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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35044
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I owe my husband £70,000 to be paid by 21 Nov 2015. I could

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I owe my husband £70,000 to be paid by 21 Nov 2015. I could only get a mortgage for £40,000 due to my credit score (ruined by his non payment of a jointly owned renatal property). I gave him the £40,000 on teh due date, then was going to have to sell my home ( which was in the court order and which would have been the route I would have had to take). However due to a family member's death, I was due some inheritance which would allow me to pay him the outstanding £30,000 (plus the interest as per the court order). He was happy to wait, but the probate stuff took longer than we thought and I was only able to pay him back on 17th March. He owed me £1269.75 in child maintenance arrears (also for him to pay on the court order) so I deducted that from the payment. Now his solicitor wants me to pay her bill/costs incurred and says I was unlawful in deducting the money & has threatened to take me back to court if I do not pay her bill of £984.00. It just seems ridiculous and petty but I feel like I am being bullied. What are my options please?
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWas there any order for costs?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No there was no order as to costs that I can see.
Thank you
What is the exact wording of the threat from his solicitor?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In preparation for you making payment tomorrow I have calculated the interest you owe to John and the additional costs he has incurred due to your late payment.The amount of interest due is £775.89 based upon the following:10 days in November – 21st to 30th November31 days in December31 days in January29 days in February17 days in MarchTotal 118 days£30,000 x 8% per annum = £2,400£2,400 / 365 = £6.58 per day x 118 days = £775.89 – rounded up to £776.As far as costs are concerned, John has allowed the costs incurred to ride due to your agreement, you will recall, on 9th February 2015, to meet the costs of your delayed payments.Had the monies been paid in full on 21st November 2015, when they were due, John would not have incurred the additional costs in my communicating with you, with ***** ***** and with John himself.However, because the monies were not paid on time John, to the end of today (and not even counting any work I do tomorrow) will have incurred an additional £984 in costs to include VAT.John confirms that he owes to you £1269.75 in child support which, taking the above costs and interest into account would mean, in order to square figures between you and John, you should pay to me the sum of £30,490.25 and then John will owe you nothing more in child support arrears; you will owe John nothing more by way of interest (so long as payment is made tomorrow of course) and John will not press for a greater level of costs which continue to accrue whilst the sums remain unpaid – that is so long as the following figures are agreed. The figure of £30,490.25 is calculated as follows:Overdue payment of £30,000.00Interest £ 776.00Costs £ 984.00__________£31,760.00Less £ 1269.75__________£30,490.25__________I therefore expect a sum from you tomorrow of £30,490.25. Should you not agree this figure, clearly you are able to return to court to press for child maintenance and please note that you do not have the right to deduct any outstanding child support from the capital sum you owe to John; to deduct any monies without our agreement would justify an application by us, to the court, along with a claim for costs.By the same token, given your unacceptable delay in paying the monies to John, John could likewise make application to the court to claim the costs he has had to incur in securing payment. This is especially so because we were not being given any real indication as to when we could expect to receive the monies and it was only by my pressing Nicholson and Morgan that an interim payment was made to you. In fact, it is clear that the reason why you received an interim payment of £40,000 from the estate, rather than £30,000, was due to my error when writing to Nicholson Morgan in which I erroneously referred to an outstanding amount to John of £40,000. I also made clear that were we not to receive confirmation of payment by last Friday then we would request, without further notice to you, the court appoint an estate agent on the sale of your property. Due to our error (and John incurring costs to help you achieve this), you received £10,000 more than you required.It would be counterproductive for you to apply to enforce the outstanding child support and for John to apply for the costs he is justified in claiming. Were you each to make such applications, there would then be an argument about who pays what costs of those applications – a complete waste of your time, our time and the court time and the court would be very cross if such applications were laid before it. It makes perfect sense for you to agree the figures outlined above (which accords with the court order and your agreement of 9th February 2015) and I ask you to confirm your agreement to the above figures today so that I am able to inform our Finance Department of the amount they can expect to receive tomorrow.Yours sincerely,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My reply to her email was:
I have paid you the sum of £29,506.25 today into your account. This covers the £30,000 plus interest minus the £1269.75 in child support arrears.'I do not agree with the additional fees requested, especially as John has not yet cleared the debt with Mortgage Express, which he was meant to do with his best endeavours. However I may be prepared to cover some of the additional fees when John can show that he has cleared the debt with Mortgage Express and my name has been taken off the mortgage.'
