Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Please can you tell me how long ago the service was provided and how long the amount has been outstanding for?
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Assuming that the client wanted this service to proceed, they had sent payment (even if this was not received) and they did not take any steps to cancel the contract or advise you that they no longer wish to proceed, then it can be implied that the contract was formed and that they would be liable for payment. Even though the cheque may not have arrived, they knew at the time that the service would still go ahead so I they did not want to continue with it then they should have advised you of this before it had started. The fact that they did not pay to start with does not absolve them of future liabilities to pay up if the contract and related services had still gone ahead.
Whilst I cannot give you formal prospects of success, this is something which you can indeed consider taking further on the above assumptions. In terms of waiting time before starting action, you should still give them reasonable time to try and resolve this, which would usually be a couple of weeks or so, whilst you send them formal reminders and also outlining what your next steps would be.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the formal steps you need to follow preparing for a potential claim and how to proceed from here, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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. 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. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands/forms-to-issue-a-statutory-demand
4. 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.
Sorry should have made that clear - the small claims is an alternative to the stat demand
it really depends on the circumstances of the debtor but a stat demand can have more serious repercussions sooner than a court judgment