How long until it all falls over?

September 28th, 2010 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

ACC is poised to take legal action to liquidate the Wellington Phoenix football club, saying it is owed more than $260,000 in unpaid player levies.

The club, owned by , had repeatedly “promised” to pay the levies and had failed to honour agreed payment plans, the Accident Compensation Corporation confirmed to The Dominion Post.

ACC plans to go to court today to liquidate Century City Football, whose sole director is Mr Serepisos.

He said last night that he was “shocked” by the legal threat. The matter would not go to court because “we have made arrangements to pay” today, he said.

Terry, Terry, Terry. I don’t think they want an arrangement to pay. I think they want a cheque.

ACC acting chief executive Keith McLea confirmed the legal action earlier yesterday. “Century City Football owes more than $260,000 in unpaid levies to ACC, some of it dating back several years.

“They have promised to pay many times but not done so. We have even agreed payment plans with them but these have not been honoured.

I can’t recall ACC ever liquidating someone before. IRD do it heaps. Maybe ACC do also, but are lower profile about it.

Mr Serepisos said he and his lawyer had agreed on a plan with ACC on Friday to pay the levies and “they have not even advised me of this [the move to liquidate].”

The amount of levies was “in dispute”, he said, and he would fight any legal action.

The claim the amount of levies is in dispute is a red herring. I actually worked in credit control for Wellington Newspapers once. You get very good at knowing the difference between those with a genuine dispute and those disputing as an excuse not to pay on time.

Those with a genuine dispute always agree to pay the undisputed part of the account, and only with-hold the (often quite small) aspect under dispute.

Those who can not or will not pay, refuse to pay anything due to the “dispute”. They are the ones you cut off further credit to, or refer to the debt collector/court.

Hopefully for the sake of , Terry Serepisos can actually pay, so the team is not liquidated.

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23 Responses to “How long until it all falls over?”

  1. Rick Rowling (815 comments) says:

    The amount of levies was “in dispute”, he said, and he would fight any legal action.

    Wasn’t that what was said about unpaid contractors a while back?

    If so it’s starting to look like a pattern

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  2. CJPhoto (227 comments) says:

    I dont think the ACC would take a chq either. I think they wanted cash, in the bank.

    The dispute was more philosophical than legal, in that he is paying insurance overseas so should have to pay ACC here. Kind of like refusing to pay income tax because you use private security, private hospitals and send you kids to private schools.

    He has now paid apparently.

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  3. alex Masterley (1,523 comments) says:

    According to the NBR the debt has been paid.

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  4. tankyman (116 comments) says:

    If I played for the Wellington Phoenix – I’d be looking for a transfer real quick.

    I cant wait to see the next season of the Apprentice NZ – this weeks challenge is to see how long you can go without paying a bill.

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  5. voice of reason (490 comments) says:

    This type of behaviour is typical of a company with cash flow issues.

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  6. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    It’s evident from the frequent stories about unpaid bills recently that Serepisos’s Modus Operandi of don’t pay until you absolutely have to. Apart from the poor media coverage, this MO from a property developer usually means a lot of subcontractors end up going to the wall because they pay their bills on time while Sorepissos screws them with delaying tactics.
    In Wellington you’d have to be a fool to work on tick for the dick. From being a local hero due to the success of the Phoenix he is now a local target for derision. Nobody trusts him.

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  7. rouppe (980 comments) says:

    Yes that’s what he said about contractors, and its what he’s said about city rates.

    I also know someone who lived in the same street as him who knows contractors who have worked on his house and not been paid or only been partly paid. His tactic with them was to not pay a sum that can only be recovered in court and would cost too much to do to make it worthwhile.

    He’s not a nice person and all it will take is for the building industry to refuse to work with him unless he pays up front and he’s toast.

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  8. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    What do you think would happen if you owed Mr Serepisos. $260,000?

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  9. theodoresteel (91 comments) says:

    It certainly sounds like he ends up with “disputes” with pretty much everyone he works with. Maybe he believes everyone should just work gratis, and so naturally disagrees with every bill sent.

    As for court action for liquidation, thats a pretty common threat to make people actually pay up when you are having trouble getting the money both parties known is owed.

