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Car dealer slithers out of CCJs by applying for IVA

Our correspondent writes ...

I bought a car from Exclusive Cars in Hull, East Yorkshire, which was sold as 'fit for purpose' but turned out to be faulty. I took the garage owner to court and a County Court Judgment (CCJ) was issued against Mr Stephen Johnson (the proprietor) in my favour. Since then Mr Johnson has never paid a penny.

On the 30th August 2008, he applied for his second IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) to consolidate the 114,000 he owes to me and people like me - this despite the fact that he has already failed to honour a previous IVA agreement.

I feel the government is letting consumers down when corrupt businessmen are allowed to accrue debts through bad business practices and then use government legislation to write off their debts for them. There is something wrong with the IVA system when businessmen can continually and deliberately sell substandard goods and disregard the orders made by the Courts to innocent purchasers.

Editorial comment:

When you have a government as corrupt as ours, it's not entirely surprising to find they protect other crooks. Don't forget crooks have "Human Rights" - the rest of us don't!

Visitors' Comments

PG, Hull writes:

I won a County Court Case against Exclusive and it transpired that I was one of many customers who had been ripped of by Mr Johnson.

He secured an IVA with the help of the Government's policy on debt. All the customers who won court cases found their awards consolidated by an IVA company with a promise of 3p for every pound owed.

This was his second IVA for consolidating court orders to repay unhappy customers. He failed to pay his first IVA and the debts were written off and he has done the same again this time.

The IVA company want money from us customers to make Mr Johnson of Exclusive bankrupt. I, probably like many other customers, have already spent thousands trying to get back money for bad cars. I don't have the money to make him bankrupt. Again his IVA will be written off and he can continue to conduct his business unhindered.

Surely the government should have safeguarded against corrupt businessmen using this policy to their advantage. He is laughing all the way to his offshore account and I am broke.

LF, Hull writes:

I too was ripped off by this con merchant in October of 2004. He had a car on his forecourt which I liked the look of so I purchased it from him ... or so I thought. When it came to picking the car up it wasn't there and like an idiot I had already handed over the money. When I told Johnson I wanted my money back he told me that he didn't have it and that the previous owner of the car had taken it back.

I instigated court proceedings in May 2005 and to this day am still owed 1670.00. I have been in touch with the high court enforcement officer for Hull who has been handling this case since June 2005 and he is chasing it up.

I have made some enquiries of my own and to confirm what the previous people have said Johnson does not have an IVA. I was told this by a firm in Chester where he was supposed to have this IVA which started on 29/08/08. They said that the file was closed.

I will not let this matter rest and will be seeking further legal advice to see what can be done to close Johnson down. Only the other Wednesday his name was in the county court judgments page again in the Hull Daily Mail as he had ripped off someone else for 1794.00. This surely cannot be allowed to continue and there should be some justice for decent hard working people who pay their way honestly. The law should not be there to safeguard unscrupulous crooks who should never be in business

Rob Gilling, Hull writes:

Mr Johnson sold me a unroadworthy car 2 years ago and the MOT was not worth the paper it was written on.
Just to let everybody know he lives in Beverley and has 3 very expensive cars in his garage at home. He has several more properties as well. He lies to customers and sells rubbish!

Jack Barrow, Hull writes:

Stay away from this con artist and after reading this i can see we're not the only victims. My mum's car is absolutely knackered ... loose wheels, engine knackered. thanks for that 2000 we have just lost. But never mind good honest hard working people always pay the price for corrupt businessmen. How do they sleep at night?

Iqbal Waheed, Karachi, Pakistan writes:

I was a resident in Hull and had to come away in an emergency to Pakistan. I had a Merc 320 S in perfect shape. Since I had no time to advertise and sell it, under advice from a dealer I went to Exclusive Cars in Hull and asked him to sell the car for me. He agreed and I signed the car to his care and came away. This was in Nov. 2010.
In June he  emailed me that he has sold the car for 1650 Pounds. He will take his commission and some expenses from the SALE. I had agreed to this. In spite of repeated emails I have not had any reply from him. What can I do from here?
This form does not accept my Pakistani telephone number so I have given the number of my nephew, Dr Tahir Islam, who lives in Hull.

Editorial Comment:

Sorry we can't help other than to expose this company's activities in an effort to warn others. Perhaps your nephew can initiate recovery proceedings through the courst on your behalf.

I M, Hull writes:

Mr Johnson is probably the best conman I have ever met. This is just a warning to anyone wishing to deal with him.

JT of Hull writes:

It is a matter of public record that Mr Johnson was declared bankrupt in 2009. He is due to be discharged this month but the Official Receivers/courts have issued a BRU for 8 years -" If the Official Receiver (OR) considers that the conduct of a bankrupt has been dishonest, or blameworthy in some other way, he (or she) will report the facts to the court and ask for a BRO to be made. The court will consider this report and decide whether it should make a BRO. If it does, the individual will be subject to certain restrictions for the period stated in the order. This can be from 2 to 15 years.

Before the court hearing, the OR will send the individual a copy of the report containing details of the alleged misconduct. If the individual accepts the allegations, then they can offer to enter into a BRU. This has exactly the same effect as a BRO but does not involve going to court, and because the individual is admitting to the misconduct the period of the BRU is likely to be shorter.

A BRO or BRU will not affect the discharge of the individual's debts.

I have spoken to the Receivers and they would like anybody who has had or is currently having problems with Mr Johnson to contact them.
Their details are on the Insolvency Register.

Keith Spamer of Hull writes:

Regarding Mr Stephen Norman Johnson trading as Exclusive Cars from Clough Road, Hull.

A Bankruptcy Order was made against him in the Hull County Court (Reference 1240/2009) on 3 November 2009. On 27 July 2010 an 8 year Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking (BRU) was entered into by Mr Johnson. The BRU places restriction on his trading activities, any breach of the restrictions by Mr Johnson may constitute a criminal offence. Further details are available on the Insolvency Service website.

Lisa Longden of Hull writes:



J J of Hull writes:

I agree with all bad comments on here, STAY WELL CLEAR OF THIS IDIOT, he is a compulsive liar, and should not be trusted.

Ml of Hull writes (on 17/2/12):

What a w****r! I nearly bought a car from him, he said it was HPI clear - I ran my own check. Outstanding finance and declared SORN, also category c salvage, Then he had the cheek to call me a nosey b*****d!


Editorial Comment:

Be warned

Mrs Pearson of Hull writes (on 25th Jun 2012):

We bought our son his first car from this garage in November 2010. Within days we had problems with this car. We returned it and waited nearly 3 weeks for it to be fixed. My husband went every day until it was sorted.

Within weeks we had more problems and took it back again to no joy so we ended up taking it to another garage on Priory Road. They found numerous problems and it cost over 500 to fix.

Some 7 months later my son was involved in a road accident - nothing major but the car just crumpled at the front. The engine had been welded into its mountings, there was no air bag and when it was recovered the garage said because of all the faults the car had it would be cheaper to scrap. They also told us that the car had been involved in a previous accident because of the way the front just gave way.

We contacted the previous owner who said the car had been sold to the garage on the precept it was a write-off and he took it in part exchange as scrap but as she gave him the log book he said he would deal with the paper work. We went to a dealer for our son's 1st car thinking he would be safe and what really we bought was a near death trap!

"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill

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