being hounded for a limited company debt

Options
Hi all,
Hope you can help me.
Yesterday I receieved a letter from Direct Collections Ltd informing me they had been instructed to collect a debt of £26k (+ an "admin fee" of £2700!!!) from me on behalf of their client.
Whilst there is a debt there, the debt is via a limited company that I used to own/run. The company ceased trading in May 2011 and was liquidated by order of the High Court in June 2011. There is literally nothing left of the company. No money, no assets, nothing. I have written to all creditors explaining the situation and applied to companies house to have the company dissolved.
In the run up to the company collapsing I (very stupidly) wrote some personal cheques to try and buy myself some time with creditors which naturally bounced (I hadn't drawn a wage in 2 years).
Today (1 day after the initial letter) one of Direct Collections Ltd people turned up on the doorstep whilst I was out demanding payment. When it was pointed out that the debt was a ltd company debt he said that no it wasnt, because I personally had written a cheque, that debt now belongs to me.
Is anybody able to clarify my situation for me? Currently there is no CCJ against either me or my former company so technically the DCA has no real power but it's still causing me concern that ultimately I could be liable for another £30k just when I was beginning to see light at the end of my debt tunnel.
Thanks
BC
«13

Comments

  • Gordon_Hose
    Gordon_Hose Posts: 6,259 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Options
    I'd say he was lying to trick you into paying. Happy to be corrected on that though.
  • Tixy
    Tixy Posts: 31,455 Forumite
    Options
    What is the nature of the debt?
    Was it a supplier or similar? If so did then presumably the invoices for the debt were in the company name?
    If the invoices were in the company name then its the company that owes the money and you are not liable - and if they tried to take court action you would defend on that basis.
    (Thats on the assumption you didn't have a contract with this supplier where you had given a personal guarantee).

    If the creditor is something such as you went into a shop and bought business supplies and paid by personal cheque (that then bounced) then it would be a different situation and you could well be liable e.g if there was just a till receipt no invoice or credit account set up.

    Business debtline would be a good place to contact for advice (for free) if they keep hassling or if they do try to start court proceedings against you.
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give
    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • brettcooper1
    Options
    Hi gordon,
    thanks for that
    in fairness its NOT the first time I've heard that attempting to make payment (by cheque or other means) is tantamount to admitting owing the money.
  • brettcooper1
    Options
    HI tixy,
    thanks for your help.
    The contract was indeed with the ltd company but my concern is whether my foolishness in writing personal cheques has made me liable in any way?
  • bargainbetty
    Options
    If the contract was with the limited company, then the debt is with them too. If the company is dissolved or ceased trading through insolvency, then the debts are still with them.

    I would write to Direct Collections advising them of the dissolution/cessation of the company, and advise them that under the terms of a private limited company, the debts do not transfer to any person associated with it. Further attempts to force you to pay debts you are not legally liable for will be in contravention of guidelines laid down for the pursuance of debt and will be considered harassment (do a search for the 'prove it' letter and amend it a bit).

    If your secretary had picked up something and paid by a personal debit card with the intention of claiming it back on expenses, they wouldn't be liable either.

    Good luck
    Some days, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps....
    LB moment - March 2006. DFD - 1 June 2012!!! DEBT FREE!



    May grocery challenge £45.61/£120
  • give_them_FA
    Options
    If you start off with the assumption that a debt collector is lying, you will be right more often than wrong. Certainly the case here. A try-on to end all try-ons. " Hello my name is Bill, give me £30,000 please. " Did anyone seriously think you were going to do that?
  • [Deleted User]
    Options
    This is interesting as I have a similar situation in that I am being hounded by Unicom for an outstanding debt from my limited company. We went into liquidation last summer and Unicom were on the list of creditors informed by my IP. The contract with Unicom was one of the first we set up on purchasing the business and so when they asked me on the phone for the Business Name (their exact words I have the phone recording) that was what I gave them - the trading name at the time we took the contract out. We later rebranded our trading name although the limited company name was unchanged.
    They are claiming that because the contract doesn't have the COMPANY name on it (they didn't ask me for it!) then they are holding me personally responsible for the debt. The debt was 2 months upaid bills at the time of liquidation (under £100) - it has now somehow ballooned to nearly £800 and they are threatening court action
    This has been going on for several months now!
  • Gordon_Hose
    Gordon_Hose Posts: 6,259 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Options
    Several months... what you have to ask yourself is, if they had the means and proof to take you to court and retrieve their money (or try), why waste time writing letter after letter? ;)
  • give_them_FA
    Options
    Hmm... that one is slightly more interesting, Victoria. I believe that when ordering goods or services companies must make it clear that they have limited status because of course it affects the decision of creditors as to whether to offer them credit. It would boil down to who was deemed to have placed the order with Unicom? However, it is appalling that £100 has multiplied in this way and probably the bulk of it is irrecoverable; also, it's doubtful whether they will want to pursue a very iffy claim through Small Claims with no costs awardable. I will wager a fiver they will go away.
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Options
    victoria61 wrote: »
    This is interesting as I have a similar situation in that I am being hounded by Unicom for an outstanding debt from my limited company. We went into liquidation last summer and Unicom were on the list of creditors informed by my IP. The contract with Unicom was one of the first we set up on purchasing the business and so when they asked me on the phone for the Business Name (their exact words I have the phone recording) that was what I gave them - the trading name at the time we took the contract out. We later rebranded our trading name although the limited company name was unchanged.
    They are claiming that because the contract doesn't have the COMPANY name on it (they didn't ask me for it!) then they are holding me personally responsible for the debt. The debt was 2 months upaid bills at the time of liquidation (under £100) - it has now somehow ballooned to nearly £800 and they are threatening court action
    This has been going on for several months now!
    What did they ask for? Your name? As you are working on behalf of the company you would give your name as Victoria61 Ltd. rather than Victoria.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609.1K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards