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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My daughter owed £600 to her child's nursery. On leaving end

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My daughter owed £600 to her child's nursery. On leaving end of term, the management changed.
My daughter sent numerous emails, phone calls, never a reply, this went on for approx 1 year. She then
received a letter from debt agency, stating she owed the £3,000. She began paying into their account a set amount Then they said they could not trace the money. Daughter checked with bank, money was being paid. Now it is all out of hand. Bailiffs came to her house two days ago and stated she now owes £6,000. She is distraught. There has been something wrong from the beginning. My daughter has kept a file of all her emails, phone calls and letters. I am very worried for her.
Thank you for any help you may give.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Hi there. Please can you advise whether your daughter has presented proof of payment to the debt collecting agency?
This is indeed a very unfortunate position to be in and I do empathise. It has clearly gotten out of hand and all parties need to take at least a few steps back to try and resolve this. They need to go back to the time when the debt had become due and the correspondence and payments made since then. It is clear that there has been a breakdown of communication at some point and this needs to be identified and dealt with.In the first instance she should collate all correspondence and evidence of payments from the start of this dispute, so that she can show that she has been communicating with them and not just ignored the debt and also that she has been making payments towards it. This needs to be put together and sent to all involved parties, such as the nursery, any debt collectors dealing with this and the bailiffs. It is also important to consider whether this matter has been through court. Bailiffs cannot enforce the debt unless they have a county court judgment in the creditor’s favour. So if they really want to pressure her further they need to consider taking the matter to court to have it looked at formally by a judge. That is when she can use all the evidence I mentioned to show that she has been paying this off and communicating with them. Another thing she could do is to warn these people that they are likely going to be guilty of harassment if they continue to pursue her like this, especially if it is over a disputed debt. Hopefully that will fend them off for the time being.This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on harassment and what she can use to her advantage, 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 I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thankyou for your response. This is really a mess. Something does not seem right with this nursery. The bailiff who came to the door did state that my daughter was not the only one with money owing to nursery. Two months ago it was £3,000, now it's nearly £6,000. It's frightening. This can't be right. Thankyou.
No it is not right and just because they say that this is the position does not make it right. This is their understanding but that is just their view at this stage. Unless it goes to court and a court rules in their favour it will simply remain just their position, which can be challenged. I can still discuss the harassment position with you, so I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process then I can do so. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thankyou for replying. It seems strange that when my daughter was paying £100 per month to nursery, they contacted her and asked where the money was. She contacted her bank and it was being put into their account. Next minute, a letter from debt agency. So from £600 to £3,000, now £6,000. I think it is best to not pay, take my daughter to court and let the judge see what they are doing. You have helped me to make my mind up. Thankyou for now, if I need your help, I will contact you.
Thank you. Just to discuss harassment as promised, This conduct could potentially amount to harassment, which could be both a civil matter and a criminal one. The law states that a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.Under criminal law, and if this is reported to the police who then take action, the punishment for harassment can be imprisonment and/or a fine. A court may also impose a restraining order for the purpose of protecting the victim.In addition to criminal action, a civil claim can also be brought against a person who is alleged to be guilty of causing harassment. The courts would award compensation to the victim, something that is unlikely to happen if this is pursued as a criminal issue.So in the first instance the police can be contacted and this matter reported to them as harassment. However, they will not often get involved in trivial disputes so if they believe that this is not serious enough they could refuse to help and advise you that this is a civil matter. In such circumstances, the victim can warn the harasser that their actions are being treated as harassment and that unless they refrain from such behaviour in the future they will be reported to the police and legal action under harassment legislation taken against them.