
discretion is going to be important.
You would hope that the staff wouldn't want the residents to know
erm, and you would hope they would usher us into a room somewhere
and get this sorted out rather quick.
Rob is also worried that many of the home's assets will be necessary for
looking after its residents and he has no intention of removing them.
Whilst it is a commercial premises, as it's a nursing home,
it does come with its inherent problems.
If they've got vehicles,
we need to be careful that they're not classified as disability transport.
A lot of the equipment,
a lot of the beds will be used for residential care.
Normally, the sheriffs will take just about anything belonging to a
limited company, but in this case, they don't want to disrupt the lives
of the residents, and will tread carefully.
If they've got 40 bedrooms,
but only 20 of them were in use by residents,
then the beds etc from the other 20 rooms could be taken and sold.
After many years in enforcement,
Gerald's got a few thoughts of his own about their destination.
I feel at times I should be in the nursing home,
let alone enforcing at the nursing home.
-Could well be admitting him now.
Moments later, they arrive.
Oh, very nice. Yeah, quite happy live here.
The sheriffs pull up and approach the main entrance...
..give the front door a knock...
Hello, you all right?
-Yes, fine, thank you.
-Good, I was looking for a...
-You all right?
My name's Mr Foster, I'm an enforcement agent,
basically looking for the owner or the director of Medicrest Limited.
The staff member says the boss isn't here,
but gets the manager on the phone.
-Do you want to go in my room?
As Gerald hoped, they're led into a room away from the staff and the residents.
OK, I'm calling today with a High Court writ,
with regards to an outstanding balance owed from a tribunal award
to a Mrs S Tofts.
The manager says they're going to appeal and shouldn't have to pay.
Even on appeal, it doesn't stop enforcement, you see?
We have been issued a High Court writ.
The High Court has authorised us to come here and enforce this matter,
and we're here today to collect or remove assets.
From a nursing home, yes.
As horrible as that sounds, that's what we have to do.
The company may well have plans to appeal,
but no appeal has yet been granted, and no stay on enforcement issued in
the meantime. With the writ still live, Rob needs payment.
If we can get a BACS payment or something like that for the balance,
then that's it - we're gone and we're gone in minutes.
The manager says that if payment is going to be made today,
it will need to be authorised by a company director.
-Did she sound quite, er...?
-She sounded quite positive.
She's not authorised to make a payment,
but she is going to get hold of the director now
and see if she if she can get this sorted.
She's fully aware of the severity of the issue,
but she cannot authorise payment.
It looks like the prospect of two sheriffs searching the place for
unoccupied beds and non-disability-specific vehicles
to remove has done the trick.
They're ushered upstairs to talk to the boss on the phone.
Hello, sir. Yeah, that's fine.
Are you doing a payment straight into our account, are you?
We understood it needed to be paid, but he thought,
as he was looking to appeal it, that nothing would happen in the meantime.
He has taken our bank details and he assures me that he's going to make an
immediate BACS payment into our account.
-Could be a nice little result.
-It's already a nice little result.
With the bank transfer confirmed, they head out.
After a mere 20 minutes in the building,
Rob and Gerald have got the money Sharon was owed -
with a minimum of disruption to the residents of the home.
Obviously, there are people living there -
there are residents in that care home.
The last thing we want to do is upset and disturb them.
Unfortunately, the business failed to pay its debts.
We've had to go and enforce.
And despite the attractions of a comfy care home,
Gerald will have to put off his own retirement for a while.
Unfortunately, Gerald IS in the van.
We'll have to put up with him for a little bit longer yet.
Medicrest didn't have an appeal granted within the statutory 14-day period
and the sheriffs were able to transfer to Sharon the money that was rightfully hers.
Over the moon. The sheriffs went in and got my money for me.
With the ordeal behind her, she is back doing the job she loves.
I'm actually sort of in the community and I drive round to the people in
their own homes and they're sort of much more independent,
but they still just need a little bit of support and help.
It's lovely to think that I'm able to help them achieve that.
It's a very rewarding job.
