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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47392
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Several years ago I gave / lent GBP5,000 to my brother to start

Customer Question

Several years ago I gave / lent GBP5,000 to my brother to start a business until now I have never asked for these funds to be returned.
Last year I gave / lent him another GBP5,000 as his business was in trouble.
From the second GBP5,000 I asked him to give my older sister GBP1,000 as she is a pensioner and was moving home.
Hence all up my brother has GBP9,000 belonging to me that he is very reluctant to return.
Can you please advise where I would stand legally if I set out to try and recover my funds ?
It should be noted that I live in Australia and he lives in the UK.
All advise is greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello when was the initial money given to him exactly and was it agreed that all of this would be a loan?
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The initial GBP5,000 was given to him exactly as a loan to help him start a business - making window blinds.
The understanding was that once the business was up and running successfully the money would be returned.
I never asked for the money back as he made out that his business was struggling.
The second lot of GBP5,000 was paid to him last year again because apparently his business was still struggling and his family home was at risk.
As I reside in Perth, Australia I took him on his word, borrowed the funds from the bank and sent these to him.
However when I was in Scotland last October, I discovered that I was not being told the truth and his business was in quite good shape and he didn't need the funds.
I also discovered that he has acquired a bad horse gambling habit where I believe a lot of his earnings are being used hence I requested my money back before that was lost too.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. The issue is you reside abroad so you will have to provide a local correspondence address to be able to pursue the claim. Before you consider legal action though it is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. As the debt I over £5k you will need to issue an ordinary cause actions. Some information on this can be found here: https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking-action/frequently-asked-questions/questions-about-ordinary-cause-procedure Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben,
Regarding "Reminder Letter" and the "Letter before Action", who prepares these ?
Is this done by me or someone with a legal background ?
Can these letters be by email or must they be a formal letter.
Please advise.
Thank you - john
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You can do these yourself you certainly do not have to use anyone else or pay them. Thy can be done by email if needed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben, If possible can you give me some pointers as to how I should format these letters in order to avoid any conflict or angry responses ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi Such a letter should require payment of the debt within a specified time. In particular the letter:· should state how the debt has arisen; the basis of the claim; how much is due;· should state a specified date by which the debt must be paid;· should make clear that if payment is not made then court action will be commenced to recover the debt, judicial expenses, and interest;· may make reference to “diligences” (i.e. methods of enforcing the decree) available to the creditor if a court decree is obtained, and possible consequences to the debtor’s credit rating if the decree were reported to a Credit Reference Agency If you want a solicitor to do this for you cheaply, have a look here: http://www.debtscotland.com/pre_sueletter.cfm
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben, really appreciate this.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome, all the best

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