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The Official Receiver wants to put a charge on my property…

Customer Question
The Official Receiver wants...

The Official Receiver wants to put a charge on my property as a result of my supposed negligence of a limited company are they allowed to do that? even if there is an existing charge against my property?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

I was sent an affidavit of means to fill out

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the property located?

Colchester, Essex

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Nothing I don't know what else the lwayer may need to know

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: UK Property Law
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Answered in 15 hours by:
1/18/2018
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago
Alex J.
Alex J., Law
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,892
Experience: LPC, 2 Years Conveyancing
Verified

Thank you. Do you own the property jointly with anyone? Was the OR appointed in relation to a company liquidation?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
the OR was because of a company liquidation. The property is jointly owned with my spouse who was also co-director of the company. I have tried to argue that she was never involved in the running of the company but we are being held jointly liable for the money they are after
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. Has your spouse taken any money from the company? On what basis are the saying your are personally liable? Kind regards AJ

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
This was at the beginning of my foray into running a business and I was slack with keeping on top of things and ran the account like it was my personal account, using the card to pay for personal stuff. In the end, I couldn't pay taxes due and VAT. It's on this basis that they are chasing this.. I know of cases where they've just let it go but I guess I got 'lucky'
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. If you had access to the accounts, could identify all the items of expenditure? How much are they claiming? Also did your wife benefit from it in anyway? Is that why they are chasing her as well? Have they issued court proceedings? Kind regards AJ

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
they are chasing my wife because she was also registered as a director of the company - they have refused to listen to my argument that she had nothing to do with running the company. and yes, they have issued court proceedings - hearing is in May but I have till next week Wed to provide a defence and affidavit of means.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I have access to the accounts and can identify expenditure. I plan to do that. they are asking for GBP57,000 + another GBP10,000 in solicitor costs
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. Do you have any defence to what they are claiming or did you actually take this money? Kind regards AJ

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The only defence I have is that they estimated tax for 2 years at GBP10,000 each when in fact, the preceding year's tax was less than GBP8,000
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I can fight for the reduction but not for completely dismissing the claim
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
the big thing for me is, I don't want to lose my home but that's what they are gunning for to sell it and use the equity to clear the debt. there isn't even enough equity to clear the debt so I'm not sure what they will do about that
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. Do you have an existing mortgage on the property? Kind regards AJ

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
there is a mortgage - about GBP190,000 outstanding and the house is worth about GBP280K
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. Do you have any dependants under 18 living at the property? Kind regards AJ

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
my 16-year old is still home, doing her A-levels. The older two are at uni but this is where they also call home, where they come back to every break from uni
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. A court is unlikely to grant an order for sale in this circumstance. They may however grant a charging order. Have you considered negotiating with the OR - volunteering a charge with a payment plan so that you have time to repay? It will save you from having to pay the ORs legal fees as well. Kind regards AJ

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thanks, ***** ***** that's comforting to know although I have been told that they may ask for a sale and then leave us at the mercy of the council housing. I made an offer of £400 a month which was rejected as that would take over 10 years to complete payment. I'm thinking of doubling the offer but I would prefer a charge on the property as that would free my finances till I get to sell or remortgage. How can I frame this offer to the solicitors?
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. When you made the offer - did you give or disclose to them any of your financial information or provide any evidence to support the offer in terms of affordability? Kind regards AJ

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
apologies for the late response. I've been unwell today
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I did not provide financial info but I have been sent an affidavit of means to fill out and to provide supporting documentation. I have a deadline of Jan 24 to get that to them
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
hello again. I've just seen that I was actually given till Jan 22 to submit my defence, not Jan 24 :-(
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. Any offer you make to the OR has to be backed up with evidence of your financial means and your affordability - otherwise they wont accept it. At this stage your main defence will be based on the value of the claim so do you dispute the sum they are demanding? Kind regards AJ

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I am disputing the sum they are demanding but I haven't been given enough time to present new figures. The timelines for responding are quite short. I don't have the money to pay an accountant to do the sums for me so I have to draw up the accounts myself - and that's a log slug. What strategies can I adopt to buy more time?
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. I would submit a defence based on what you can and then ask for more time to submit evidence in those points that are missing. You could also write to the court and to the OR and ask for more time on the basis that you are looking to propose as settlement offer to the OR.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
does the defence have to be presented in a standard format? So far, I've simply been sending emails to the OR's solicitors. Does my defence have to be filed with the court? I ask because the letter said I should file and serve a defence by 22 Jan
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. The court should have sent you a response pack. Write to the OR and ask for another 7 days to respond. You need to respond to the court. Kind regards AJ

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I've just looked through all the correspondence with the OR's solicitors and there is no mention of bankruptcy anywhere. am I jumping the gun by assuming that's what they are going for? I would agree to any deal that does not involve losing my property but I need to know the best way to put this forward. I have filled out the affidavit of means and will be sending that off tomorrow. Should I also add that the solicitors should not consider bankruptcy because there isn't enough equity in my property to cover what they are after? Is that a reasonable thing to do?
Solicitor: Alex J., Law replied 7 months ago
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Hi Alex. thanks for all your help. Today is the day that I have to submit everything so I would like to crystallize your advice. my understanding is the following - please let me know if I got anything wrong:
1. I have to submit my defence to the court (I'll go there this morning)
2. I can make an offer of monthly payments and a voluntary charge on the propertyThe affidavit of means which I filled out and will be attested to by a solicitor... does that have to be added to the defence I submit?
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