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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46237
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A verbal agreement was reached on a handshake between

Resolved Question:

A verbal agreement was reached on a handshake between our banks credit controller who agreed to release all charges on our personal properties, And that they would take over our commercial building site with 14 houses on the condition I looked after the houses and maintained them until the sale of these houses. I have kept my side of the agreement but they have not despite asking for written confirmation. They have never denied they had made the deal.
What is the legal position on this verbal agreement.
Mike Emmerson
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Were there witnesses to the agreement?

Customer:

No witnesses. But offer discussed with the banks credit controller, and I confirmed this by email to the bank, which they have never denied and said they were waiting for their solicitors to do the paper work. This never came to fruition. This offer was discussed with several buisiness associates who are willing to swear affidits to confirm this. I have recently become blind and I feel that the bank is taking advantage of my condition as I cannot readily communicate without assistance.

Ben Jones :

A verbal agreement can be as legally binding as a written one, with the main difficulty proving what was actually agreed, especially when it is simply one person’s word against another’s. However, if there were witnesses or some other documentary evidence that backs up your side of the story then it would be beneficial to show that the verbal agreement did in fact take place.


 


The way the law operates is that a legally binding contract would be forced if there was an offer, an acceptance and some consideration. There was obviously an offer made by one party, which was subsequently accepted by the other and the consideration is the fact that you continued based on that agreement and discharged your part of the bargain.


 


So the fact that the other party has refused to undertake their part of the contractual obligations means that they are technically acting in breach of contract. This would enable you to pursue the matter further if necessary, by claiming breach of contract against them. You could ask a court to order specific performance, which is where the other party is ordered to do something specific, like discharge their duties under the terms of the agreement. However, no one can physically force them to do so, and if that is the case then all you can do is seek compensation for losses/damages incurred as a result of their breach.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Customer:

How often is this successful in a court of law, or is it mostly settled by arbitration.

Ben Jones :

It is impossible to generalise with such claims – each claim is different, it depends n the circumstances, what evidence is available, what witnesses come forward and the quality of their evidence and so on – you can’t just say X% of verbal contract claims are won and X% are lost.

Customer:

One of the main points is the total lack of communication from the bank as mentioned.and this also happened in Sept '12 where the bank refused to communicate with me despite repeated emails and telephone enquiries. Would this previous lack of communication be relevant.

Ben Jones :

it would be if you have incurred further costs as a result, but not in relation to the merits of the claim

Customer:

The bank have put me in the position that I have lack of funds, have you any idea what the cost would be to persue this matter.

Ben Jones :

Well what are you after, is there a value to the claim, like the compensation you are after?

Customer:

My verbal agreement included that they took over a farmhouse, 13 new build detached and semi derached houes, farm buildings and land whic had a value £1,9 million Unfortunately the bank has charges on 9 of my properties, one of which is my main residence and we would like this removed to be able to dell several of them.

Ben Jones :

Ok I can’t calculate the value of your claim because I have no idea what you may e babel to claim but any claim costs would depend on whether you are seeking specific performance, so no financial compensation but something else, like an order requiring them to do something, or financial compensation. You are looking at a few thousand if you were to have legal representation, less if you did everything yourself.


 

Customer:

Re previous. They in turn were supposed to release all charge and debentures , which the haven't and, they have undersold the Farm ect for £1.3million which is 600K under market value. But have still retained they charges on my home and other properties. Compensation needed where applicable.

Ben Jones :

The court fees schedule is here:

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/ex050-eng.pdf

these are the basic costs depending on the value of the claim, you also have to consider what legal fees you may have to pay if you decide to get legal representation but that would be agreed with the lawyers directly, it can vary considerably

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Customer:

The bank took over a residential development site of 13 new build house an excisting farm house, land and out buildings which was professionally valued at 1.9 million pounds. As part of the agreement I made with them was that they took over the site on condition that all charges on our other properties were removed. However they sold these properties for 1,3 million pounds. 600K undersold. And have still not removed their charges on our other properties and they are attempting to charge me interest on my other properties. The date of the agreement was the 04/09/13. and yet they are still trying to claim interest up to todays date. What is your opinion.

Ben Jones :

I am afraid this is digressing from the original query which was the legal position of the verbal agreement, which we discussed above, especially as the 10 minute chat session expired some time ago. To discuss merits of your case, etc you would need to post a new query in our UK law section

Customer:

OK thanks you have been very helpful

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46237
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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