You and the Law – 7th April 2009

It’s all mine

MY partner moved in with me 12 months ago – the house and everything in it belongs to me. He is shortly to be served with a bailiff’s order, and I would like to know what can be seized to pay off his debts. Can they take my things? AD

No. There are several types of bailiff, depending on who your partner owes money to, but none of them can seize property that belongs solely to you, although joint purchases are at risk. It would be sensible for you to gather as much evidence of your ownership as possible (receipts, bank and credit card statements and the like).

However, if you tell the bailiff that you own the goods, it¹s unlikely they would be seized, since you
would have a right to sue the bailiff for compensation. If the bailiff does seize your property you can bring a “third party claim” to establish that the goods do belong to you and, as such, cannot be seized.

Computer glitch

I WAS made redundant last year and paid £2,500 to do a computer training course in two parts, spread over 12 months. However, part way through the first course I discovered that one of the software providers was scrapping one of the exams at the end of the year. I have tried to cancel the course and get my money back but without success. What do you recommend? CB

It’s not quite clear what the effect of scrapping the exam will be, but for the sort of money you paid you are entitled to get something. If it means you won’t receive a recognised qualification at the end of your course you should be entitled to your money back.

As experts in the field of computer training the firm should be aware of changes in the industry and be able to offer courses that will be of use. If they can’t offer you an alternative they should refund your money, and if necessary you can start proceedings against them in the small claims court.

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