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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I understand that if someone signs an agreement but they did

Resolved Question:

I understand that if someone signs an agreement but they did so 'under duress' they can retrospectively challenge that agreement. I suppose the question then arises as to what is 'duress' and how can you prove it.
Could it count as duress if someone needed to sell a property to stave off bankruptcy and they were being prevented from doing so by a second party (where that the second party was the cause of the financial problems in the first place) because that second party was endlessly holding the sale up with unduly lengthy legal action to the point that the person needing to make the sale signed an agreement to have a charge put on a second property (one they owned) just in order to unblock the process?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

When was the agreement under 'duress' signed please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 4 years ago.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

If that is the case why has it not been challenged sooner?

Did they realise it was a document to put a charge on a second property?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is my wife and this all happened before we met. She did know but I think she buried her head in the sand. The second party went quiet but has now resurfaced, sending an email that he wants settlement and threatening further legal action.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

There are several issues you have with this:
1) Duress usually only applies to criminal matters where it is a defence. But even then its only a defence if someone does something if a threat of harm has been made

2) In contract law duress involves illegitimate threats. The common law long allowed a claim if duress was of a physical nature. I assume you are not saying this was the case here? No physical threats

3) Time elapsed is quite long. If duress was going to be claimed, it would be expected to be sooner rather than later. 4 years seems to be quite a long time

Finally a Court will consider did they know what they were agreeing to? If the answer is yes a Court is unlikely to consider this. It may be that financially they had no choice, but the Court is not concerned with that.

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I excoriated that to be the answer. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I meant expected that answer!
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Yes I assumed that is what you meant! I am sorry its not better news.

If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex

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