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
then she replied:
I acknowledge receipt of the payment you made yesterday in the sum of £29,506.25 and note the unlawful deduction you made for child support. You are of course in breach of the Court Order that required you to pay £30,000 to John.You say in your email yesterday that you “do not agree the additional fees requested”. As it happens you did agree in your email of 9th February 2015 to meet John’s costs of John having to enforce payment of monies he was due to and we will exhibit that email to the court if necessasry. The fees were incurred as a result of your completely unacceptable delay in making payment. John could have, at any point after 21st November 2015, exercised his right under the court order, to sell the property in which you reside and he would have been entitled to claim all and any costs that he incurred in relation to that enforcement. Instead, he exercised a great deal of patience with your situation and it is a great pity that you have not afforded him the same mutual respect. John should not have been put to the added expense of having to liaise with Nicholson Morgan and chase you – that is not what the court intended when it ordered that you pay John £70,000 by 21st November 2015. Four months later you say that you “do not agree the additional fees requested”.Even despite the difficult circumstances in which you have placed John over the last 4 months, there was only a 17 day delay in him paying the mortgage payment for March. Not that his payment of the mortgage payment has any connection at all with the costs you have forced him to incur, in answer to your enquiry of yesterday, and when you eventually paid your debt to him, John was able to pay the sum of £2180.44 to Mortgage Express yesterday under payment reference AAAAT3YU3V. For the record I wish to point out that any delay by John in payment of the mortgage is no longer of any business of yours. The Court order provides for that; you are indemnified against any non-payment of the mortgage and as I say, this has nothing to do with the costs you forced John to incur in his attempts to recover what he was due to receive four months ago.Neither do the costs you forced John to incur have any connection with your name being removed from the mortgage with Mortgage Express. That is also provided for within the Court Order of 21st November 2014. I can assure you that John would be delighted if you were to be removed from the mortgage account, however, the decision as to whether you are removed is not that of John’s, the decision is that of Mortgage Express. Your late payment of the capital to John clearly caused a further problem with Mortgage Express so you are culpable. John’s obligation is to use his best endeavours and he is doing so; your late payment to him of £30,000 put him at a disadvantage. And you say, on that basis, you do not agree to pay the costs John has incurred in having to enforce the court order. A rather cavalier attitude that I feel certain will not impress the court.I note your statement that you “may be prepared to cover some of the additional fees” when John can show that he has cleared the debt with Mortgage Express. By your extremely late payment of sums due to John, you placed him in a position whereby he could not pay the mortgage payment on time, so it was your delay that, on this occasion caused the problem with Mortgage Express. If we do not settle this costs issue John will make an application to the court and in preparing that any charges that he incurred as a result of him being unable to pay the mortgage payment, we will ask the court to lay at your door along with any further costs that are incurred.
I would hope it does not come to this but if I do not receive payment from you for the balance of John’s costs (at the moment capped at £984 but will increase further if this issue does not settle), that you caused him to incur then your completely unacceptable delay and the financial impact that had upon John will be put before the court. We will also bring to the attention of the court your inheritance, received so soon after settlement between you at a time when John has been unemployed and you have caused him to incur costs.
If we do not receive the capped figure for costs of £984 from you by close of business on Monday 21st March 2016 then I will advise John to apply to the court to enforce the Order that required you to pay £30,000, this will most definitely be accompanied by an application for costs also. Within that application we will look to recover all of the costs that you forced John to incur over the last four months. I have no doubt that given the various circumstances, the court will look very favourably upon John.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
then I replied:
I will of course pay the interest incurred, but am unwilling to pay any other costs. I would like you to remind John that he still owes me money in the sum of £1269.75 in child maintenance arrears which I have not chased to date. These were to be deducted from the first lump sum paid to John, but that did not happen due to the confusion around getting the money together at the time.I do intend making payment to your account on Thursday and would like a detailed breakdown of costs.
Thank you.
She did not give me any breakdown of costs so I replied:
I acknowledge receipt of your letter today.As far as I can see it, you would like me to pay your bill of £984 without even a breakdown of what those costs may be for. I do not confirm that I have agreed to pay for any costs John has incurred and am unwilling to do so. However I am currently taking advice and will be in touch with you very soon. It seems to me that we do agree that it would be counter productive to go to court for me to claim child maintenance arrears he has already agreed that he owes, on the off chance that he may get me to pay your bill. It seems a ridiculous waste of the court's time and a total waste of both my money and John's money.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dear Clare ....sorry - it all seems so stupid and complicated! I hope you can make sense of the trail and I haven't given you too much irrelevant info. Thank you.
Is there anything else outstanding between you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No nothing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the delay with replies Clare. My internet connection is not great.
In that case I suggest that you write back the following when you pay the interest (which pay to the penny not the rounded up amount)"I have now paid the outstanding interest to the penny.Your passionate espousal of your client's position is noted.If you believe that the Court will indeed penalise me for simply deducting the money that your client owed me rather than suing him then do please feel free to make the application.Equally if you can find any legal basis to try and make me cover your client's fees again feel free to do so, and we will let the Judge decide the matter.Please ensure that any further communication is professional and not emotional."
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Clare - will do.
I really appreciate your help as I felt very bullied!
You were being!
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