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1. As the bribe giver or ransom payor, you are always able to recover this payment from both the estate agent and the vendor of the property without it affecting your good title to the property. You can recover this as money had and received as it is an illegal payments and a constructive trust will be imposed to safeguard your repayment. Accordingly, you should see a solicitor and get them to issue legal proceedings to recover the £10,000. Basically, what happened here was an illegality and the law protects you in allowing you to get back the money unlawfully extracted from you.
Thank you for your prompt answer.
The only concern I have is that I don't have any evidence to prove the estate agent and the vendor bribed me and took payment of the cash - as I said before, I only have my own bank statements to show £10,00 being withdrawn to pay the agent and vendor.
What legal proceedings would be the normal course of action? I know there can never be a definitive guarantee I would get my £10,000 back from these people but I also do not want to be out solicitor costs unnecessarily especially when I do not have concrete evidence they ever bribed me.
2. You are correct in stating that your case presents evidential difficulties. Ultimately, it will come down to whose account of the events is more credible. However, as you can point to the money being withdrawn and the house being sold for less than its value, the silent witnesses are in your favour. The vendor has to come up with a good reason as to why he was willing to part with the property for less than its value. His side of the story "smells" from the outset. Ultimately, you should seek to reach some sort of agreement on fees with any solicitor hired whereby you pay a certain sum as a "success" fee if you win, but your liability will be fixed if you lose. Apart from that there are no guarantees in life, least of all in litigation.
Thank you for your time.