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  • Landlords in Distress

    How to get your money back from unscrupulous companies ...

    I am thinking that, in view of all the posts on the forums about people losing money, that the tribe could come together and produce a crowd-sourced guide of how to get your money back.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1.  Keep a record of all phone calls, emails, letters, etc. logging who you spoke to and what was said.  Documentary evidence is crucial.

    2. Put everything in writing.

    3. Refer specifically to the implied term under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 section 13, to use reasonable care and skill when, as a business, they’re providing a service.  Have they shown a "duty of care" to you?  If not, explain why and that you want your money back.

    4.  Do not make idle threats, as they have heard them all before and they will fall on deaf ears.  Be business like and professional and VERY persistent.  You can wear them down by contacting them every day.

    5.  Do not be fobbed off.  Ask for deadlines if they say they will refund you.  If the money does not appear in your bank account on that date, get in touch with them immediately.

    6.  Turn up at their offices at 9.00 a.m. and say you are not leaving without a cheque in your hand.  Take a friend to act as a witness for you.  They may threaten to call the police.  Let them!

    7.  Property Tribes Rescue Package with Anthony Gold Solicitors is having some success at getting money back from property clubs.  Contact Clifford Tibber at AG for advice.

    8.  Property Journalist Graham Norwood often writes exposes on dodgy property clubs.  He was the first person to expose Inside Track.  You can contact him via http://www.grahamnorwood.com .  You can use this as leverage to imply that you are serious about getting your money back.

    9.  Do not be fobbed off with promises of a "replacement deal".  It is very unlikely that this will materialise and is just a stalling process so that they do not have to return your money.

    10.  If the company is running more events to market to newbies, attend the event and stand outside with a placard stating your dissatisfaction. It has been known that the company will give a refund to make you go away and stop disrupting their marketing funnel!

    11.  
    If you paid on a credit card, you may be able to get a refund under Section 75.

    See - MBNA vs. Malouf  

    Has any one else got any suggestions or successfully got their money back?  If so, please share!

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    Also record any factual information (not details, just the outline) on the forum.
    It must be factual, as in I paid x, £y and they won't give me a refund.
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    I think that should be a last resort though, and a bargaining tool i.e. "I will feel compelled to post my experiences with your company on property forums unless you resolve my issues".

    Anything remotely defamatory will probably have to be deleted as the forum owner is held responsible for the content and we are not interested in entering legal battles.

    People can create their own forums and blogs to expose these companies and take responsiblity for them

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    Yes, sorry I didnt enforce that aspect enough in my post.
    Its a a dangerous game to go public and could backfire I agree.
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    I have worked for two companies who have 'gone under'
    Its a very fine line between the creditors who storm in and threaten physical violence (born out of desperation I would add) and those who employ the tactics Susanne describes.
    From experience, once a winding up order is issued there is a frenzied scramble to have that creditor paid and before any other joins onto it or even finds out.
    Creditors are often paid in order of perceived risk rather than age of debt or even magnitude.
    If you are considered a risk to their survival then there is a stronger chance that you will be paid. It may also be worth offering a small discount in full and final settlement, could be better than a few pence in the pound as an un-secured creditor if the worst does happen.
    On the other hand, winding up orders aren't cheap to arrange and should only be issued if the company is believed to be tradin insolvently therefore, it's possibly not always wise to adopt this tactic against large corporations like Legal and General for instance, they are probably more concerned about the potential media coverage.
    Rob
    Arranging genuine property deals for private clients in Wakefield and The Five Towns
    Follow me on Twitter @walkerfox
    Skype: walkerfox
    Mobile 07960 753550
    Email rob@walkerfox.co.uk
    Read my blog https://walkerfox.wordpress.com/
    https://propertytribes.ning.com/events/no...ty-tribe-2
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    I so agree with Point 4.
    Having worked in the Debt Collection industry for over 10 years, the old motto "Those who shout loudest, get paid first" usually works best. By this I don't mean standing in their office shouting as loud as you can, but make yourself heard every day to them and make them aware that you won't be going away!
    Become a nuisance to them, another good tactic is too send your corresondence by fax. It's usually the admin staff who are responsible for collecting the faxes & the big chiefs don't like have the whole office knowing (office gossip) that you are about to splash their shoddy tactics all over the web or to issue a winding up order!
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    Keeping records, chasing regularly etc are all helpful, but ultimately if someone doesn't pay, you have to force them.

    There are many law firms and collection agents around who do this, I use Sherwins (part of Sher Group). Another, Carlo Pegna, advertises in the FSB magazine. I know Landlord Action also do this kind of work (and I believe teamed up with Sher Group to enforce debt against Ajay Ahuja).

    The process only works if there is some form of asset you can go after, e.g. trading company, a car, some cash, a property, or a salaried income. If someone is on benefits and has no assets, your options are more limited, but YOU need to decide which.

    For most ex-tenants I find they have limited cash, so an attachment of earnings is often best as it's regular payments over time, but they can be small. If I get a sniff of assets (car, cash, house, etc) we will attempt to get control of those assets.


    If someone owes me money I do some chasing, if it doesn't work, I send the details to Sherwins. They sent a letter before action (i.e. you have 14 days to pay or else) and states exactly what they owe. If they ignore, we issue proceedings to the local court. Once we get a judgement (most debtors don't defend as they know they cannot) we then enforce, usually by an attachment of earnings on their salary, by using collection agents (via a High Court writ), or a charging order on property.

    I've heard stories of people owed money seizing control of (or threatening to) all sorts of things including cars, computers in a letting agent's office, even aircraft. If they have assets, it's not hard to recover debt, but you do have to be patient. The courts are under enormous pressure, and with cuts coming it's only going to get worse. I currently have an attachment of earnings going through, we're working on a charging order, and also arranging to make an attempt to levy against a car. It's a horrible business, but unfortunately if people think they can take and not pay, they are wrong.

    Obviously the best option is to not deal with these people in the first place. Check references, credit check, bank statements, whatever it takes to asses prior. There are lots of good businesses and good tenants out there, we should focus on them.

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    My understanding is that county court bailiffs are jobsworths with limited motivation to collect, and who earn no commissions. By transferring it to a High Court writ, you can use Sheriffs who are much more motivated to succeed as income depends on collection.

    The fees they charge tenants are quite high (capped by law) but I'm having some success with them, and never collected anything via a bailiff. Can't remember the cost to convert off-hand, but it's not too much.

    When people don't pay I now steam ahead with the process, and my experience is many debtors are just playing the game, waiting to see how serious we are about acting. So the sooner we act, the sooner we get to the sweet-spot, and the sooner they deliver what they agreed under the terms of the contract.

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    Like any industry, some sheriffs are good, others not. Once tried using a sheriff that came highly recommended.... zilch. Having more success with another - but that is through a solicitor.
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    .
    The profit of knowledge is in its application
    TumiHawkins.com
    Ajay Ahuju successfully sued. Click >>> here for the full story.
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    The thought of being associated with practices like that makes me sick.
    Rob
    Arranging genuine property deals for private clients in Wakefield and The Five Towns
    Follow me on Twitter @walkerfox
    Skype: walkerfox
    Mobile 07960 753550
    Email rob@walkerfox.co.uk
    Read my blog https://walkerfox.wordpress.com/
    https://propertytribes.ning.com/events/no...ty-tribe-2
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