No, we offered the company £8,500 in full and final settlement and they agreed to it. The company knew we had to borrow the money and that's all we could get.
They then came back to us and requested another £900 on top of the 8.5k to cover their legal costs. We disputed it because we could not raise another 900
Incases like this, I never suggest making an offer. I suggest sending a cheque not to to sols but to storage co.Armed with a cheque in the hand for some of the amount that a person wants,compared to an argument over the whole of the amount, (and arguments that theperson may win or lose) the cheque in the hand is a pretty powerful incentiveto accept it.
Soconsider deciding how much you would like to pay the claimant (you need to makeit attractive enough) and send it with a covering letter headed "withoutprejudice save as to costs". That means that the person cannot produce theletter in court as any proof that you admit owing any money at all.
Tellthe claimant in the letter that you are offering this money in full and finalsettlement of all claims against you, past, present and future, including legalcosts and that by cashing it they accept it as such. Tell the person that if he/shedoes not accept it, they should return the cheque to you and if they issuelegal proceedings, you will defend them on the basis of A, B, C, whatever.
Do tell the claimant that this is notyour money (because you do not have it) and that it has come from someone elsewho has agreed to discharge the debt for you.
Tellthe claimant that if he/she does not understand the significance of the letter,he/she should take independent legal advice.
Ican tell you this approach works nine times out of 10, provided the offer isreasonable and not derisory.
For legal reasons which I will not bore you with but whichgo back several hundred years, the cheque must not come from you, but most comefrom a third party, friend, relative, solicitor, our accountant, neighbour,girlfriend, wife, husband, whoever, just not from you.
Here is some rather heavy reading http://www.voltimum.co.uk/news/2312/cm/the-law----full-and-final-settlement-.html
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On Monday, the judgement is likely to be set aside. Quite simplybecause you have responded to everything and the correspondence went to an oldaddress presumably through the solicitor's fault (either accidentally orintentionally!).
It then means that you are back to negotiation and in thatrespect, I still think you can rely on the letter and the cached cheque ifindeed it has been cashed.
You could raise this with the judge on Monday and say that thisissue has now been resolved because you sent the letter (let the judge have theletter) and they have cash the cheque (if they have) so there is no need for itto return to court.
The other side may object to that and the judge will eitherdecide to deal with it therein then or he will set the judgement aside and waitfor another hearing when the whole thing will be decided.
Please remember that there appears to be no issue over the factthat you owe £11,000. It is now a case of whether they will accept (if theyhave not cash the cheque) £9500 including costs. If not, the argument is notover the £11,000 but it is over the solicitor's costs and if this goes to afull trial, they will most certainly be over £5000
On the basis of what information you have given me, I cannot seehow there can yet be £5000 of the legal costs although there will be if thisgoes to a full trial.
If that happens, and they lose, their client is going to getnothing in all probability will probably not please them very much