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  • FIRST POST
    • WonkeyKenobi
    • By WonkeyKenobi 16th Jul 19, 4:34 PM
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    WonkeyKenobi
    Staff payments recalled by liquidators
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 19, 4:34 PM
    Staff payments recalled by liquidators 16th Jul 19 at 4:34 PM
    Dear All - I'm looking for some advice.
    Worked for company that as far as I was aware was going thru a tough time, but all staff were working (approx 15) and being paid upto when a winding up order was issued and the liquidators being appointed back in May '16. All staff left and went on there way to new jobs etc
    I believe most if not all have claimed statutory redundancy at some point, and most probably thought that was that.
    However, I received an email from the liquidators only recently saying that although they were appointed in May '16 - the petition was submitted in the previous December and that payments to me for 5 months (ie salary) would need to be paid back as these were made 'post petition' and quoting sections 127 and 129 of the insolvency act. For good measure they have added 3 years of interest at 8.5% !
    All this may well be correct - but feels strange that its taken this long to chase up, and its only by email (which ended up in my junk!)
    Please help - whats the best course of action? Ignore - fight? Get my payments 'validated' by the courts ?
    Have heard other people have received similar letters last year, done nothing and nothing has happened.
    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 16th Jul 19, 7:33 PM
    • 4,889 Posts
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    BoGoF
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 19, 7:33 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 19, 7:33 PM
    Smells of a scam to me.

    I would have thought such a request would be done in writing via post. How did they get your e-mail address?
    • WonkeyKenobi
    • By WonkeyKenobi 18th Jul 19, 11:29 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    WonkeyKenobi
    • #3
    • 18th Jul 19, 11:29 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Jul 19, 11:29 AM
    I dont think its a scam in the traditional sense - as the letter is from the known liquidators and details the dates and payments exactly, so the information is correct. However, i'm thinking that maybe they're sending these emails out in the hope that some do pay - and would take a commercial decision that legal proceedings would be too costly to follow up. They had my email because of previous communications a couple of years ago about applying for statutory redundancy etc
    • Barney Rubble 0403
    • By Barney Rubble 0403 18th Jul 19, 11:51 AM
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    Barney Rubble 0403
    • #4
    • 18th Jul 19, 11:51 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Jul 19, 11:51 AM
    Sit tight and see what develops. Start saving to pay it back just in case it turns ugly. Your assumptions seem reasonable as don't know where they stand legally.
    • JCS1
    • By JCS1 18th Jul 19, 12:54 PM
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    JCS1
    • #5
    • 18th Jul 19, 12:54 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Jul 19, 12:54 PM
    So if the Company had been wound up at that point, which company should have been paying you?

    And why can't Company A go after Company B for that money?
    • jonesMUFCforever
    • By jonesMUFCforever 18th Jul 19, 7:55 PM
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    jonesMUFCforever
    • #6
    • 18th Jul 19, 7:55 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Jul 19, 7:55 PM
    So if the Company had been wound up at that point, which company should have been paying you?

    And why can't Company A go after Company B for that money?
    Originally posted by JCS1
    That's the whole point of limited companies - if company A goes bust it has no claim over Company B or vice versa.
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always receive lots
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 18th Jul 19, 10:21 PM
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    Manxman in exile
    • #7
    • 18th Jul 19, 10:21 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Jul 19, 10:21 PM
    didn't the legislation quoted relate to the subsequent disposition of property and assets belonging to the company after a winding up order?


    I would have thought that this would not catch payment of wages to employees who have actually worked for the company after the winding up order. Surely that can't be repaid to the liquidators.


    But I may very well be wrong
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 19th Jul 19, 2:46 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #8
    • 19th Jul 19, 2:46 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Jul 19, 2:46 PM
    Hmm - I think it would be sensibkle to take some advice. s127 appears to relate to disposal of comapny assets - I am not sure that that would extend to payment of wages to employees. I think it is designed to stop companies from transferring valuble assets out of the company before the liquidators arrive.

    But of course that doesn't necessarily mean that that is the way it would be legally interpreted.

    I suspect that they would have a hard time convincing a court, if itgot that far, as by delaying so long you have lost the right to claim your wages back from the government scheme, and you would, from what you say, have had no way to know that that a petition had ben presented.

    However, given that 5 months wages + 3 yers interest is presumably a fairly signifcant amount, I would get advice.

    Check if any of your home or other insurances include legal cover and could pay for you to get some initial advice (and if so, look for a lawyer who specialises in insolvency)
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 19th Jul 19, 3:12 PM
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    Undervalued
    • #9
    • 19th Jul 19, 3:12 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Jul 19, 3:12 PM
    Hmm - I think it would be sensibkle to take some advice. s127 appears to relate to disposal of comapny assets - I am not sure that that would extend to payment of wages to employees. I think it is designed to stop companies from transferring valuble assets out of the company before the liquidators arrive.

    But of course that doesn't necessarily mean that that is the way it would be legally interpreted.

