Episode 1 The Sheriffs Are Coming


Episode 1

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Transcript


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-Meet the sheriffs.

-My name's Mr Griggs. My colleague and I are Enforcement Agents.

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We're here with a High Court order today.

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They work for the High Court and if a judge says you're owed money,

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it's the sheriffs' job to go and get it.

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-Hey, all the keys.

-I'm going to be calling a locksmith.

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They can demand payment on the spot...

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What can you pay us now?

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-You're going to get the cash, are you?

-Are you paying the bill?

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..or remove assets instead.

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You've got 30 minutes to make the payment.

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Or we'll start removing stuff from the building.

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You'll have a week to pay in full before it gets sold at auction.

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Obstructing their work can be a criminal offence.

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I wouldn't do that if I were you.

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-Don't lie to me.

-No messing.

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Every year, sheriffs in England and Wales recover unpaid debts totalling

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more than £18 million.

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Coming up - Rob and Gerald have a debt to recover at a London car dealer.

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We're going to put a clamp on the vehicle and Rob's then going to tell

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them we're going to remove the vehicle if it's not paid.

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But with a 12-grand Range Rover's fate hanging in the balance,

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all doesn't go to plan.

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You are now committing a criminal offence

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-by obstructing an enforcement agent in the execution of a High Court writ.

-You're taking my car.

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Sharon Tofts was unfairly dismissed from her nursing home job,

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but hasn't been paid.

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A big company and a little carer - you just don't normally win.

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She sends in the sheriffs to get what she's owed.

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And Simon Brook hasn't been paid by a customer.

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I was getting more and more frustrated.

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I just fit a door and I expect to be paid for it.

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So Jess and Jamie visit the debtor at home and get more than they bargained for.

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No, you won't be knocking him out. That won't be happening.

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There are more than 40,000 successful employment tribunal cases each year

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and the average award is over £7,000.

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But not everyone gets what they're owed.

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If you've been treated unfairly and won your case,

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but your ex-employer doesn't pay up,

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the sheriffs can visit them on your behalf.

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Today, Gerald and Rob are doing just that.

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This afternoon we're heading down to West Sussex.

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We're looking for a company called Medicrest Limited, erm,

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based at the Homelands Nursing Home.

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They owe just over £10,000,

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but Rob's done his research and reckons Medicrest Limited should be good for it.

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Basic accounts that we've seen show the company to be currently valued,

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or valued last year, at £3.1 million

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with almost a quarter of a million pound cash in the bank.

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So this, hopefully, will be sufficiently discharged

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by the defendant as quickly as possible.

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The employment tribunal award should have been paid to Sharon Tofts,

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mother of two, and a former carer at Homelands Nursing Home.

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Sharon wanted to go back to work

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after taking a career-break to bring up her children and look after her mother.

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My mum had died of cancer aged 60 and I had nursed her.

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I just felt that my skills were in looking after vulnerable people that needed me.

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It's quite a rewarding job.

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She started work at Homelands,

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providing day-to-day care for people suffering with dementia.

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It's quite a demanding job, because people's lives are at stake.

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It is a privilege when you work with the elderly

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to be one of the last people they might meet and it's interesting to hear their life stories.

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After three years working at the home,

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Sharon received some news that was to have a devastating impact on her and her family.

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I didn't even get a letter.

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The manager told me by text that I had been suspended.

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Didn't have any clue what I was supposed to have done.

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Sharon was called to a disciplinary hearing and dismissed four days later.

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She denied any wrong-doing and felt unfairly treated.

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Losing her job and her income was a shattering blow.

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It's really scary.

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I had to sell up my home,

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which was awful, because my children had to relocate schools.

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The impact on them was horrendous.

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I did hit rock-bottom and the doctor then signed me off

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unfit to work through depression and anxiety and stress.

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Made miserable by the experience,

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Sharon was determined to rebuild her life and her career.

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I wanted to support myself and my children -

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that's very important to me, to be independent.

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I just wanted my reputation cleared.

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With no job and no income, she couldn't afford a solicitor.

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I had to go and seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau and I was

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introduced to a fantastic guy - an employment specialist,

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and he basically helped me fight for justice.

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With his help, Sharon prepared her case for unfair dismissal.

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Without the employment specialist from the CAB,

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I couldn't have done any of this. A big company and a little carer.

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You know, it's...you know, you just don't normally win.

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Sharon submitted her evidence and when Medicrest failed to enter a

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defence, judgment went in her favour.

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To see it written - this judge, got his name and his signature,

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had written, "Sharon Tofts was unfairly dismissed," is priceless.

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Despite the award, Medicrest hasn't paid out.

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So Sharon has called in the sheriffs.

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I do need the money.

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And I just want total closure, so I can move on.

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So I HAVE to get this, I HAVE to get this money.

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In Sussex, Rob and Gerald are pondering the unique challenges

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this job poses. As they may well come across the home's residents,

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discretion is going to be important.

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You would hope that the staff wouldn't want the residents to know

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erm, and you would hope they would usher us into a room somewhere

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and get this sorted out rather quick.

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Rob is also worried that many of the home's assets will be necessary for

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looking after its residents and he has no intention of removing them.

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Whilst it is a commercial premises, as it's a nursing home,

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it does come with its inherent problems.

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If they've got vehicles,

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we need to be careful that they're not classified as disability transport.

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A lot of the equipment,

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a lot of the beds will be used for residential care.

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Normally, the sheriffs will take just about anything belonging to a

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limited company, but in this case, they don't want to disrupt the lives

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of the residents, and will tread carefully.

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If they've got 40 bedrooms,

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but only 20 of them were in use by residents,

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then the beds etc from the other 20 rooms could be taken and sold.

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After many years in enforcement,

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Gerald's got a few thoughts of his own about their destination.

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I feel at times I should be in the nursing home,

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let alone enforcing at the nursing home.

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-Could well be admitting him now.

-Thank you!

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HE LAUGHS

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Moments later, they arrive.

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Oh, very nice. Yeah, quite happy live here.

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Geriatric Gerald!

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HE LAUGHS

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The sheriffs pull up and approach the main entrance...

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..give the front door a knock...

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DOOR KNOCKER

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..and wait.

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Hello, you all right?

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-Yes, fine, thank you.

-Good, I was looking for a...

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-You all right?

-Yeah.

-Good.

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My name's Mr Foster, I'm an enforcement agent,

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basically looking for the owner or the director of Medicrest Limited.

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The staff member says the boss isn't here,

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but gets the manager on the phone.

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-Do you want to go in my room?

-Yeah.

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-Yes.

-Hello.

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As Gerald hoped, they're led into a room away from the staff and the residents.

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OK, I'm calling today with a High Court writ,

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with regards to an outstanding balance owed from a tribunal award

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to a Mrs S Tofts.

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The manager says they're going to appeal and shouldn't have to pay.

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Even on appeal, it doesn't stop enforcement, you see?

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We have been issued a High Court writ.

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The High Court has authorised us to come here and enforce this matter,

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and we're here today to collect or remove assets.

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From a nursing home, yes.

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As horrible as that sounds, that's what we have to do.

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The company may well have plans to appeal,

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but no appeal has yet been granted, and no stay on enforcement issued in

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the meantime. With the writ still live, Rob needs payment.

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If we can get a BACS payment or something like that for the balance,

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then that's it - we're gone and we're gone in minutes.

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The manager says that if payment is going to be made today,

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it will need to be authorised by a company director.

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-Did she sound quite, er...?

-She sounded quite positive.

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She's not authorised to make a payment,

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but she is going to get hold of the director now

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and see if she if she can get this sorted.

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She's fully aware of the severity of the issue,

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but she cannot authorise payment.

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It looks like the prospect of two sheriffs searching the place for

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unoccupied beds and non-disability-specific vehicles

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to remove has done the trick.

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They're ushered upstairs to talk to the boss on the phone.

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Hello, sir. Yeah, that's fine.

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Are you doing a payment straight into our account, are you?

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We understood it needed to be paid, but he thought,

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as he was looking to appeal it, that nothing would happen in the meantime.

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He has taken our bank details and he assures me that he's going to make an

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immediate BACS payment into our account.

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-Could be a nice little result.

-It's already a nice little result.

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Hmm.

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With the bank transfer confirmed, they head out.

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After a mere 20 minutes in the building,

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Rob and Gerald have got the money Sharon was owed -

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with a minimum of disruption to the residents of the home.

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Obviously, there are people living there -

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there are residents in that care home.

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The last thing we want to do is upset and disturb them.

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Unfortunately, the business failed to pay its debts.

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We've had to go and enforce.

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And despite the attractions of a comfy care home,

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Gerald will have to put off his own retirement for a while.

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Unfortunately, Gerald IS in the van.

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We'll have to put up with him for a little bit longer yet.

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Medicrest didn't have an appeal granted within the statutory 14-day period

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and the sheriffs were able to transfer to Sharon the money that was rightfully hers.

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Over the moon. The sheriffs went in and got my money for me.

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With the ordeal behind her, she is back doing the job she loves.

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I'm actually sort of in the community and I drive round to the people in

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their own homes and they're sort of much more independent,

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but they still just need a little bit of support and help.

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It's lovely to think that I'm able to help them achieve that.

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It's a very rewarding job.

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Using the County Courts to try and recover money you're owed isn't

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difficult. 1.5 million money claims are paid every year in England and

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Wales - involving anything from faulty goods or poor workmanship to unpaid invoices.

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Claims can be filed online, or by post for a small fee.

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Both parties in the case will be asked to submit evidence and you may have to attend a court hearing.

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If you're successful, a County Court Judgment, or CCJ,

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will be issued against the debtor.

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If they still don't pay, that's when you call the sheriffs.

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The work of the sheriffs is in demand like never before.

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The number of High Court writs being enforced across England and Wales

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has risen dramatically in recent years.

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Their success depends on convincing debtors to pay up,

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or instead, finding something they own to take control of.

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High Court Enforcement Agents Rob Foster and Gerald Anderson have one

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of best collection rates in the business.

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Today, in North London,

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their skills as detectives and negotiators are going to be tested

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to the full before they can get their client what's owed to him.

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I'm looking for Kamran Khalid, trading as Motor Zone Trade,

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which we believe to be a garage, a car sales place.

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The sheriffs often head off to a job with scant information -

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just the name of their debtor, an address and an amount to collect.

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But today, Rob and Gerald are armed with some useful background.

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This particular case is regarding a car that our claimant in this matter

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bought from this garage.

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It didn't appear to be fit for purpose.

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It went back into the garage for repairs the first time, and took an awful long time to repair.

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It went in a second time, and wasn't even repaired on the second occasion.

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Our client therefore took them to court and won his case against them.

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In fact, Kamran Khalid did not contest the case and a judgment was made in favour of the claimant.

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Mr Khalid was ordered to pay compensation. When he failed to pay,

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the claimant called in the sheriffs and provided them with a dossier on Mr Khalid and his company -

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Motor Zone Trade.

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Today, the debt stands at £2,599.50.

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He supplied us with a bit of background information,

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so we've been supplied with a picture of our defendant.

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Don't know how old this picture is,

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but this is what we've been provided with.

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And he's also supplied us with a couple of Facebook posts showing a Range Rover

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for sale under the name of Motor Zone Trade.

