Hello, thanks for your question. My name is Tony.
If you lose at Court and a costs order is secured against you, then it is possible that they could obtain a "charging order" against your property, which they could then enforce by way of an "order for sale", which would require you to leave the home and for it to be sold.
is it possible to transfer the house over to my daughter prior to the case so I don't own it and therefore they could not make a charge on it?
Hi Tony, Is it possible to transfer the house into my daughters name or sell it prior so that I do not own it and therefore they could not make a charge on it?
It's difficult to do anything now with the house that will prevent it falling into the hands of the other side if they win.
The problem is that it would likely be seen a a "transaction to defraud creditors" and could be set-aside by a creditor or a trustee in bankruptcy.
You could try, but to be honest, I woudn't hold out much hope of it succeeding.
what does set aside by a creditor or a trustee in bankruptcy mean?
It means that they could get the house back from the person you passed it to.
They would have to get a Court order to do this, though.
If you sold the property trying to raise money (i.e. you'd have to get the money) and used that to fund the claim, then this is another thing altogether, as you'd be using the money legitimately in the course of the claim.
If you just transfer your house away for no money or less than market value, then it's likely to be challenged later.
Last question Tony, with me being 64 and only have approx. £200 spends per month left from my pension and the court costs they estimate at £180,000 they would probably go for an order of sale - do you think? Can't believe I got into this situation.
Yes, I think they probably would if I'm honest. People often wonder the same thing as you - this is the danger of litigation. Your solicitor should have been advising you of these risks though - was he/she?
No we only found out on the day of mediation, that the other side was on a no win no fee and hadn't paid any of their costs to date and also they have an ATE so an insurance to pay all costs if they loose. To be honest I thought I could just give them access over my road and not go to court if I wanted to. Now after working all my life I stand to loose all what we worked for.
Well, they can only apply the success fee from the date the notice of CFA funding is served on you. So they can only "double" their costs from this point in time.
When did they enter into their CFA?
I read on the day of the mediation that it was prior to April 2013.they have estimated their costs at £180,000. I have been paying my costs to date but as from mediation 4 weeks ago, my solicitor now says my costs in the last month have gone up to £18,000. So it is huge amounts of money. I had no idea that this could happen.
The fact you didn't know about the costs risks troubles me, because this is a very significant factor in any litigation. Your solicitor should have been advsing you about this. My suggestion to you would be to consider having the file reviewed by a barrister and get an opinion on your merits etc (if you've not done this already) and then consider letting another solicitor look at the file itself that your solicitor has to see whether his advice has been deficient. A lot of solicitors would consider doing this on a CFA I'm sure if they thought you had something to run with and were able to criticise your own solicitor.
I'm sure my solicitor has made huge mistakes, he didn't get our statement in to the court by the deadline, a deadline I didn't know about and now he is appealing so that we can put our statement in and give evidence. Otherwise, when it goes to court I am a sitting duck. I hope I can settle out of court, but I still don't know where the money will come from. Thank you so much for your advise it's been the best £30 Ive spent in a long time. My solicitor said I could transfer my home, I suspected not.
Ah - the Precedent H costs budget?
what does that mean?
Okay. This is a budget that in certain cases you have to file as otherwise, you can't recover your costs. I dont know whether it applies in your case, but my strong advice to you would be to get another solicitor to look at it for you. I know this sounds daunting, and you're probably worried about those costs, but in my experience, when somebody answers questions like you are to me, it suggests there might be something worth exploring here to see whether your own solicitor is at fault. Obviously, your own solicitor should be acting in yoru very best interests at all times, but sometimes, sadly, you do start to wonder whether they do. Of course, I cannot say that is happening in your case, I don't know, but I expect you would find another solicitor that would be willing to have a quick look through the papers for you and give you an idea whether there is something worth exploring here. You could try and resolve this case then get somebody else to look over your file afterwards, but I find that it's often better to do this now, as they might be able to bring your solicitor into the equation if he has messed up and get him to stump some of the costs etc. Overall, if you have lost confidence of your solicitor, then it's important you work with somebody you can trust and have faith in.
Yes you are right it is daunting, but I agree, I do need to explore further. Again I can not thank you enough for your advise.
You're very welcome!
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yes I will do