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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11743
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My Dad has recently died and left my Step Mom (Marie) in financial

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My Dad has recently died and left my Step Mom (Marie) in financial difficulty. He had his own company which suffered considerably after the GEC consequently she fell in arrears with the tax man over a business in all honesty she knew nothing about or how to run. A 'friend' (Andrew), of the family offered to give her a business loan of £15000 to pay the tax man, (this friend practically lived in the Marie's house for over a 15 years and she looked after him as a son). She used the money in exactly that Andrew had dictated, and had already started to pay Andrew back, some £3000 to him. The company folded some months ago and the liquidators stepped in. Andrew and Marie fell out over continual demands from from him for the money, the money she didn't have. She told him to speak to the liquidators as he was on the company creditors list. Andrew then rung up the liquidators and tried to have himself removed from the list so that he could pursue Marie in court over a personal loan as a friend of his said, he was more likely to get more money back. Marie couldn't afford a lawyer and some how got taken to high court instead of what should of been a small claims court issue at best, ***** ***** would seem to be overwhelming evidence supporting Marie's position as this was 'not' a personal loan, his lawyer managed to have the evidence ignored and he made mince meat of Marie in court. She is deeply depressed, near suicidal and has recently suffered a stroke prior to the court hearing due to stress leading up to it. She lost the case, that should never have gone to high court. She is a old woman with very little assets and very poor health. Andrews Lawyer, so I have just been informed, have written to her stating she has to pay £7000 immediately or she will be made bankrupt. I believe will lose her house. Is this legal? Is what has occurred reasonable or fair, or at least have grounds for appeal? Your advise is appreciated.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
Can you check this please as there is no High Court in Scotland which deals with civil matters. Is this in Scotland or England?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was Sherifs Court, she entered the proceeding with legal council, she is a pensioner, She does not recall being formally asked if she was happy to proceed without a lawyer, or sign anything. She was eaten alive by Andrews Lawyer and is now been threatened with bankruptcy if she doesn't pay nearly £7000 in 14 days. Does the court, have a duty of care to ensure the people attending court are in sound mind and fully happy to proceed without legal advice?

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
The court has no duty of care to those appearing before it. This is a case where she ought to have had proper representation and legal aid, if appropriate. However she didn't and the case has reached the stage of no return, I'm afraid.
It appears to me that what has now happened is that a final decree has been extracted and a charge has been served on her by sheriff officers for payment. If she doesn't pay within the 14 days she could have bankruptcy papers served on her thereafter so she has to pay the amount of money sought.
Unfortunately, given the stage in procedure, it is too late to go back and undo what has happened already. I know that that advice is unlikely to find favour but that is where she is at this time.
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