Using the County Courts to try and recover money you're owed isn't
difficult. 1.5 million money claims are paid every year in England and
Wales - involving anything from faulty goods or poor workmanship to unpaid invoices.
Claims can be filed online, or by post 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.
If they still don't pay, that's when you call the sheriffs.
The work of the sheriffs is in demand like never before.
The number of High Court writs being enforced across England and Wales
has risen dramatically in recent years.
Their success depends on convincing debtors to pay up,
or instead, finding something they own to take control of.
High Court Enforcement Agents Rob Foster and Gerald Anderson have one
of best collection rates in the business.
Today, in North London,
their skills as detectives and negotiators are going to be tested
to the full before they can get their client what's owed to him.
I'm looking for Kamran Khalid, trading as Motor Zone Trade,
which we believe to be a garage, a car sales place.
The sheriffs often head off to a job with scant information -
just the name of their debtor, an address and an amount to collect.
But today, Rob and Gerald are armed with some useful background.
This particular case is regarding a car that our claimant in this matter
bought from this garage.
It didn't appear to be fit for purpose.
It went back into the garage for repairs the first time, and took an awful long time to repair.
It went in a second time, and wasn't even repaired on the second occasion.
Our client therefore took them to court and won his case against them.
In fact, Kamran Khalid did not contest the case and a judgment was made in favour of the claimant.
Mr Khalid was ordered to pay compensation. When he failed to pay,
the claimant called in the sheriffs and provided them with a dossier on Mr Khalid and his company -
Motor Zone Trade.
Today, the debt stands at £2,599.50.
He supplied us with a bit of background information,
so we've been supplied with a picture of our defendant.
Don't know how old this picture is,
but this is what we've been provided with.
And he's also supplied us with a couple of Facebook posts showing a Range Rover
for sale under the name of Motor Zone Trade.
They find the address, a small industrial estate behind some houses.
Is it here, is it?
And almost immediately, Rob spots a Range Rover through the gate.
That may be the Range Rover that was on the listing.
-Do you want me to go out and open that gate?
-Yeah, go on.
There are a number of different units, and it looks as if multiple
companies are trading here.
The Range Rover plate matches the one in their dossier,
but there's no Motor Zone Trade signage anywhere.
It looks like it's going to be a difficult day for Rob and Gerald.
First impressions are...
This ain't going to go well.
Time to start asking some questions.
-You all right, mate?
-Is Mr Khalid about?
-Looking for Kamran Khalid.
-Is he about?
-I don't know the guy.
All right, Motor Zone Trade?
-I don't know him.
The man doesn't seem to know very much at all about Mr Khalid
or Motor Zone Trade,
so Rob and Gerald head into the first building.
You all right? I was looking for Kamran.
Is he about?
He's not, and this isn't Motor Zone Trade, either.
Very little to nothing in there anyway.
Where's his place, then? Where's Motor Zone?
How do? Is this Motor Zone?
It's another no.
The debtor's not here and he doesn't have an office.
But the men confirm these are his cars.
There's something not quite right.
Motor Zone's whereabouts is a bit of a mystery,
but the assets here give the sheriffs an advantage.
Rob's got Kamran Khalid's number on file,
so calls him up to let him know they're going to take control of the vehicles.
We're Enforcement Agents enforcing a High Court writ.
We're on your yard at the moment.
Any chance you could come down and see me?
Mr Khalid says he is away on holiday and can't get to the yard.
But that doesn't mean he doesn't have to settle the debt.
We've got a High Court writ that commands payment in full or the removal of assets.
What I can do is send you our bank details for you to do a bank
transfer, but we need payment in full now, or we're going to remove cars.
He doesn't deny he owes the money, but tells Rob that's not possible,
because nothing at the yard belongs to Motor Zone Trade.
The Range Rover is listed on your website under Motor Zone Trade.
All right, who does it belong to?
And what about all the other cars here - who do they belong to?
Mr Khalid says some are on sale on behalf of customers and the rest
belong to another business on site,
but Gerald's already spoken to them and he thinks otherwise.
They maintain cars. They do not sell cars.