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  10. gravedodger (1,568 comments) says:

    Liquidating the team would be a total over reaction but liquidating Mr Serepisos, now that could garner some support among the general public.

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  11. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    “The club, owned by Terry Serepisos, had repeatedly “promised” to pay the levies and had failed to honour agreed payment plans, the Accident Compensation Corporation confirmed to The Dominion Post.”

    That pattern of behaviour looks like that of my ex-flatmate, and that guy was a lying, thieving, drug addled sack of shit. Hopefully Serepisos pays.

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  12. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    I really don’t understand all of this Serepisos-hating on this thread.

    I mean, why pay people you owe money to, when you can just not pay them? The guy’s behaviour seems completely reasonable IMO…

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  13. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    What do you think would happen if you owed Mr Serepisos. $260,000?

    (shudders)

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  14. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    I mean, why pay people you owe money to, when you can just not pay them? The guy’s behaviour seems completely reasonable IMO…

    Taking that attitude will guarantee bankruptcy in your future.

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  15. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    Yeah amazing how many disputes people have when they owe money. I had a conversation recently along the lines:
    “Why are you suing me?”
    “I don’t know do you owe us money?”
    “You did some work me.”
    “Did you pay?”
    “Well, I was happy with the work x did but not with y’s work?”
    “Did you pay for x’s work?”
    “No, I wanted to come for an arrangement first.”
    “Did you contact us when the bill was sent out?”
    “I tried to.”
    “So no?”
    “Well, I tried to.”
    “So you’ve left it 8 months before contact us?”
    “I tried to ring”
    “And you haven’t even paid the amount you agree with.”
    “Well I wanted to discuss it first and check the terms of trade.”
    “Generally the terms of trade are that we do work for you on your instructions and you pay for it.”
    “But I wasn’t happy with it.”
    “But you were happy with some of it so why haven’t you paid for that.”
    “I wanted to come to an arrangement”…

    Amazing how bad debtors get so self righteous.

    I desperately hope the Nix keep going. Love that club.

    In terms of a dispute with ACC I suspect that is akin to disputing assessed taxes – you can’t.

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  16. Tauhei Notts (1,746 comments) says:

    If Terry Serepisos and the kolok benass of the Phoenix are concerned about their ACC premiums consider for moment the ACC premiums payable upon the wages paid to a word processor operator in the office of a horse breeder. I kid you not, but they are proportionately more than a front row forward for the Warriors.

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  17. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    Hey, give the guy a break!! He is a property developer. Their mantra is that everything is in dispute until you get to the court steps.

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  18. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    Oh, I forgot to add unless the payment is to a related party.

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  19. Jeremy Harris (319 comments) says:

    The Apprentice: Liquidator Edition

    As Bob Jones said to Terry, “stick to ownership my friend, developers only end up in one place – court”…

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  20. s.russell (1,646 comments) says:

    Court of Appeal ruled only on Monday that a countersuit against the landlord does not entitle someone to refuse to pay their rent. Similar principle.

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  21. Radman (143 comments) says:

    You don’t pay ACC because they don’t charge interest and penalties like IRD too. It’s free debt.

    Funny someone above should mention Bob Jones. He might be the one who steps in and saves the Nix.

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  22. sthn.jeff (101 comments) says:

    Does it disturb anyone else that the ACC have been happy to run to the Dom Post about this? The debt is owed…fair enough but breach of privacy, simply because Serepisos is high profile is concerning in my opinion.-

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  23. plum (38 comments) says:

    @ Radman – ACC do charge interest and penalties. From their website – http://www.acc.co.nz/for-business/small-medium-and-large-business/how-do-i-pay/index.htm#P81_4719

    What happens if I don’t pay?

    If you do not pay your levy by the date shown on the invoice you may be charged interest and additional penalties. If you think you are going to have trouble paying, contact the ACC Business Service Centre immediately.

    If your levy is still unpaid two months after the invoice date:

    * 1% interest, based on the outstanding amount, will be charged each month
    * we may charge an additional penalty of 10% on the outstanding amount, every six months
    * we may also refer your unpaid invoice to a debt collection agency.

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