AIBU to pay him a home visit?

(29 Posts)
Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 12:07:09

First AIBU so be gentle... quite long too as I don't wish to drip feed.

I work freelance and a company I have had dealings with for a couple of years owe me some money.

Now the money isn't a great amount (under £100) but this is coming down to principle (although I really could do with any extra pennies right now).

This company is essentially just one guy and I've helped him out so many times; helping him with last minute staff/equipment etc and on this occasion he was desperate for someone to work and even tho I'd just got out of hospital and was still struggling I felt sorry for him and went and worked the shift. This was in early May on a Sunday. He told me he'd meet me the following Wednesday to exchange invoices and cheques...

I have not been able to get hold of him since; the business phone and his mobile have always been off (iv left numerous voicemails and texts) and his home phone rang out; emails have bounced back to me and PayPal invoices have gone ignored.

Recently another freelance worker called me and said he thought the business had folded; today I looked at companies house as this does appear to be the case BUT also listed on there is a home address for him...

Would I be being unreasonable to go to this address (possibly with my bruiser looking biological father) on the search for him and the money I'm owed? He's really pissed me off after I've gone out of my way to help him on so many occasions.

Sorry it's so long; if you think iabu wwyd?

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 18-Jun-13 12:09:20

Yabu.

If the company has folded crappy as it is you just join the other creditors anything else is not how it works and your idea is also intimidating.

Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 12:11:47

There's no way to get in touch tho?

I didn't mean it in a threatening way I just feel if I went by myself he'd try wheedling out of it further or try bullying me to give it up but I get your point

Holly129 Tue 18-Jun-13 12:12:51

If the company has indeed folded I would just leave it and write it off as a bad debt.
You could just end up escalating the problem if you bring in the cavalry. Legally, you could take him to the small claims court, but if the company has gone under I doubt it would be worth the time and money.
If you feel you know this person quite well have you considered going round non-confrontational and playing the guilt card?

You need to find out who the administrator is, and lodge a claim.

The man has lost his lively-hood, and you want to turn up with a strong man to wrestle a pittance of him? hmm

Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 12:17:26

That's what I would be doing if I went round; he knows I've been off to have a baby and because it was such a traumatic childbirth I couldn't go back to work as fully as I wanted as soon as I wanted so we're short on cash and he knows this too.

Also, I'm pretty timid and the guys a bit of an agressive wheseal which is why I wouldn't go alone; not to engage bully boy tactics. (Not that my police inspector father would anyway.)

Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 12:18:34

Administrator. Thank you. How would I go about doing that?

Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 12:19:29

A pittance to him yes - two months baby milk to me!

MaxPepsi Tue 18-Jun-13 12:20:49

Is it a limited company?? And what exactly does it say on companies house?

Nothing to stop you writing to his home address requesting the money.

I'd also watch out for him setting up again under a new name doing exactly the same thing.

Antisecco Tue 18-Jun-13 12:25:26

As a small business owner myself I truly feel your pain and it hurts most when you have gone out of your way to be helpful.

But if his business has folded you absolutely have to Let.It.Go. There will be outher creitors well ahead of you in the queue. You just have to chalk it up to experience. eg. although we are mainly payment on collection rather than in advance with some clients over whom we have a bad feeling we take a deposit to cover our costs. But if you escalate this in any way other than a purely business-like manner (which probably isn't worth it) you will just be throwing good money after bad and giving yourself more grief.

Them's the breaks I'm afraid. Bad debts are all part of the tapestry!

Antisecco Tue 18-Jun-13 12:26:03

Oh yes, excellent advise from Pepsi

Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 12:28:47

Of he does it will be the fourth time in two years so I doubt he has 'lost his livelihood' - should have put that earlier.

It said something like 'application to cease' but that may have been one of the similarly named businesses as looking on another site he only registered in march and the last time we spoke he had just taken out a new lease and was upgrading the premises. Goodness knows. Yep it's a limited company

Ah, so he is a bit dodgy.
In that case, I would imagine his debts has gotten so bad, that he has ceased trading to avoid paying?

