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Married partner legal financial liability

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JaffeyApple
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Married partner legal financial liability

#129958

Postby JaffeyApple » April 4th, 2018, 2:21 pm

I was wondering if anyone may be able to offer any insights in relation to a legal matter.

A man has defaulted on his liability to repay a debt to me. He has no assets other than his work vehicle which he uses day to day in his work as a self employed courier.

I would like to take him to court to get an order for him to repay this debt but I do not want to spend good money after bad. Presuming upon a successful court outcome, I am not confident of successful execution of any judgement against him because he has no assets. Likewise I do not envisage his means of working being taken away from him, as in his works van being seized.

On the other hand his wife has her own house where they both live and also owns a successful business. The relationship between the couple is ongoing.

I am trying to establish if there is a means of being able to make his wife liable for this debt.

I would be grateful for any guidance.

pochisoldi
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Re: Married partner legal financial liability

#129966

Postby pochisoldi » April 4th, 2018, 2:34 pm

Have you got a copy of the Land Registry entry for the house?

Are they named as tenants in common or as joint tenants ("both names on the deeds")?

(Unlikely, but worth a look:) If the house is just in the wife's name, is there any evidence of a trust deed which may indicate that the husband has an interest in the house which is documented elsewhere? (See https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... e-register ) and look to see if a standard form restriction is present.

Obviously it would be unusual for a husband to have absolutely no assets and absolutely no joint interest in any assets whilst living under the same roof as the wife for any number of years...

Usual not a lawyer disclaimer applies

PochiSoldi

JaffeyApple
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Re: Married partner legal financial liability

#129968

Postby JaffeyApple » April 4th, 2018, 2:43 pm

No, but tbh his wife does not trust him. Their marriage is only of recent years and the freeloader does not pay any money into the house in any capacity, as in they even buy their own food. She has owned the house for 15 + years.

Her business incurs a liability to him on a yearly basis of circa 25k+. Not for services rendered but for essentially pocket money.

Unusual yes, but this is the reality that she continues to fund that I wish I were privy to earlier.

pochisoldi
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Re: Married partner legal financial liability

#129972

Postby pochisoldi » April 4th, 2018, 2:56 pm

From what you've said, you're probably out of luck trying to recover any money.
The van is probably leased and has nil value to any creditor.
You haven't indicated how much is owed, but if you are in "small claims only territory" (less than £10k), you could just go through the motions to obtain judgement, and point out what will happen to his courier business when he can't get a lease or a loan for the next 6 years after the CCJ is registered against him. If that doesn't provoke any action, then at least you've done the world a service by registering the CCJ.

PochiSoldi

Clitheroekid
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Re: Married partner legal financial liability

#131032

Postby Clitheroekid » April 10th, 2018, 1:01 am

How much is the debt?

JaffeyApple
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Re: Married partner legal financial liability

#131277

Postby JaffeyApple » April 10th, 2018, 7:22 pm

I was simply trying to see if I could seek recourse via the married partner. She knows what she has taken on in terms of his nature and being still with him she considers his conduct to be acceptable. On that basis I I hoped I could get her to pay it

The vehicle is not leased but I cannot see small claims taking away his means of earning a living. I am loath to spend good money after bad, hence reluctance to go small claims, unless I could see a manner to drag his partner into the mire.

The debt is marginally under 1k so not a great sum but I want it never the less.

patrickmacqueen
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Re: Married partner legal financial liability

#131565

Postby patrickmacqueen » April 11th, 2018, 10:30 pm

If the van is worth more than £1,350 then it looks as if bailiffs can seize it.
https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/ba ... -take.aspx

Lootman
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Re: Married partner legal financial liability

#131577

Postby Lootman » April 12th, 2018, 12:11 am

patrickmacqueen wrote:If the van is worth more than £1,350 then it looks as if bailiffs can seize it.
https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/ba ... -take.aspx

If they can find it. If I thought someone could seize my vehicle I would probably be shrewd about where I parked it.

melonfool
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Re: Married partner legal financial liability

#132562

Postby melonfool » April 16th, 2018, 3:17 pm

JaffeyApple wrote:I was simply trying to see if I could seek recourse via the married partner. She knows what she has taken on in terms of his nature and being still with him she considers his conduct to be acceptable. On that basis I I hoped I could get her to pay it



If you truly believe she thinks his conduct is acceptable, then just ask her to pay it. It seems highly unlikely to me though.

Bewildered how he owes her business for his 'pocket money' though. She sounds like she might have a screw loose.

Mel

Clitheroekid
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Re: Married partner legal financial liability

#132692

Postby Clitheroekid » April 16th, 2018, 11:45 pm

JaffeyApple wrote:The debt is marginally under 1k so not a great sum but I want it never the less.

The reason I asked was that had it been over £5k you could have gone for bankruptcy. The trustee in bankruptcy would have claimed that the debtor had an interest in the matrimonial home, even though it's in her name, and could have threatened court action to force a sale, whereupon wifey would probably have coughed up.

As it is, your options are somewhat limited. However, it's not entirely hopeless.

The first possibility is suggested by your comment that "Her business incurs a liability to him on a yearly basis of circa 25k+." What sort of liability is this? If it's something that could in theory be legally enforced - for example if she pays him £2k a month to courier her goods around - then you could potentially obtain what's known as a Third Party Debt Order against her.

This is an order of the court to someone who owes money to a judgment debtor to pay it to the creditor instead.

The main difficulty in obtaining such an order is the creditor's lack of knowledge of who owes money to the debtor, but you sound as though you may possess that knowledge, so you may be able to use it to your advantage in this situation.

The second - and more likely - remedy is through bailiffs. But emphatically not the County Court bailiffs, who are as much use as a chocolate teapot.

If the judgment debt's for more than £650 you can transfer it to the High Court for enforcement. This engages the service of the High Court bailiffs (technically High Court Enforcement Officers). They are paid by results, and are basically licensed thugs!

They will go to the house and make their presence very forcefully known. If the van''s worth more than £1,350, which it probably is for a courier business, they will seize it. In practice they don't usually remove it, they just take `walking possession', which means that it's left in situ but can't be used.

The expectation would be not that they would actually sell it, but that wifey would once again come to the rescue, if only to avoid the shame and scandal of all the neighbours tittle-tattling about the bailiffs having turned up at number 36.

At the end of the day you may not succeed, but at least you'll have had some fun trying! ;)


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