All these cars that are here belong to this...er,
the defendant we're looking for.
As for the Range Rover with the £12,000 price tag,
that, apparently, belongs to the site's landlord.
All I need to see is proof.
What you're going to need to do is try and get hold of the landlord of
the property to come down with his proof of ownership for the Range Rover
and you're going to have to get somebody out with proof of ownership for the other cars
at the address, otherwise they're going to have to be removed.
The owner of the Range Rover is also apparently away -
more than 4,000 miles away in Abu Dhabi.
Mr Khalid says the only two cars he personally owns aren't there -
they're parked on his driveway at home.
Fine, that's no problem at all.
The client's given us the home address,
so we'll go to home address and take the two cars that are there.
Yes, I can assure you it does work like that, and we can do that.
Rob's gradually getting his point across.
Mr Khalid now offers a part-payment in a month's time.
Rob's not interested.
There's enough assets here to clear the debt today.
I can't accept the deal. As much as you want me to accept a deal,
I can't accept a deal. It needs to be paid in full or we have to remove.
He tells Mr Khalid if he wants to keep the cars,
then he needs to try and get some money together and call him back.
We'll see what he comes back with, but it is only a £2,500 balance.
For a trading car company, that should be no problem.
While they wait for a decision,
a man who works for another business in the yard turns up,
and the sheriffs take their chance to get some more information.
Have you seen the guy that comes here and sells cars -
if I show you a picture of him?
I see him every day. Yeah, I think that's him. That looks like him.
When was the last time you seen Mr Khalid here?
So the chance of him, "I'm on holiday," is slim?
Very slim. I think very slim.
Cheers, mate, thank you very much.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Khalid gets back in contact.
Whether he's on holiday or not,
he hasn't made arrangements to pay and is still arguing about who owns
-the Range Rover.
-The defendant has texted back now,
saying that the owner of the Range Rover is coming.
-I thought he was in Abu Dhabi.
-That's exactly it.
He said the rest of the cars all belong to a third party.
He said, "I'll get the owner to come down with proof of ownership now".
Going to the extreme of removing the cars will be expensive for the debtor
and the sheriffs would much prefer some money.
If Mr Khalid can provide documents showing the cars don't belong to him,
the sheriffs won't have any choice but to leave the yard empty-handed.
But for now, the Range Rover looks like the only option.
I'm just going to put a clamp on the vehicle and Rob's then going to give
a bell to the defendants.
Tell him his time is up,
and tell him we're going to remove the vehicle if it's not paid.
The sheriffs have been at Motor Zone Trade for nearly two hours and
they've run out of patience.
All right, that's now clamped.
Nice car, but fair bit of damage to it.
We've given him until two o'clock to make payment in full or we'll
escalate now to removal.
Later, the Range Rover is in the air above their heads when there's
dramatic last-minute development.
No, no, no, no. You can't take my car. This is my car, this is my yard.
We've left the letter with all our contact details...
No, no, no, no. This is my car, my friend!
The sheriffs never know what sort of welcome they'll get when they turn up at someone's front door.
But High Court Enforcement Agents Jess Paton and Jamie Wykes are both
former prison officers
and reckon they can take just about any situation in their stride.
We are looking for Mr Chris Sargent.
We've got a debt of £1,210.30.
Mr Sargent owes the money after refusing to pay for his new front door.
Simon Brook was the man hired to install it.
He had recently decided on a career change
and bought into a national door fitters' as a franchisee.
It was a big decision.
It's the franchise fee that you have to pay upfront.
I've also had to buy my own van and tools and kit myself out there.
So it's not a decision that is taken lightly.
Having taken the plunge, Simon was pleased when he started getting orders.
One of the first was from Mr Sargent and Simon went along to measure up.
He seemed a likeable fella.
He lived in a nice house.
Me being interested in cars,
noticed that he had got a nice Porche and she drove and Audi A5.
I thought, "The money won't be a problem here."
They agreed a date for it to be fitted and Simon ordered and paid
for the bespoke door to be made up according to his new customer's specifications.