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They find the address, a small industrial estate behind some houses.

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Is it here, is it?

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And almost immediately, Rob spots a Range Rover through the gate.

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That may be the Range Rover that was on the listing.

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-Do you want me to go out and open that gate?

-Yeah, go on.

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There are a number of different units, and it looks as if multiple

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companies are trading here.

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The Range Rover plate matches the one in their dossier,

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but there's no Motor Zone Trade signage anywhere.

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It looks like it's going to be a difficult day for Rob and Gerald.

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First impressions are...

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Not great.

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This ain't going to go well.

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Time to start asking some questions.

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-You all right, mate?

-All right?

-Yeah.

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-Is Mr Khalid about?

-Sorry?

-Looking for Kamran Khalid.

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-Is he about?

-I don't know the guy.

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All right, Motor Zone Trade?

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-I don't know him.

-Right, OK.

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The man doesn't seem to know very much at all about Mr Khalid

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or Motor Zone Trade,

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so Rob and Gerald head into the first building.

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You all right? I was looking for Kamran.

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Is he about?

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He's not, and this isn't Motor Zone Trade, either.

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Very little to nothing in there anyway.

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Where's his place, then? Where's Motor Zone?

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How do? Is this Motor Zone?

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It's another no.

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The debtor's not here and he doesn't have an office.

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But the men confirm these are his cars.

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There's something not quite right.

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Motor Zone's whereabouts is a bit of a mystery,

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but the assets here give the sheriffs an advantage.

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Rob's got Kamran Khalid's number on file,

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so calls him up to let him know they're going to take control of the vehicles.

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We're Enforcement Agents enforcing a High Court writ.

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We're on your yard at the moment.

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Any chance you could come down and see me?

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Mr Khalid says he is away on holiday and can't get to the yard.

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But that doesn't mean he doesn't have to settle the debt.

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We've got a High Court writ that commands payment in full or the removal of assets.

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What I can do is send you our bank details for you to do a bank

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transfer, but we need payment in full now, or we're going to remove cars.

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He doesn't deny he owes the money, but tells Rob that's not possible,

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because nothing at the yard belongs to Motor Zone Trade.

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The Range Rover is listed on your website under Motor Zone Trade.

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All right, who does it belong to?

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And what about all the other cars here - who do they belong to?

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Mr Khalid says some are on sale on behalf of customers and the rest

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belong to another business on site,

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but Gerald's already spoken to them and he thinks otherwise.

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They maintain cars. They do not sell cars.

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All these cars that are here belong to this...er,

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the defendant we're looking for.

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As for the Range Rover with the £12,000 price tag,

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that, apparently, belongs to the site's landlord.

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All I need to see is proof.

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What you're going to need to do is try and get hold of the landlord of

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the property to come down with his proof of ownership for the Range Rover

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and you're going to have to get somebody out with proof of ownership for the other cars

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at the address, otherwise they're going to have to be removed.

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The owner of the Range Rover is also apparently away -

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more than 4,000 miles away in Abu Dhabi.

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Mr Khalid says the only two cars he personally owns aren't there -

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they're parked on his driveway at home.

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Fine, that's no problem at all.

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The client's given us the home address,

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so we'll go to home address and take the two cars that are there.

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Yes, I can assure you it does work like that, and we can do that.

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Rob's gradually getting his point across.

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Mr Khalid now offers a part-payment in a month's time.

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Rob's not interested.

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There's enough assets here to clear the debt today.

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I can't accept the deal. As much as you want me to accept a deal,

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I can't accept a deal. It needs to be paid in full or we have to remove.

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He tells Mr Khalid if he wants to keep the cars,

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then he needs to try and get some money together and call him back.

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We'll see what he comes back with, but it is only a £2,500 balance.

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For a trading car company, that should be no problem.

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While they wait for a decision,

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a man who works for another business in the yard turns up,

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and the sheriffs take their chance to get some more information.

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Have you seen the guy that comes here and sells cars -

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if I show you a picture of him?

0:19:000:19:01

I see him every day. Yeah, I think that's him. That looks like him.

0:19:010:19:05

When was the last time you seen Mr Khalid here?

0:19:050:19:08

-Definitely yesterday.

-Yesterday?

-Yesterday, yes.

0:19:080:19:10

So the chance of him, "I'm on holiday," is slim?

0:19:100:19:14

Very slim. I think very slim.

0:19:140:19:17

Cheers, mate, thank you very much.

0:19:170:19:19

Shortly afterwards, Mr Khalid gets back in contact.

0:19:190:19:22

Whether he's on holiday or not,

0:19:220:19:24

he hasn't made arrangements to pay and is still arguing about who owns

0:19:240:19:29

-the Range Rover.

-The defendant has texted back now,

0:19:290:19:33

saying that the owner of the Range Rover is coming.

0:19:330:19:36

-I thought he was in Abu Dhabi.

-That's exactly it.

0:19:360:19:39

He said the rest of the cars all belong to a third party.

0:19:390:19:42

He said, "I'll get the owner to come down with proof of ownership now".

0:19:420:19:45

Going to the extreme of removing the cars will be expensive for the debtor

0:19:460:19:51

and the sheriffs would much prefer some money.

0:19:510:19:54

If Mr Khalid can provide documents showing the cars don't belong to him,

0:19:540:19:58

the sheriffs won't have any choice but to leave the yard empty-handed.

0:19:580:20:02

But for now, the Range Rover looks like the only option.

0:20:020:20:07

I'm just going to put a clamp on the vehicle and Rob's then going to give

0:20:070:20:10

a bell to the defendants.

0:20:100:20:12

Tell him his time is up,

0:20:120:20:15

and tell him we're going to remove the vehicle if it's not paid.