    I suspect that they would have a hard time convincing a court, if itgot that far, as by delaying so long you have lost the right to claim your wages back from the government scheme, and you would, from what you say, have had no way to know that that a petition had ben presented.

    However, given that 5 months wages + 3 yers interest is presumably a fairly signifcant amount, I would get advice.

    Check if any of your home or other insurances include legal cover and could pay for you to get some initial advice (and if so, look for a lawyer who specialises in insolvency)
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    Even if they are entitled to the money back I can't see how they could be entitled to interest on it unless they could prove that the ex employee knowingly accepted money they weren't entitled to.

    If their claim is valid then interest from maybe 30 days after they have requested it back, if it is not paid by then, maybe?

    As others have said, if the amount justifies it you need expert professional advice.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 19th Jul 19, 7:53 PM
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    Manxman in exile
    Hmm - I think it would be sensibkle to take some advice. s127 appears to relate to disposal of comapny assets - I am not sure that that would extend to payment of wages to employees. I think it is designed to stop companies from transferring valuble assets out of the company before the liquidators arrive.

    But of course that doesn't necessarily mean that that is the way it would be legally interpreted.

    I suspect that they would have a hard time convincing a court, if itgot that far, as by delaying so long you have lost the right to claim your wages back from the government scheme, and you would, from what you say, have had no way to know that that a petition had ben presented.

    However, given that 5 months wages + 3 yers interest is presumably a fairly signifcant amount, I would get advice.

    Check if any of your home or other insurances include legal cover and could pay for you to get some initial advice (and if so, look for a lawyer who specialises in insolvency)
    Originally posted by TBagpuss

    That's how I read it and is what I was trying to say in #7. I'd be amazed if that was intended to include salaries paid to employees as "property or assets" of the company. Aren't salaries and wages meant to be priority creditors so I don't see how they can be recovered - assuming they've been "properly earned"?


    I agree it's worth looking for advice.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 20th Jul 19, 4:36 PM
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    silverwhistle
    For a start I'd ask for any subsequent communication to be written.


    On what basis are they charging 3 year's interest?


    Your pay was presumably received in return for your work and was received in good faith, so if there are any issues it would be with the persons in charge of the alleged wrong payment. Like others I think this sounds deeply dodgy, but in addition to doing further research you need that professional advice.
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 21st Jul 19, 7:28 AM
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    jobbingmusician
    I agree about the professional advice, but am interested in what the money was for. Was it actually for wages or a statutory redundancy payment (in which case my gut tells me that it's probably your money, no dispute) or was it an ENHANCED redundancy payment (in which case my gut tells me that the company was on very sticky ground in making it - which isn't the same as thinking that the conclusion is it would have to be repaid, of course).
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    • JReacher1
    • By JReacher1 21st Jul 19, 9:42 AM
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    JReacher1
    I am not sure if I am misreading this but it seems to say that you worked from December to May and got paid your wage each month. The company was then liquidated in May, when you got redundancy.

    They are saying that you shouldn't have been paid from December to May as the company was actually liquidated in December and they want the money returned.

    This all sounds incredibly dodgy. Especially with the 8.5% interest.

    I would not be paying them anything and seek legal advice. It sounds a bit like a scam
    • TripleH
    • By TripleH 21st Jul 19, 3:32 PM
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    TripleH
    A starter for 10 might be to write a letter (Not email) to the liquidators at their registered office asking them to clarify their email and get them to fully explain and justify what grounds they are reclaiming money back.

    Use it as a fishing exercise to ask questions. This might show the email to be a scam or it will give you specific evidence (In writing) to take somewhere else for advice. Google the registered address though and not one quoted in the email in case it is a bit whiffy.
    Wherever you go, whatever you do Richard Marx is right there waiting for you.

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    • WonkeyKenobi
    • By WonkeyKenobi 22nd Jul 19, 2:31 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    WonkeyKenobi
    thanks for replying, payments were standard wages - no extra payments or anything to do with redundancy.

    Regards
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 22nd Jul 19, 3:54 PM
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    Tom99
    As said Section 127 clearly related to disposing of property or shares and I cannot see how, by any stretch of the imagination that can also include wages.
    What about rent, rates, utilities etc. Since you were still working and being paid I would imagine all those items were also being paid.
    I would be inclined to ignore the email and see what happens, who is to say you still have the same email address or it did not go direct to junk mail.
    I think engaging with them is what they are after.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 24th Jul 19, 12:41 PM
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    Manxman in exile
    thanks for replying, payments were standard wages - no extra payments or anything to do with redundancy.

    Regards
    Originally posted by WonkeyKenobi

    Well, you've got three options:


    1. ignore and see what happens


    2. contact them and ask for further explanation. You could perhaps add that you worked for the company in good faith during the period in question and that you were legitimately owed the wages in return for your labour.


    3. seek advice - try CAB and also try a solicitor. Some law firms will give you 30 minutes free advice. Look for one that does and preferably has some experience in employment law and insolvency law.


    FWIW I don't personally see how they can reclaim wages under the sections they refer to(?) but probably better safe than sorry.
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