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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50139
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I lent a neighbour £1000 eighteen months ago. They have been

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I lent a neighbour £1000 eighteen months ago. They have been reluctant to repay. After speaking to them regarding repayment they gave me £400 and said that they would repay the £600 still owing. I have sent messages asking when they are likely to be doing this without a positive result. In the first place I didn't have anything in writing but since then I have received a text message from them where they have agreed that they owe me the £600. This dated and photographed. Am I eligible to take them to the small claims court to retrieve my money?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you know if they have the funds to pay you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They will probably say no but I know they have just put their house up for sale. I don't have access to their bank account.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would it be possible to send them an official letter stating that I am seeking to take them to a small claims court?
You don’t actually need any written evidence to pursue this, although it will of course help your case. If you have anything in writing which shows that they had agreed to the debt, you could indeed use that as part of the claim and a text message could be just as useful as a letter. In terms of taking this further, 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 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. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ben, I hope I am still within my plan to ask another question.
I followed your instructions and sent the first letter giving them 10 days to repay the money owed. They phoned me saying they would pay £50 weekly, this did not happen. I sent the second letter (LETTER BEFORE ACTION) letting them know that I was going on take the matter to small claims court. When they ignored this letter, I went on line to Money Claims Online - Thursday 26th November - I have requested full payment now with interested and costs of fees. When checking my bank account today I find that they have put £10 into my account. I am going to put the £10 into a separate account and still carry on with the claim. Can you let me know if this is right way to go?
Hello, you accepting the £30 does not change your position - it is a very small payment towards the full claim but does not mean that their liabilities have been discharged - there is still the rest of the debt to be repaid so you can proceed with this and later on just take off the £10, or any other payments made.