When I came to fit the door,
Chris wasn't actually in but his partner was,
and she seemed to be quite surprised that I was there but I said I'd made
the appointment to come and see Chris
and she said, "Oh, that's fine, yeah, go ahead with the door."
She disappeared to walk the dogs and went horse riding.
Simon continued with his work undeterred, and finished the job without any problems.
It was a nice-looking door and...
You know, I'd like to pride myself thinking I did a good job and it,
and it looked nice when it was finished.
When she returned, it seemed Mr Sargent's partner agreed.
I said, "OK, if you're happy, I need to have payment, which was arranged,"
and she said that needed to be done by Chris, who wasn't there.
He was actually in London, but I should speak to him over the phone.
They had agreed payment on completion, so Simon called Mr Sargent.
He said he'd pay, but not in the way Simon expected.
He said that he would send a cheque.
I don't normally take cheque payments, but I reluctantly accepted that,
and waited for the cheque payment to come.
-Simon was soon reminded why he didn't want to accept a cheque in the first place.
I waited about a week or so,
contacted him and said, "I've not received a cheque."
He seemed to be quite surprised and said that he would do a bank transfer
and once again, nothing came of that.
Simon was out of pocket and it wasn't just a day's labour, either,
because he'd paid hundreds of pounds to have the door made in the first place.
He started to worry that his new venture was doomed.
It made me very, very nervous.
I hadn't been fitting doors for that long.
Cash flow was a little bit tight.
I thought, "Is it worth me carrying on?"
Because I can't afford to be giving a free door away.
Simon contacted Mr Sargent several times, requesting payment,
but despite the early promises, got nowhere.
Feeling aggrieved, he decided that he wasn't going to let Mr Sargent get away with it.
I was getting more and more frustrated.
I just fit a door and I expect to be paid for it.
It's more about the principle that this guy
was going to get away with not paying and that was at my expense.
That rattled me.
Simon took the case to court and the judgment was issued in his favour.
But still there was no payment.
Even a visit from the court bailiffs made no difference.
For Simon, there's now only one hope of getting what he is owed.
Really at my wit's end and not expecting to get any money back,
I've enlisted the sheriffs to come in and hopefully they can...
..pick up my money and we can put an end to this long saga.
In Cambridgeshire, Jess and Jamie are nearing Chris Sargent's house.
They've been given the details of the two cars Simon saw,
but it's not good news.
Unfortunately, they're both on finance,
so we're going to have to basically turn up and hope that he's going to
pay and we can get contact with someone.
The sheriffs don't have power to force entry at residential addresses,
and without much in the way of leverage,
they'll be relying on their powers of persuasion.
It's not a massive amount on this one.
We might get a payment there and then.
Otherwise, it's going to be a case of leaving a letter,
give them 24 hours to pay and see if we get a phone call back from him.
By the time they arrive, it's gone 9am and it doesn't look as if anyone's at home.
-There's nothing there.
But the sheriffs aren't about to give up that quickly.
Jess knocks on the as-yet-unpaid-for front door.
But there's no answer.
No, they're not in. There's about four Staffies in there going mental.
The front door looks nice and new,
but just to make sure they've got the right address, Jess checks with a neighbour.
Hello, my love. Sorry to bother you, I'm Mr Paton, High Court enforcement group.
Just next door, do you happen to know if Chris Sargent lives next door, do you?
I hate being this un-organised.
It is the right address, so they leave a letter,
giving Mr Sargent 24 hours to settle the debt.
So there's not a lot more we can really do at the moment.
Just come back next week.
Deflated, the sheriffs leave, thinking they won't get Simon's money today.
But just then, a man in a car waves them down.
-For a Mr Simon Brook?
-What's it about?
It's something to do with a door.
That's all I know. That's all I've got.
It's the debtor, Mr Sargent.
Someone's given him a phone call. He's shot back to his house.
Basically, he's asked what the matter's about.
He's confirmed he's the defendant we're after.
He's saying, "Look," he goes,
"I'll pay it now, I'll transfer the funds now for you."
