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Vincent2013, JustAnswer Expert
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified solicitor and barrister (non-practising) with 7+ years experience
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Hi, Im hoping for some advice about where I stand with claiming

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Hi, I'm hoping for some advice about where I stand with claiming money owed to me by an ex work colleague.
He had his car reposessed while at work, a few months before Christmas. He is a young man with a small baby and he was earning minimum wage. My car was up for sale at this time and he expressed an interest but was struggling with money. I already had my new car and so was not necessarily desparate for the cash at that time in order to buy another car. He came to look at the car for sale, a Fiat Punto, test drove it and we agreed a price of £500. Now because of his financial situation, I gave him the option of saving for it until he could pay the full amount or paying me a minimum of £50 every 4 weeks until it was paid for. The latter was agreed and he took the car and I sent off the log book. I wrote the agreement down on paper, explaining everything in detail, made two copies, one each and we both signed them. I have receipts for all payments made so far too.
All was fine until just before Christmas when he walked out of work and quit his job. I was initially very worried but he has kept up the payments, every 4 weeks as arranged. The last payment he made, on the 7th Feb, caused me to worry a little more as he told me he had part exchanged the Punto as the suspension had gone. I stressed that although I was sorry this had happened, I could not be held responsible for this. He seemed ok about it but has now failed to make the next payment. I've texted him several times to establish what is going on, I've tried ringing him but he won't answer and I've been to his address too but get no response. I gave him until 5.30pm on Sunday to respond or I would cancell the arrangement and request all monies owing in one final payment. He still owes me £290 and I'm really angry that he won't at least explain what the problem is. I've told him that if it's simply a case of can't afford this months payment then to just say so and we can arrange something else but he still won't reply.
I've worried that maybe I shouldn't have sent the log book off as this car is now in his name but I couldn't take the risk that he might have gained points or something worse while driving a car still in my name. My question is can I take this to a Small Claims Court? Thank you for reading this.
Julie Watts
Hi, thanks for your question. My name's XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with it.

Yes, for money claims less than £10,000, proceedings can be issued online and will ordinarily be allocated to the small claims track. Proceedings can be issued here:

A small fee is payable for issuing proceedings but a solicitor won't be required (details of court fees can be found here The court fee and, certain expenses relating to any hearing (such as travel expenses and loss of earnings) can be recovered if the claim is successful.

Before issuing proceedings it is advisable to send one final warning letter (a letter before action) to the defendant at his address. The letter should set out brief details regarding the agreement, the breach thereof along with the request for payment of the balance. A time limit should be provided (say 14 days) or proceedings will be commenced to recover the sum.

Please see below a useful link from CAB regarding small claims proceedings.

I hope that's helpful but please let me know if I can clarify anything.
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