0:20:150:20:18

The sheriffs have been at Motor Zone Trade for nearly two hours and

0:20:180:20:21

they've run out of patience.

0:20:210:20:24

All right, that's now clamped.

0:20:240:20:25

Nice car, but fair bit of damage to it.

0:20:250:20:28

We've given him until two o'clock to make payment in full or we'll

0:20:280:20:30

escalate now to removal.

0:20:300:20:33

Later, the Range Rover is in the air above their heads when there's

0:20:330:20:36

dramatic last-minute development.

0:20:360:20:39

No, no, no, no. You can't take my car. This is my car, this is my yard.

0:20:400:20:43

We've left the letter with all our contact details...

0:20:430:20:45

No, no, no, no. This is my car, my friend!

0:20:450:20:47

The sheriffs never know what sort of welcome they'll get when they turn up at someone's front door.

0:20:520:20:58

But High Court Enforcement Agents Jess Paton and Jamie Wykes are both

0:20:580:21:02

former prison officers

0:21:020:21:04

and reckon they can take just about any situation in their stride.

0:21:040:21:08

We are looking for Mr Chris Sargent.

0:21:100:21:12

We've got a debt of £1,210.30.

0:21:120:21:15

Mr Sargent owes the money after refusing to pay for his new front door.

0:21:170:21:21

Simon Brook was the man hired to install it.

0:21:230:21:26

He had recently decided on a career change

0:21:260:21:28

and bought into a national door fitters' as a franchisee.

0:21:280:21:32

It was a big decision.

0:21:330:21:35

It's the franchise fee that you have to pay upfront.

0:21:360:21:39

I've also had to buy my own van and tools and kit myself out there.

0:21:390:21:44

So it's not a decision that is taken lightly.

0:21:440:21:49

Having taken the plunge, Simon was pleased when he started getting orders.

0:21:500:21:55

One of the first was from Mr Sargent and Simon went along to measure up.

0:21:550:21:59

He seemed a likeable fella.

0:22:010:22:03

He lived in a nice house.

0:22:030:22:05

Me being interested in cars,

0:22:050:22:08

noticed that he had got a nice Porche and she drove and Audi A5.

0:22:080:22:11

I thought, "The money won't be a problem here."

0:22:110:22:14

They agreed a date for it to be fitted and Simon ordered and paid

0:22:150:22:19

for the bespoke door to be made up according to his new customer's specifications.

0:22:190:22:23

When I came to fit the door,

0:22:250:22:27

Chris wasn't actually in but his partner was,

0:22:270:22:30

and she seemed to be quite surprised that I was there but I said I'd made

0:22:300:22:34

the appointment to come and see Chris

0:22:340:22:38

and she said, "Oh, that's fine, yeah, go ahead with the door."

0:22:380:22:42

She disappeared to walk the dogs and went horse riding.

0:22:420:22:48

Simon continued with his work undeterred, and finished the job without any problems.

0:22:480:22:53

It was a nice-looking door and...

0:22:530:22:56

You know, I'd like to pride myself thinking I did a good job and it,

0:22:560:23:00

and it looked nice when it was finished.

0:23:000:23:03

When she returned, it seemed Mr Sargent's partner agreed.

0:23:030:23:07

I said, "OK, if you're happy, I need to have payment, which was arranged,"

0:23:070:23:12

and she said that needed to be done by Chris, who wasn't there.

0:23:120:23:17

He was actually in London, but I should speak to him over the phone.

0:23:170:23:21

They had agreed payment on completion, so Simon called Mr Sargent.

0:23:220:23:27

He said he'd pay, but not in the way Simon expected.

0:23:270:23:30

He said that he would send a cheque.

0:23:300:23:32

I don't normally take cheque payments, but I reluctantly accepted that,

0:23:320:23:39

and waited for the cheque payment to come.

0:23:390:23:43

Come on.

0:23:430:23:44

-Simon was soon reminded why he didn't want to accept a cheque in the first place.

-Good girl.

0:23:440:23:50

I waited about a week or so,

0:23:500:23:52

contacted him and said, "I've not received a cheque."

0:23:520:23:55

He seemed to be quite surprised and said that he would do a bank transfer

0:23:550:24:00

and once again, nothing came of that.

0:24:000:24:05

Simon was out of pocket and it wasn't just a day's labour, either,

0:24:050:24:08

because he'd paid hundreds of pounds to have the door made in the first place.

0:24:080:24:13

He started to worry that his new venture was doomed.

0:24:130:24:15

It made me very, very nervous.

0:24:150:24:18

I hadn't been fitting doors for that long.

0:24:180:24:20

Cash flow was a little bit tight.

0:24:200:24:22

I thought, "Is it worth me carrying on?"

0:24:220:24:24

Because I can't afford to be giving a free door away.

0:24:240:24:27

Simon contacted Mr Sargent several times, requesting payment,

0:24:280:24:33

but despite the early promises, got nowhere.

0:24:330:24:35

Feeling aggrieved, he decided that he wasn't going to let Mr Sargent get away with it.

0:24:360:24:41

I was getting more and more frustrated.

0:24:420:24:45

I just fit a door and I expect to be paid for it.

0:24:450:24:47

It's more about the principle that this guy

0:24:480:24:52

was going to get away with not paying and that was at my expense.

0:24:520:24:58

That rattled me.

0:24:580:24:59

Simon took the case to court and the judgment was issued in his favour.

0:25:000:25:04

But still there was no payment.

0:25:060:25:08

Even a visit from the court bailiffs made no difference.

0:25:080:25:12

For Simon, there's now only one hope of getting what he is owed.

0:25:120:25:16

Really at my wit's end and not expecting to get any money back,

0:25:180:25:23

I've enlisted the sheriffs to come in and hopefully they can...

