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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45353
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A friend has owed me £5250 since 2011 and has avoided paying

Customer Question

A friend has owed me £5250 since 2011 and has avoided paying back any of this to me. I have asked her to give me a proposed repayment plan and she has suggested £10 a month! Given that it has been over 5 years since she borrowed the money from me, I feel that this is rather punitive. Can you advise me what I can do in these circumstances please?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Please can you tell me if you had ever agreed the loan in writing? Thank you.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
There are text messages regarding the loan and some of my attempts to get some repayment, and my friends responses
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
As this is a loan based on a simple contract (even if no written contract exists there would be a contract implied in law), you are able to pursue this money formally if necessary. This means that you have the option of going down the small claims court route to get what you are owed. There are strict time limits for doing so however but I do not see that you will be out of time just yet. Just to advise you of these, the debt must be pursued within 6 years, although when this time starts to run depends on the following:· If an agreed date for repayment was made, within 6 years of when the repayment became due· If no agreed repayment date was agreed, within 6 years of the time you make a formal demand for the repayment of the debt So in either case as the money was only given 5 years ago you would be within the time li it to issue a claim. I know the debt is for £5250 but if your claim is for more than £5,000 then the claim fee is £410, whereas for debts up to £5,000 it is £185 so you may wish to keep the claim to under £5,000 just to get the lower claim fees. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow in order to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
How do I go about starting a claim in the Small Claims Court?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
You can do this either online or in post to your local county court. There are however a couple of steps you should follow first before you go for the court action. If you could please leave your rating for the advise so far then I can continue with the more detailed steps of the procedure, thanks
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45353
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Have left my rating and a tip...
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Thank you very much. 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. 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. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. 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 8 months ago.
I sent various text messages requesting repayment of at least some of the debt (most I still have but some were lost when I replaced my phone) and I wrote a letter 3 weeks ago (2/5/16) requesting details of her repayment proposal and received a short text reply 22/5/16 stating that she offers me £10 per month. Is this enough for me to proceed to take court action?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
you can do but I suggest you send one last one where you actually specifically threaten legal action so that they know this is the next step if they do not repay you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
OK That's great, I will do that and will state that they have 10 days for a respond with a reasonable proposal to repay and will state that if no reasonable response is forthcoming I will be taking legal action to recover the debt.
What if they plead poverty due to, say, unemployment?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
if you win th claim you have various methods of enforcing the judgment, such as bailiffs, attachment of earnings order etc. If they do not have the money to pay you could agree a repayment method but in the end if they really cant then you may have to make them bankrupt - sadly nothing will guarantee that you will get the full amount but you can try your best to get as much as you can
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
This lady has previously declared herself bankrupt in order to avoid paying debts in the past. She does not have any assets. However, I will see how far I can take this - Thank you so much for your help.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
you are welcome, all the best

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