MaxPepsi Tue 18-Jun-13 12:35:48

Sounds like he has form and knows exactly how to shaft the system and therefore other decent folk.

Write the £100 off and move on.

Don't do any further work for him when he contacts you again, because I'm sure he will. If he was a decent man he would have been in contact with you. Businesses unfortunately go under all the time, it can't be helped but that doesn't mean you have to be an arse.

And lastly, when and if you get any correspondence from the liquidators/administrators make sure you tell them exactly how he conducts his business and that you beleive he will set up again and repeat the cycle. Also, if you can think you can prove he let you do work with no intention of ever paying you can report him for that.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 18-Jun-13 12:38:44

It is my understanding that once matters are in the hands or a receiver the courts have very limited authority to deal with their debt matters.

I'm also pretty sure that at this point he is prohibited from favouring one creditor over another ( unless its a creditor who has legal priority) and he is prohibited from entering into any repayment agreements without the receiver.

You are also unable to do anything that could be considered as harassment to collect a debt.

Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 12:40:46

Goodness knows - starting to sound like it tho!

Thing is I'm normally cash on arrival if folk are a bit 'off' and although I've heard a number of tales about him I've never had any problems whatsoever with payment from him so I left it as it was; my mistake.

Sick and tired of big businessmen screwing over freelancers; it's happening more and more to the point I'm half tempted to give up sad it's been 8 years of slog but with a child to think of now I'm no longer sure if the risks are worth it!

Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 12:45:29

Cheers pepsi and pixie got no idea how to contact administrators tho.

Think I may just recorded delivery send and invoice and see if that yields anything.

Thank you for the advice; and I certainly won't be working for or helping him again!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 18-Jun-13 12:51:55

I would do that as well. But be prepared for it to be ignored.

Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 12:55:19

Everything else has been but one can try I guess - that's why I wanted to go round so I can give him the invoice face to face so he can't pretend he hasn't got a copy but if the consensus is that that is unreasonable recorded delivery is the only other way. He's such a scumbag

MonstrousPippin Tue 18-Jun-13 12:59:48

When this happened to me, I employed a debt collection agency to go after it for me. I'm not sure what they said to him but he paid faster than you can blink.

I don't think his company had gone bust though, he was just trying to get away without paying as he was struggling.

MaxPepsi Tue 18-Jun-13 13:00:16

The administrators should be in contact with you, however that is dependent on him telling them he owes you money.

I also beleive that staff wages are a priority debt (but happy to be told otherwise as things have changed).

If he really has appointed liquidators/admin he will be happy to tell you that rather than ignore you and as he hasn't I'm guessing there are no administrators therefore you CAN go and ask him for your money.

If he is legit you can say ok, please give me the details so I can lodge a claim, sorry it didn't work out for you.
No intimidation there. If he can't give you the details then tell him you want your money and you'll accept 75% to help him out.

Szeli Tue 18-Jun-13 13:07:42

He wouldn't say he owed anyone money I can guarantee that!

Sounds like a plan pepsi tbh if there were administrators involved the industry is so small I'd have probably heard more details by now.

Will do more digging; see if he's still advertising on daily deal websites for a start and if not I think I will bob round then. More than anything I want to see him face to face just so then if I do bump into him he can't claim a bunch of excuses like he didn't get the messages etc and then I can also find out for sure what's going on with regards to the company.

Thank you for your continued advice

jacks365 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:08:44

Staff wages are a priority but self employed contractors invoices aren't. If a limited co then he personally doesn't owe you the money the company does and if the company has folded there is nothing a debt collection agency could do, you'd be throwing good money after bad. Sounds like an administrator hasn't as yet been appointed, companies house will update the details when they are so keep an eye on it.

Mammybee Tue 18-Jun-13 13:42:10

When my husband's business is due money and they look like they're not going to pay anytime soon I 'pop round with my 3 kids in tow.

Works a treat.

BridgetBidet Tue 18-Jun-13 14:06:33

If his business has folded before surely he would be barred from starting a new one? I thought you were barred for several years?

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