0:25:230:25:28

..pick up my money and we can put an end to this long saga.

0:25:310:25:35

In Cambridgeshire, Jess and Jamie are nearing Chris Sargent's house.

0:25:420:25:46

They've been given the details of the two cars Simon saw,

0:25:460:25:49

but it's not good news.

0:25:490:25:51

Unfortunately, they're both on finance,

0:25:510:25:53

so we're going to have to basically turn up and hope that he's going to

0:25:530:25:57

pay and we can get contact with someone.

0:25:570:25:59

The sheriffs don't have power to force entry at residential addresses,

0:25:590:26:03

and without much in the way of leverage,

0:26:030:26:05

they'll be relying on their powers of persuasion.

0:26:050:26:07

It's not a massive amount on this one.

0:26:070:26:09

We might get a payment there and then.

0:26:090:26:12

Otherwise, it's going to be a case of leaving a letter,

0:26:120:26:14

give them 24 hours to pay and see if we get a phone call back from him.

0:26:140:26:18

By the time they arrive, it's gone 9am and it doesn't look as if anyone's at home.

0:26:180:26:23

-There's nothing there.

-Oh, sugar.

0:26:230:26:26

But the sheriffs aren't about to give up that quickly.

0:26:280:26:31

Jess knocks on the as-yet-unpaid-for front door.

0:26:320:26:35

But there's no answer.

0:26:370:26:38

No, they're not in. There's about four Staffies in there going mental.

0:26:400:26:43

The front door looks nice and new,

0:26:450:26:47

but just to make sure they've got the right address, Jess checks with a neighbour.

0:26:470:26:51

Hello, my love. Sorry to bother you, I'm Mr Paton, High Court enforcement group.

0:26:520:26:55

Just next door, do you happen to know if Chris Sargent lives next door, do you?

0:26:550:26:59

I hate being this un-organised.

0:26:590:27:00

It is the right address, so they leave a letter,

0:27:010:27:04

giving Mr Sargent 24 hours to settle the debt.

0:27:040:27:07

So there's not a lot more we can really do at the moment.

0:27:080:27:10

Just come back next week.

0:27:100:27:12

Deflated, the sheriffs leave, thinking they won't get Simon's money today.

0:27:120:27:16

But just then, a man in a car waves them down.

0:27:170:27:21

-For a Mr Simon Brook?

-What's it about?

0:27:210:27:24

It's something to do with a door.

0:27:240:27:26

That's all I know. That's all I've got.

0:27:260:27:28

It's the debtor, Mr Sargent.

0:27:280:27:30

Someone's given him a phone call. He's shot back to his house.

0:27:300:27:33

Basically, he's asked what the matter's about.

0:27:330:27:36

He's confirmed he's the defendant we're after.

0:27:360:27:38

He's saying, "Look," he goes,

0:27:380:27:40

"I'll pay it now, I'll transfer the funds now for you."

0:27:400:27:42

Mr Sargent pulls away and parks outside his house.

0:27:420:27:46

I'm just going back down to see him. I'm going to keep it at stage one.

0:27:470:27:49

The simple reason is we're still here,

0:27:490:27:51

basically and he's going to pay it straight away. He's not said "I'm not going to pay it".

0:27:510:27:54

-He's in there.

-He's going to pay it straight away.

0:27:540:27:56

Erm... So I'm going to go back down and speak to him and then get it sorted.

0:27:560:28:00

But before Jamie can get out of the van, Mr Sargent's back.

0:28:000:28:04

And he doesn't seem particularly happy to see our camera.

0:28:070:28:10

We turn the camera away from Mr Sargent.

0:28:140:28:16

No, you won't be knocking him out. That won't be happening.

0:28:180:28:21

Yeah, well, don't... Don't...

0:28:230:28:24

Then you should know better than to do that, shouldn't you?

0:28:240:28:26

No, you should know better than to do that.

0:28:260:28:28

Actually, while we're here and while he's out on a public street, you can film. OK?

0:28:280:28:31

I'll come around and speak to you.

0:28:320:28:34

I'm not having this geezer...

0:28:340:28:36

Eventually, Mr Sargent calms down

0:28:360:28:38

and goes back to his house with Jamie to make the payment.

0:28:380:28:42

The gentleman has now got a little bit agitated,

0:28:420:28:44

obviously, because the cameras are here, making threats towards yourself, um,

0:28:440:28:50

going on about he's been in the paras for 14 years.

0:28:500:28:53

He should know better than to

0:28:530:28:54

be making statements like that that he's going to knock you out,

0:28:540:28:57

because that's not going to happen today, anyway,

0:28:570:28:59

so Jamie's took him down there to take payment off of him and we'll see if he makes the payment now.

0:28:590:29:05

Jess's 25 years in the Prison Service have left

0:29:050:29:08

him unfazed by confrontation.

0:29:080:29:11

When people talk about what they're going to do,

0:29:110:29:13

they're not normally going to do it.

0:29:130:29:15

You learn to talk people down more, rather than let it escalate,

0:29:150:29:19

just kill it stone dead.

0:29:190:29:21

Jamie returns and it sounds like good news.

0:29:220:29:24

Because he hasn't beat around the bush, he said, "Yeah, I'll pay it straightaway,"

0:29:240:29:28

-we've got to keep it at stage one.

-He's paid, has he?

-Yes, he's paid it today.

0:29:280:29:31

OK, terrific. Well, that's a result.

0:29:310:29:33

-It's a result, yeah.

-Paid in full.

-Paid in full.

0:29:330:29:36

Good to go. All right, good to go, mate.

0:29:360:29:38

I was trying to distract him by taking him back down to his house,

0:29:380:29:40

take him away from the situation and speak to him.