Mr Sargent pulls away and parks outside his house.
I'm just going back down to see him. I'm going to keep it at stage one.
The simple reason is we're still here,
basically and he's going to pay it straight away. He's not said "I'm not going to pay it".
-He's in there.
-He's going to pay it straight away.
Erm... So I'm going to go back down and speak to him and then get it sorted.
But before Jamie can get out of the van, Mr Sargent's back.
And he doesn't seem particularly happy to see our camera.
We turn the camera away from Mr Sargent.
No, you won't be knocking him out. That won't be happening.
Yeah, well, don't... Don't...
Then you should know better than to do that, shouldn't you?
No, you should know better than to do that.
Actually, while we're here and while he's out on a public street, you can film. OK?
I'll come around and speak to you.
I'm not having this geezer...
Eventually, Mr Sargent calms down
and goes back to his house with Jamie to make the payment.
The gentleman has now got a little bit agitated,
obviously, because the cameras are here, making threats towards yourself, um,
going on about he's been in the paras for 14 years.
He should know better than to
be making statements like that that he's going to knock you out,
because that's not going to happen today, anyway,
so Jamie's took him down there to take payment off of him and we'll see if he makes the payment now.
Jess's 25 years in the Prison Service have left
him unfazed by confrontation.
When people talk about what they're going to do,
they're not normally going to do it.
You learn to talk people down more, rather than let it escalate,
just kill it stone dead.
Jamie returns and it sounds like good news.
Because he hasn't beat around the bush, he said, "Yeah, I'll pay it straightaway,"
-we've got to keep it at stage one.
-He's paid, has he?
-Yes, he's paid it today.
OK, terrific. Well, that's a result.
-It's a result, yeah.
-Paid in full.
-Paid in full.
Good to go. All right, good to go, mate.
I was trying to distract him by taking him back down to his house,
take him away from the situation and speak to him.
Which I did do. I got him down to his house.
His wife even come out the window and said, "Why haven't you paid it?
"You know, stop trying to mug people off, just get it paid."
For Simon Brook, it is the relief he's been waiting for.
After many sleepless nights and heartache and pain,
and the genuine thought that my money had gone down the Old Kent Road,
eventually, speedy results from the sheriffs, got paid,
which was the initial delight.
But also the delight that he'd not got away with it.
When debtors can't pay on the spot...
-Are you going to pay the bill?
-What do you mean, "No"?
..the sheriffs won't always remove assets.
Goods go for almost a fifth of their true value at auction and it's often
better to agree a payment plan.
Do you reckon you can do 200 a week?
They'll make a list of assets...
-That's a nice motor.
Seven wrist bracelets.
..and a Controlled Goods Agreement is signed,
making it an offence for anyone else to remove them.
You sign it, I sign it.
The Sheriffs will only return to take the goods
if the debtor fails to make payments.
I've signed him for £1,000 a month.
Providing you stick to that, you won't hear from us again.
High Court Enforcement Agents Rob and Gerald are at Motor Zone Trade
in North London, trying to recover £2,599 from boss, Kamran Khalid.
Mr Khalid hasn't come to the yard.
He has told the sheriffs he is on holiday.
So far, he's only offered to pay part of the debt, but in a month's time.
Yeah, I can't accept the deal. As much as you want me to accept a deal,
I can't accept a deal. It needs to be paid in full.
The sheriffs have found a Range Rover in his yard,
but he says it's not his.
The onus is on him, however, to bring down the paperwork to prove it,
and if he doesn't, the sheriffs are entitled to sell the vehicle
to recover what he owes.
I'm surprised nobody's turned up and I'm EXPECTING somebody to turn up.
Removing vehicles is expensive for debtors and a last resort for the
sheriffs, but today there's no other option.
I've phoned him, I've spoken to him, I've warned him, I've texted him,
I've warned him. What else can I do?
-I think he's had his time.
-Had nothing from him?
-No, nothing at all.
-Shall we go for it?
-I will start filling out the removal form.
As Gerald makes the call for the truck, Rob gets a message from Mr Khalid.
