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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I have received a threatening letter from a former client demanding

Resolved Question:

I have received a threatening letter from a former client demanding repayment with interest for a suspected over payment made 7 years ago that has just now been brought to light; I have checked our accounts and can find no evidence of suspected overpayment which was by cheque made out to us, however this person did not cancel her standing order and we collected an amount similar to what they are requesting but it looks like we have thought that payment was for an outstanding invoice for monies owing but we never picked up on this and neither did the other party and now we are being issued threatening letters in which they state the police will be notified as this is theft and fraud.
I am willing to pay the original amount owed if there is evidence of this but the other party has not submitted the evidence of the cheque that was issued as I can not find it on our statements.
Any help would be great.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

I would not worry too much about threats to involve the police – this is neither theft nor fraud and as such they would not be interested in this matter as it would be a civil issue, not a criminal one. If the other party wanted to take this further then you are correct that they would have to take this to the county court. If the amount is for less than £10,000 then it would go to the small claims court. However to have a successful claim they would need to provide evidence that their claim is valid – it is their claim and it is for them to prove to the curt that what they are claiming is correct. So if they cannot provide any evidence that the money was sent to you then they are unlikely to win. So you can request such evidence from them now and remind them that it is also what a court would require to consider the validity of their claim.

Even if they take this to court you can argue that they are now out of time to bring this in. There is a limitation period for such claims of 6 years. If this happened 7 years ago then they are likely to be statute bared from pursuing this anyway. As long as you have not admitted to the debt or paid anything towards it within the last 6 years then you can rely on that defence. So you can simply write to them denying the debt, unless concrete proof can be shown to back it up, and state that regardless of what happened they are statute barred from pursuing this under the Limitations Act 1980. There is little they police can do so don’t worry about this and the courts will require evidence and in any event they may strike a claim out due to it being out of time.

Ben Jones :

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Customer:

Hi

Customer:

Thank you for your response it has put my mind at rest, it has been 6 years and 10 months and we did state to the other party that we cant find this cheque in our paying in books or even in the bank account, if this is true then the amount paid via standing order was over paid by £200 pound which we are more than happy to reimburse but we need proof of the cheque that they issued.

Ben Jones :

You are entirely within your rights to withhold payment until they provide proof of what they are claiming, just make sure you make no payments towards the debt or acknowledge it. If they cannot provide the required evidence then it is unlikely that the courts will accept a claim as it would be out of time and as mentioned the police are unlikely to be interested in this either.

Ben Jones :

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

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