0:29:400:29:42

Which I did do. I got him down to his house.

0:29:420:29:44

His wife even come out the window and said, "Why haven't you paid it?

0:29:440:29:47

"You know, stop trying to mug people off, just get it paid."

0:29:470:29:50

For Simon Brook, it is the relief he's been waiting for.

0:29:500:29:54

After many sleepless nights and heartache and pain,

0:29:540:29:59

and the genuine thought that my money had gone down the Old Kent Road,

0:29:590:30:05

eventually, speedy results from the sheriffs, got paid,

0:30:050:30:09

which was the initial delight.

0:30:090:30:12

But also the delight that he'd not got away with it.

0:30:120:30:15

When debtors can't pay on the spot...

0:30:240:30:26

-Are you going to pay the bill?

-What do you mean, "No"?

0:30:260:30:29

..the sheriffs won't always remove assets.

0:30:290:30:32

Goods go for almost a fifth of their true value at auction and it's often

0:30:320:30:36

better to agree a payment plan.

0:30:360:30:38

Do you reckon you can do 200 a week?

0:30:380:30:40

They'll make a list of assets...

0:30:400:30:43

-That's a nice motor.

-Rice cookers.

0:30:430:30:45

Seven wrist bracelets.

0:30:450:30:47

..and a Controlled Goods Agreement is signed,

0:30:470:30:49

making it an offence for anyone else to remove them.

0:30:490:30:53

You sign it, I sign it.

0:30:530:30:55

The Sheriffs will only return to take the goods

0:30:550:30:58

if the debtor fails to make payments.

0:30:580:31:00

I've signed him for £1,000 a month.

0:31:000:31:02

Providing you stick to that, you won't hear from us again.

0:31:020:31:05

High Court Enforcement Agents Rob and Gerald are at Motor Zone Trade

0:31:100:31:14

in North London, trying to recover £2,599 from boss, Kamran Khalid.

0:31:140:31:19

Mr Khalid hasn't come to the yard.

0:31:210:31:23

He has told the sheriffs he is on holiday.

0:31:230:31:25

So far, he's only offered to pay part of the debt, but in a month's time.

0:31:250:31:30

Yeah, I can't accept the deal. As much as you want me to accept a deal,

0:31:300:31:33

I can't accept a deal. It needs to be paid in full.

0:31:330:31:35

The sheriffs have found a Range Rover in his yard,

0:31:350:31:38

but he says it's not his.

0:31:380:31:40

The onus is on him, however, to bring down the paperwork to prove it,

0:31:400:31:44

and if he doesn't, the sheriffs are entitled to sell the vehicle

0:31:440:31:47

to recover what he owes.

0:31:470:31:49

I'm surprised nobody's turned up and I'm EXPECTING somebody to turn up.

0:31:490:31:53

Removing vehicles is expensive for debtors and a last resort for the

0:31:530:31:57

sheriffs, but today there's no other option.

0:31:570:32:00

I've phoned him, I've spoken to him, I've warned him, I've texted him,

0:32:000:32:04

I've warned him. What else can I do?

0:32:040:32:06

-I think he's had his time.

-Yeah.

0:32:060:32:07

-Had nothing from him?

-No, nothing at all.

0:32:070:32:10

-No response.

-Shall we go for it?

0:32:100:32:12

-Yeah.

-I will start filling out the removal form.

0:32:120:32:16

As Gerald makes the call for the truck, Rob gets a message from Mr Khalid.

0:32:170:32:22

The defendant has texted back offering to pay half the balance

0:32:220:32:27

two weeks from now and the remaining half of the balance about a week or so after.

0:32:270:32:32

It's a better offer than the one he made earlier,

0:32:320:32:35

but it's still not very good.

0:32:350:32:37

Nevertheless, Rob calls the claimant and puts it to him.

0:32:370:32:40

PHONE RINGS

0:32:400:32:41

Hi, it's Rob Foster from the Sheriffs Office, it is.

0:32:410:32:44

What he's offered is half the balance on 7th August, and half a couple of weeks later.

0:32:440:32:49

The man who's owed the money isn't impressed either and turns it down.

0:32:490:32:54

Absolutely. We assumed that was going to be the case.

0:32:540:32:56

I just thought I'd run it past you just in case.

0:32:560:32:59

We've got the Range Rover clamped at the moment and

0:32:590:33:01

we've got recovery on the way to pick it up.

0:33:010:33:03

We'll get this Range Rover gone for now and my office will send you a

0:33:030:33:07

report in due course and we'll go from there.

0:33:070:33:09

With the decision made and no further word from the debtor,

0:33:090:33:12

all they have to do is wait for the truck to arrive.

0:33:120:33:15

-This could be our recovery.

-You all right?

-It is.

0:33:160:33:20

And after a quick check around the vehicle...

0:33:200:33:22

A crack in the rear lights. Scuffs on the bumper there, Gerald?

0:33:220:33:24

All wheels are kerb-scuffed.

0:33:240:33:28

The hooks are on, but before they can get the car in the air,

0:33:300:33:33

there's a last-minute intervention.

0:33:330:33:36

A man appears and tells the sheriffs they've got no right to be there.

0:33:360:33:40

-This is private premises.

-We have a writ to enforce here, you see.

0:33:400:33:43

Without asking the owner, you no have a right to be here.

0:33:430:33:46

-We do with the writ, we can do it.

-On the other side of gate, I'm afraid.

0:33:460:33:49

We're just going to put this on, two minutes, and we'll be gone.

0:33:490:33:52

That's it - finished. If you don't think we should be here,

0:33:520:33:54

by all means you call the police and I'll show the police and they will say, "Yes, you CAN be here."

0:33:540:33:58

He can't send the sheriffs to the other side of his gate,

0:34:000:34:02

but he does ask our cameraman to leave.