The defendant has texted back offering to pay half the balance
two weeks from now and the remaining half of the balance about a week or so after.
It's a better offer than the one he made earlier,
but it's still not very good.
Nevertheless, Rob calls the claimant and puts it to him.
Hi, it's Rob Foster from the Sheriffs Office, it is.
What he's offered is half the balance on 7th August, and half a couple of weeks later.
The man who's owed the money isn't impressed either and turns it down.
Absolutely. We assumed that was going to be the case.
I just thought I'd run it past you just in case.
We've got the Range Rover clamped at the moment and
we've got recovery on the way to pick it up.
We'll get this Range Rover gone for now and my office will send you a
report in due course and we'll go from there.
With the decision made and no further word from the debtor,
all they have to do is wait for the truck to arrive.
-This could be our recovery.
-You all right?
And after a quick check around the vehicle...
A crack in the rear lights. Scuffs on the bumper there, Gerald?
All wheels are kerb-scuffed.
The hooks are on, but before they can get the car in the air,
there's a last-minute intervention.
A man appears and tells the sheriffs they've got no right to be there.
-This is private premises.
-We have a writ to enforce here, you see.
Without asking the owner, you no have a right to be here.
-We do with the writ, we can do it.
-On the other side of gate, I'm afraid.
We're just going to put this on, two minutes, and we'll be gone.
That's it - finished. If you don't think we should be here,
by all means you call the police and I'll show the police and they will say, "Yes, you CAN be here."
He can't send the sheriffs to the other side of his gate,
but he does ask our cameraman to leave.
We film from the road,
as 2.7 tonnes of Range Rover is craned out of its parking spot,
then lowered on to the back of the low-loader.
Gerald and the driver try to get the car out of the yard as soon as possible.
But at that very moment, a van pulls up right behind them.
Oh, who's this?
It's the landlord -
the man who's supposed to be 4,000 miles away in Abu Dhabi.
-Yeah, I'm the owner.
-It seems he is not overseas at all.
He's here. And he's blocked the truck in.
This is MY car, because I left it.
-This is my yard and I left it for them to service.
-And this is a log book.
-This is my car.
You can't take my car, my friend.
We've left a letter with all our contact details on.
No, no, no. This is my car, my friend.
-Look, this is...look.
-I'm the owner of the yard.
He could have come here hours ago. It's always the same.
Once the truck comes and they get it on the back of the truck, then everything happens.
The landlord's got a bundle full of documents
that he thinks proves it's his car.
The V5 is in his name,
but it's common for dealers not to change it
until selling the vehicle on.
-No, I'm the owner. I'm the owner. I can prove the receipt.
-I can prove the receipt.
As it says there, "This document is not proof of ownership".
But I'm the owner, I can prove the invoice for you.
-Yeah? Well, you'll have to prove that to the courts.
-But this is...
It's a difficult situation for the Sheriffs.
They have no option but to continue,
unless the man can provide concrete evidence that the car is still his
- and with the paperwork he brought, he can't do that.
He's still refusing to let the truck leave.
You are now committing a criminal offence
by obstructing an Enforcement Agent
in the execution of a High Court writ.
-You're taking my car.
-The only way to stop this at the moment
-is by speaking to Mr Khalid and getting him to settle it.
-It's a stand-off.
Rob's already spent most of his day at the garage
and is in no mood to stay any longer.
He gets on to the police.
Essentially, we just need somebody to get him to move his vehicle.
As far as we're concerned, that car's staying on the back and that car's going.
May well as well switch the engine off, then. We'll have to wait for the police.
The landlord's V5 didn't do the trick.
But he's got one more piece of evidence.
Look, I show you.
I went for my knee operation, as well.
Gerald doesn't know much about knees,
but he does know a thing or two about High Court enforcement,
and with the police on the way, he tries to get the man to see sense.
To me, you look a good gentleman.
What I wouldn't want you to do, sir,
is for you now to end up dropping yourself in it
and getting in a little bit of trouble
because of what's happened here.
-The police are on the way down now.
-You've got to understand,
if the police turn up, you could end up being arrested for this.
