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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3652
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Is an unsigned...

Customer Question

Is an unsigned but dated "Deed of Settlement" likely to be

recognised as a valid contract in a court ?. Two part payments have been made, which I believe constitutes an agreement. Proof of these payments from the company concerned are available.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Alex J. :

, Thank you question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. How were the payments made?

Alex J. :

Was this deed a settlement of an ongoing court claim?

JACUSTOMER-z0at1t21- :

No it resulted from threatened court action .

Alex J. :

, Thank you.

Alex J. :

How were the payments made?

JACUSTOMER-z0at1t21- :

The agreement was of £25k. First two in installments of £5k each. And a final one of £15k. The first two were payed. With the final payment due 21st Dec 2014. This is the one I'm chasing. He's offered three stage payments of £5k each but I'm requesting full payment. He's now saying that he's not received the signed original deed. So I was wondering if I could send him a copy of the deed via email but unsigned. As it asks witness. So would need me to arrange etc thus slowing the payment.

Alex J. :

, Thank you. I am just writing a response it will take me ten minutes or so, so please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me right away. Kind regards AJ

Alex J. :

, Thank you. A deed must be signed sealed and delivered to executed properly. You cannot therefore execute it without a witness - this can be anyone unconnected to you - i.e your next door neighbour.

Alex J. :

At the moment your settlement agreement will be evidence by the fact that you have agreed it in writing and payments were made. Until he signs the settlement deed as well I think it would be difficult to enforce payment.

JACUSTOMER-z0at1t21- :

Thank you prompt replies.

Alex J. :

No problem. Can I assist you any further?

JACUSTOMER-z0at1t21- :

I think I need one final question answered. Could you please elaborate on "sealed and delivered" am I right to send it signed for ? Could I also send an electronic copy via email ?

Alex J. :

, Thank you. You can swap copies electronic with the original to follow. Signed sealed and delivered means you sign it in the presence of a witness (because people dont use seals any more) and then deliver it to the other person. Really you need his copy signed as well. What I would do is send it to him electronically by email and say it is held in escrow and not released until he has sent you his signed part. If you release it before he has his signed his part of the deed then you have an obligation to give up your claim but he wont have an obligation to pay you. Kind regards AJ

JACUSTOMER-z0at1t21- :

Okay sorry on. "Held in escrow" is it just a legal phrase to write into the email ?

Alex J. :

,

Thank you. No problem. This is a "legal" phrase. It just means that the deed is signed and sealed you have given him a copy of it, but say in your email it is not delivered and must be held to your order until you have received his signed part.

JACUSTOMER-z0at1t21- :

Excellent. May you have a wonderful weekend. Thank you.

Alex J. :

, Thank you. You too. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist any further. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Alex J. :

Kind regards AJ

Alex J. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Excellent service, especially the wording to put in an email before sending. As I'm sure your aware can have a negative or positive outcome. Thank you again. Kind regards. Mike.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Alex.

I'm going to attempt to ask this question a third time..........................


I sent the email back with the signed and witnessed deed of Settlement attached also stating that it was in "Escrow" and not to be released from my order until I recieved his signed part.



It seems he's stalling replying "We sent you a copy which we had signed, at the time. are you suggesting that we didn't reach an agreement and both sign at the time"



I have sent this reply............


"Good evening Tony.


You now have the documents from me that you requested on 15th january 2015.


I do not see any further reason that the payment that was due in December 2014 can not be payed in full within the next seven days"


Kind regards


Mike Nistoreanu.



I guess you need to see these to determine your next answer. However as I say above, he seems to be messing around.



you may need to know that I feel he has already recognised the agreement by way of letter confirming that I am due 15K but suggested three equal quarteley payments of 5k one of which was enclosed in the letter, which I have not cashed through fear of inadvertantly entering a new agreement with him.



Have you any suggestion which would "Nip this in the bud" so to speak ?.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.
Just to confirm I have received this and I will revert to you in the morning when I am back at my computer.
I will comment further but an immediate solution would be to commence proceedings.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Alex.

Yes I anticipated that so I've sent a response to his earlier mail which read...................

"Good morning Mike

Thank you me the signed deed.

I confirm that as we have not yet re-sold the Derby territory we will comply with our agreement and pay you £15,000

We will do this in three equal instalments of £5,000, the first of which we have already paid. Subsequent instalments will be made at three month intervals which follows the original payment schedule.

I trust that this will be satisfactory

Kind regards

Tony"

.....................Not only am I not happy with this, but if I were to accept would it constitute a new agreement therefore voiding the original and so dragging it out further ?

The response I sent was.............................

"Good afternoon Tony.
As I've said previously the settlement agreement was final payment of £15,000 not in stages.
Therefore I must insist that the payment be made in full by the 27th January 2015, to avoid any further action.
Kind regards
Mike Nistoreanu"

Alex I can't stress enough the need of the T's to be crossed and I's to be dotted. As he seems to dote on technical get out's and so getting case's dismissed.

I'm in the situation where he's not refusing to pay, so a judge may wonder why I wasn't more amicable.

So I've given him reasonable time to pay, sent two requests payment.

Do I need to send "A letter of action" before filling in and filing my claim form with the court.

Should I be claiming that the Deed first be recognised as a binding agreement by a court (because he has not returned a signed copy to me) and then another hearing to enforce the agreement. Or could this be done in one hearing ?.

I appreciate it may take a few days to get an answer.

Kind regards

Mike.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks.
I will revert to you asap.
Kind regards
AJ
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.
I would note the following:
1. A deed is not enforceable until it has been signed sealed and delivered - the original deed cannot be enforceable;
2. Before you commence proceeding against anyone you need to issue a letter before action - effectively a warning that if they do not attempt to negotiate or settle you will commence a claim. If this guy is not taking you seriously then you should send the letter before action via a solicitor. A letter before action from a solicitor gives it the added gravitas that you have been advised properly and know your rights.
3. When you ask him to execute the deed what response do you actually get?
4. Based on his email when would you anticipate the next instalment? Would it be the end of March?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. I've not forced the signing issue mainly because I'd assumed (wrongly) that it could be recognised by a judge as a legal agreement/contract. Your answer confirms this may not be the case. Yes the next payment should be due around March end. If you were in my position, would you suggest trying to get stage payments (two more) completed and finished by March end. Also if the deed is not enforceable. Could I revert to a bit of paper he initially scribbled on stating the payment term's ? That is titled "Heads of agreement" however that only says that after two years then the £15,000 is payable. It doesn't say how. Thank you.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.
I am travelling this weekend so have limited access to internet so my responses maybe intermittent.
Just as a practical point if I were you I would ask dated checks payment sums if realistically he can only afford to pay on three month intervals.
In relation to the heads of agreement have two years elapsed?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes it passed 21st November 2014. However I've been using the deeds date. Could this paper be linked to the deed (that effectively doesn't exist) or could it stand on it's own ?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.
The deed can only be effective from the date it was executed and dated by both parties.
The alternative the unsigned agreement is simply evidence of a verbal contract agreeing to a settlement.
If you are going to sue on anything it is simply a money claim failing to pay his debt under the agreed settlement terms. They were agreed verbally and you have a draft contract to show evidence of the terms agreed. You would need to convince the court that the unsigned document was the final agreement between the parties.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex.


I seemed to have reached an amicable conclusion but I've sent the letter before action which he will sign for tomorrow.


Do I have the authority to put a "stay" or "hold" (I believe a judge would do this when arranging mediation) on any further action until I've received the final payment which is due by end of February. Then cancel all further action when the check has cleared ?.


What wording can I use, or is the wording not that important at this stage ?.


Kind regards


Mike.