0:34:020:34:04

We film from the road,

0:34:060:34:08

as 2.7 tonnes of Range Rover is craned out of its parking spot,

0:34:080:34:12

then lowered on to the back of the low-loader.

0:34:120:34:14

Gerald and the driver try to get the car out of the yard as soon as possible.

0:34:150:34:19

But at that very moment, a van pulls up right behind them.

0:34:190:34:24

Oh, who's this?

0:34:240:34:26

It's the landlord -

0:34:260:34:28

the man who's supposed to be 4,000 miles away in Abu Dhabi.

0:34:280:34:31

-Yeah, I'm the owner.

-It seems he is not overseas at all.

0:34:310:34:34

He's here. And he's blocked the truck in.

0:34:340:34:38

This is MY car, because I left it.

0:34:380:34:40

-This is my yard and I left it for them to service.

-Yeah.

0:34:400:34:43

-And this is a log book.

-Yeah.

-See?

-Yeah.

-This is my car.

0:34:430:34:47

You can't take my car, my friend.

0:34:470:34:49

We've left a letter with all our contact details on.

0:34:490:34:51

No, no, no. This is my car, my friend.

0:34:510:34:53

-Look, this is...look.

-Yeah.

-I'm the owner of the yard.

0:34:530:34:55

He could have come here hours ago. It's always the same.

0:34:550:34:57

Once the truck comes and they get it on the back of the truck, then everything happens.

0:34:570:35:00

The landlord's got a bundle full of documents

0:35:020:35:04

that he thinks proves it's his car.

0:35:040:35:06

The V5 is in his name,

0:35:060:35:08

but it's common for dealers not to change it

0:35:080:35:11

until selling the vehicle on.

0:35:110:35:13

-No, I'm the owner. I'm the owner. I can prove the receipt.

-Hang on.

0:35:130:35:16

-I can prove the receipt.

-Hang on.

-OK.

0:35:160:35:18

As it says there, "This document is not proof of ownership".

0:35:180:35:21

But I'm the owner, I can prove the invoice for you.

0:35:210:35:23

-Yeah? Well, you'll have to prove that to the courts.

-But this is...

0:35:230:35:26

It's a difficult situation for the Sheriffs.

0:35:260:35:29

They have no option but to continue,

0:35:290:35:31

unless the man can provide concrete evidence that the car is still his

0:35:310:35:35

- and with the paperwork he brought, he can't do that.

0:35:350:35:38

He's still refusing to let the truck leave.

0:35:390:35:42

You are now committing a criminal offence

0:35:420:35:44

by obstructing an Enforcement Agent

0:35:440:35:46

in the execution of a High Court writ.

0:35:460:35:47

-You're taking my car.

-The only way to stop this at the moment

0:35:470:35:50

-is by speaking to Mr Khalid and getting him to settle it.

-It's a stand-off.

0:35:500:35:53

Rob's already spent most of his day at the garage

0:35:530:35:56

and is in no mood to stay any longer.

0:35:560:35:58

He gets on to the police.

0:35:580:36:00

Essentially, we just need somebody to get him to move his vehicle.

0:36:000:36:03

As far as we're concerned, that car's staying on the back and that car's going.

0:36:030:36:06

May well as well switch the engine off, then. We'll have to wait for the police.

0:36:060:36:10

The landlord's V5 didn't do the trick.

0:36:100:36:13

But he's got one more piece of evidence.

0:36:130:36:15

Look, I show you.

0:36:150:36:16

-Oh...

-Look.

0:36:160:36:18

I went for my knee operation, as well.

0:36:190:36:22

Gerald doesn't know much about knees,

0:36:220:36:24

but he does know a thing or two about High Court enforcement,

0:36:240:36:27

and with the police on the way, he tries to get the man to see sense.

0:36:270:36:31

To me, you look a good gentleman.

0:36:310:36:33

What I wouldn't want you to do, sir,

0:36:330:36:35

is for you now to end up dropping yourself in it

0:36:350:36:38

and getting in a little bit of trouble

0:36:380:36:39

because of what's happened here.

0:36:390:36:41

-The police are on the way down now.

-You've got to understand,

0:36:430:36:46

if the police turn up, you could end up being arrested for this.

0:36:460:36:49

The only way the Sheriffs will allow the car off the truck now

0:36:560:36:59

is for the debt to be paid in full,

0:36:590:37:01

and the landlord suddenly has a bright idea.

0:37:010:37:04

It's OK, it's OK. I'll pay the money. How much he owes you?

0:37:040:37:07

I can't ask you to pay the money.

0:37:080:37:10

No, no, please I'd rather...

0:37:100:37:12

How much? Please.

0:37:120:37:14

How much, how much money? How much money?

0:37:140:37:16

The man's offering to pay the debt on Mr Khalid's behalf.

0:37:160:37:20

But with the truck here, the bill's gone up from the initial £2,599.

0:37:200:37:26

The balance at the moment is £4,226.

0:37:270:37:31

He hasn't got the cash,

0:37:310:37:33

but makes a card payment for the full amount.

0:37:330:37:35

I didn't want to go through all this court problem.

0:37:350:37:38

I caught up in such a situation, where I had to lose over £4,000.

0:37:380:37:43

Whether I'm going to get it or not,

0:37:430:37:45

it's better than losing my car over £10,000.

0:37:450:37:49

I was a bit nervous

0:37:490:37:50

and I was a bit upset for my car and sorry for causing you a problem.

0:37:500:37:55

The Range Rover is gently lowered back to earth

0:37:550:37:58

and there are smiles all round.

0:37:580:38:00

-All right, no worries.