The only way the Sheriffs will allow the car off the truck now
is for the debt to be paid in full,
and the landlord suddenly has a bright idea.
It's OK, it's OK. I'll pay the money. How much he owes you?
I can't ask you to pay the money.
No, no, please I'd rather...
How much? Please.
How much, how much money? How much money?
The man's offering to pay the debt on Mr Khalid's behalf.
But with the truck here, the bill's gone up from the initial £2,599.
The balance at the moment is £4,226.
He hasn't got the cash,
but makes a card payment for the full amount.
I didn't want to go through all this court problem.
I caught up in such a situation, where I had to lose over £4,000.
Whether I'm going to get it or not,
it's better than losing my car over £10,000.
I was a bit nervous
and I was a bit upset for my car and sorry for causing you a problem.
The Range Rover is gently lowered back to earth
and there are smiles all round.
-All right, no worries.
The landlord is no doubt planning on asking his tenant for the return
of his £4,226.
He's now had his vehicle back,
lots of handshakes and hugs, very happy man, all sorted.
The claimant will now be refunded
for the faulty car he bought from Mr Khalid.
High Court Enforcement Agents Lawrence Grix and Kev McNally
are in North West London,
on their way to a travel agents specialising in discount flights
and tour packages.
We're in Harrow. We're going to EmailFlights.
Looking for £1,905.
I believe this is a compensation claim.
The claimant in this case had been organising a trip to Mexico.
EmailFlights took his cash and booked him on to a flight.
But when he went to check in,
there was no record of the booking and no seat in his name.
He had to buy another one and that cost him double the original price.
When he claimed compensation,
EmailFlights didn't contest the case
and a judgment was made in his favour.
But he still hasn't got his money, and that's why Lawrence and Kev
are dropping in on the travel agents.
Given the company's name,
Kev reckons he's worked out exactly what EmailFlights
will have in the way of assets.
-They'll have a computer.
-Just one computer.
And an e-mail address.
That's about it, really. Maybe a chair.
Kev does the research.
Lawrence drives the van. That's how we roll.
In the words of Manuel, the late, great Andrew Sachs,
"I know nothing".
As they approach their destination,
Lawrence and Kev once again prove their slick teamwork.
-Where are we going?
-Just over there somewhere.
It's that second one in, innit?
The glass-fronted place?
Contrary to Kev's earlier predictions,
EmailFlights looks like a well-established business
with a proper shop front on a busy high street in Harrow.
But finding somewhere to park is never easy in London.
I did research parking, funnily enough,
but Lawrence is dithering and missed all the spaces!
-We've just gone round in a big loop.
-Back in that same road, yeah.
I'll go in there and I'll leave you in the van. Temporarily.
Yeah, I'll give you a shout if I need you. It's...
I've left Kev in the van,
cos I've had to park quite awkwardly...
And I'll, I'll give him a shout if we need him.
Ah. Ah, here it is.
Morning, who's in charge?
Lawrence quickly takes up the invitation to go upstairs
to their offices before anyone can change their minds.
We've done it, cos I just asked you who's in charge
and you said to me upstairs, so I'll go upstairs.
You're in charge, yeah?
You're in charge, sir?
My name's Mr Grix.
I'm an Enforcement Agent.
I've got a High Court writ
to enforce against EmailFlights in favour of a Mr...
Our cameraman is asked to leave, so he does,
and 20 minutes later, Lawrence follows.
EmailFlights has paid the debt in full.
That went very well. They knew about the case, they were aware of it.
They've actually phoned the court
and they're trying to take it back to court,
their argument being it's the airline that should've paid
the compensation and the airline that should've been sued.
Regardless of any disagreement between the airline
and the travel agent,
Lawrence's job is to execute the High Court writ
and get the claimant the money he's owed,
and as far as he's concerned, it's job done.
They've basically just paid online with the card for the full amount
to get rid of me today
and they're going to seek independent legal advice
over what they can do next.
Yeah, all in all, another paid in full.
Happy days, on to the next one.
EmailFlights told us: