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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi, I wondered of you could help? I will try to keep it short.

Customer Question

Hi, I wondered of you could help? I will try to keep it short. I contacted a bridging loan broker on behalf of my husband in December 2012. The broker found a lender that everyone was happy with. The broker told us their fees were 1% plus £500 - this seemed in line with all the other brokers I'd spoken to and so didn't think anymore of it. The broker sent across his terms of business and asked my husband to sign and send back. At the time his printer scanner wasn't working and the broker accepted an email with the terms of business attached along with the words " I can confirm I'm happy with your terms of business". The broker have never received any paperwork with my husbands signature - are the terms of business therefore enforceable without a signature or does the email override that?
Towards completion of the property a mistake had been made by the lender when putting together finance terms. They had charged 2% fee and we had assumed that 1% was going to the broker and that covered our fee. However we found this wasn't the case and they were infact asking for 1% off the lender and 1% off my husband.
As we couldn't afford to pay the £3700 a payment plan was set up for £100 per month. The broker has hounded is for full payment since and we've now received a statutory notice for bankruptcy,
. Please can you advise from here? Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : I assume your husband had actually read and agreed the terms please?
JACUSTOMER-rlpj3g3c- : Hi Alex, no he hadn't read the terms of business. I sent an email from his account agreeing to them.
Alex Watts : In answer to your question does there need to be a signature - no
Alex Watts : Contracts can be oral or written. In terms of written then this can be either by normal letter or email.
Alex Watts : However if your husband is only named on the contract and you agreed to the terms and not him, then the contract is not binding.
Alex Watts : If the contract has you both named then the contract is binding.
Alex Watts : Of course if you emailed using his account misleading the broker, then potentially this could be an offence.
Alex Watts : This is because only your husband should have sent the email saying he agrees. You can not agree on his behalf unless he consents.
Alex Watts : If he consented then sadly he is bound.
Alex Watts : The contract is binding even if it is not signed.
Alex Watts : I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-rlpj3g3c- : And the part about the broker fee being 1% but really it is 2% because they've taken 1% off the lender too which is also classed as a broker fee so there could be confusion.
Alex Watts : You need to check the wording of the contract. In any event you can rely on regulation 5 of the unfair terms in consumer contracts 1999 which states
Alex Watts : 5. (1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.
Alex Watts : Please see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/2083/made/data.pdf
Alex Watts : Does this help?
JACUSTOMER-rlpj3g3c- : What would you advise me to do now I have received a statutory demand this morning?
Alex Watts : You must apply to set it aside on the basis the contract fee is poorly worded and unfair in accordance with the above terms
Alex Watts : Is that ok?
JACUSTOMER-rlpj3g3c- : How much would you charge to send a letter to the broker ?
Alex Watts :

Sadly the site rules prevent me from acting for you, as much as I would like to

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