-THEY LAUGH

0:38:000:38:01

The landlord is no doubt planning on asking his tenant for the return

0:38:010:38:05

of his £4,226.

0:38:050:38:08

He's now had his vehicle back,

0:38:080:38:11

lots of handshakes and hugs, very happy man, all sorted.

0:38:110:38:15

The claimant will now be refunded

0:38:150:38:17

for the faulty car he bought from Mr Khalid.

0:38:170:38:19

High Court Enforcement Agents Lawrence Grix and Kev McNally

0:38:350:38:38

are in North West London,

0:38:380:38:40

on their way to a travel agents specialising in discount flights

0:38:400:38:44

and tour packages.

0:38:440:38:45

We're in Harrow. We're going to EmailFlights.

0:38:470:38:50

Looking for £1,905.

0:38:520:38:54

I believe this is a compensation claim.

0:38:540:38:57

The claimant in this case had been organising a trip to Mexico.

0:38:580:39:02

EmailFlights took his cash and booked him on to a flight.

0:39:030:39:06

But when he went to check in,

0:39:060:39:08

there was no record of the booking and no seat in his name.

0:39:080:39:12

He had to buy another one and that cost him double the original price.

0:39:120:39:16

When he claimed compensation,

0:39:160:39:18

EmailFlights didn't contest the case

0:39:180:39:20

and a judgment was made in his favour.

0:39:200:39:23

But he still hasn't got his money, and that's why Lawrence and Kev

0:39:230:39:26

are dropping in on the travel agents.

0:39:260:39:29

Given the company's name,

0:39:350:39:36

Kev reckons he's worked out exactly what EmailFlights

0:39:360:39:39

will have in the way of assets.

0:39:390:39:41

-They'll have a computer.

-Mm.

-Just one computer.

0:39:420:39:45

And an e-mail address.

0:39:460:39:47

That's about it, really. Maybe a chair.

0:39:500:39:52

Kev does the research.

0:39:520:39:54

Lawrence drives the van. That's how we roll.

0:39:540:39:56

In the words of Manuel, the late, great Andrew Sachs,

0:39:560:40:00

"I know nothing".

0:40:000:40:01

As they approach their destination,

0:40:020:40:04

Lawrence and Kev once again prove their slick teamwork.

0:40:040:40:07

-Where are we going?

-Just over there somewhere.

0:40:090:40:11

It's that second one in, innit?

0:40:110:40:13

The glass-fronted place?

0:40:130:40:14

Contrary to Kev's earlier predictions,

0:40:150:40:17

EmailFlights looks like a well-established business

0:40:170:40:20

with a proper shop front on a busy high street in Harrow.

0:40:200:40:23

But finding somewhere to park is never easy in London.

0:40:250:40:28

I did research parking, funnily enough,

0:40:280:40:30

but Lawrence is dithering and missed all the spaces!

0:40:300:40:33

HE GIGGLES

0:40:330:40:34

-We've just gone round in a big loop.

-Back in that same road, yeah.

0:40:340:40:38

I'll go in there and I'll leave you in the van. Temporarily.

0:40:380:40:41

Yeah, I'll give you a shout if I need you. It's...

0:40:410:40:44

I've left Kev in the van,

0:40:480:40:49

cos I've had to park quite awkwardly...

0:40:490:40:52

And I'll, I'll give him a shout if we need him.

0:40:520:40:55

Ah. Ah, here it is.

0:40:580:41:00

Morning, who's in charge?

0:41:090:41:10

Upstairs?

0:41:140:41:15

Lawrence quickly takes up the invitation to go upstairs

0:41:150:41:18

to their offices before anyone can change their minds.

0:41:180:41:21

Sorry?

0:41:210:41:23

We've done it, cos I just asked you who's in charge

0:41:230:41:25

and you said to me upstairs, so I'll go upstairs.

0:41:250:41:28

Hello there.

0:41:280:41:30

You're in charge, yeah?

0:41:300:41:31

You're in charge, sir?

0:41:310:41:33

My name's Mr Grix.

0:41:350:41:37

I'm an Enforcement Agent.

0:41:370:41:39

I've got a High Court writ

0:41:390:41:41

to enforce against EmailFlights in favour of a Mr...

0:41:410:41:44

Our cameraman is asked to leave, so he does,

0:41:440:41:47

and 20 minutes later, Lawrence follows.

0:41:470:41:50

EmailFlights has paid the debt in full.

0:41:520:41:54

That went very well. They knew about the case, they were aware of it.

0:41:540:41:58

They've actually phoned the court

0:41:580:41:59

and they're trying to take it back to court,

0:41:590:42:01

their argument being it's the airline that should've paid

0:42:010:42:04

the compensation and the airline that should've been sued.

0:42:040:42:07

Regardless of any disagreement between the airline

0:42:070:42:10

and the travel agent,

0:42:100:42:11

Lawrence's job is to execute the High Court writ

0:42:110:42:14

and get the claimant the money he's owed,

0:42:140:42:16

and as far as he's concerned, it's job done.

0:42:160:42:20

They've basically just paid online with the card for the full amount

0:42:200:42:23

to get rid of me today

0:42:230:42:25

and they're going to seek independent legal advice

0:42:250:42:27

over what they can do next.

0:42:270:42:29

Yeah, all in all, another paid in full.

0:42:290:42:32

Happy days, on to the next one.

0:42:320:42:33

EmailFlights told us:

0:42:350:42:36

A woman was unfairly dismissed from her job at a care home for the elderly. Can Rob and Gerald get her the money she is owed? The fate of a £12,000 Range Rover hangs in the balance when the sheriffs call a tow truck to a car dealers refusing to pay the debt it owes to one of its customers. And sheriff Jess Paigton steps in when a debtor who refused to pay for his new front door turns his anger on the cameraman.


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