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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49857
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I manage a small Ltd company with just myself as an

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Hi, I manage a small Ltd company with just myself as an employee. I received an email from a debt collection agency yesterday saying I owe an outstanding payment to an accountant. I have had to change accountant due to poor service and although I agreed to pay a final bill, I did challenge the cost which I thought was excessive and for services not received. I have copies of all correspondence including the offer of a settlement, to which the company did not reply.
Can you advise of my rights?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Please can you tell me how old the debt is?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben,The final bill from the accountants is dated 23 July 2015. I wrote to them asking for a breakdown of the costs and they replied on 6 Aug. I then emailed challenging the amount and stating what I felt was reasonable to pay for the following week. After this, I emailed to chase up the request, receiving a final email from them on 7 October saying they were looking at it. Since then, no further correspondence until the email from the debt collection agency.

Hi there. OK, please leave it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello please can you confirm when you are likely to respond.Thank you.
Many thanks for your patience. If the accountant believes that you still owe them money then there is nothing stopping them for trying to pursue this further. You may have indeed disagreed that the amount they we after was the amount you were reasonably expected to pay for their services but that is solely your opinion and they are within their rights to challenge that. It does not mean they are in the right but they do have the right to pursue what they believe you still owe them. You may have corresponded with them and advised them of what you believe you should pay but if they never accepted that, i.e. They never agreed to it or they accepted a payment labelled as being in full and final settlement, the matter would have remained open for them to challenge.At this stage they have handed this over to debt collectors and all they can do is chase you for the alleged debt and be a nuisance. They cannot force you to pay. If the accountants wanted to take it further they would have to issue a claim in the county court and make a case there. Only if they win would they then be able to get a court judgment in their favour and that is what would allow them to take formal steps to try and force you to pay. So there is still a long way to go before you are officially required to pay. Of course if the matter was to go to court you will het the chance to defend yourself and to argue that the fees they were trying to charge you were unreasonable. You may find that the court agrees with you and it strikes out their claim, or it only requires you to pay a proportion of what is outstanding.I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) 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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