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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4065
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am owed 43K by an ex partner, to whom I lent money over

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I am owed 43K by an ex partner, to whom I lent money over the last year and a half for either valid or bogus reasons. Long story - probably will never know if reasons were genuine. I have proof with messages, bank transfers and a declaration he wrote saying he owed me money that these transactions happened. I would now like to try to reclaim debt with a repayment plan, He has ignored all messages for past two months. On the day I gave a very definite request for repayment to start, he faked that he was dying and I have heard nothing since, but am sure he is alive from online activity. I also believe he does not have much money, but enough to commence regular repayments. Please advise which steps I could take next that will cost me the least - I have lost all of my money to pay for legal action to him!
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: In Kent, UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I initially sent a text message 7.5.20 asking him to pay the £1,400 he had promised to pay that month (due a week before that) on that day. That was when I had the message where he was supposedly dying. I subsequently sent him a request on 28.5.20 giving the total amount he owed and asking for a payment of £500 and a written repayment plan on 29.5.20 (his pay day) and saying if I did not hear from him I would have no choice but to escalate matters. I have heard nothing.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am confused looking at different options for debt recovery as to which is most cost effective for me and even more so, if any are likely to get me a positive result. If he still won't pay up, I will have spent money I can ill afford on fees and just have lost more money if he won't pay.
Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Yes you can pursue him on the basis of your demand and bank balances. Does he have any assets to repay you? Or is he employed - and has a salary against which to pay? The concern would be if he was declared bankrupt - then you will never get the debt back.
That said if you don’t want to spend the money on court proceedings - any initiative step would be to serve a statutory demand - this is a precursor to bankruptcy and a formal demand for payment. This would potentially force him into negotiating a payment plan (called a Forbearance Agreement). I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I don't think he has any assets. A lot of the money was related to him trying to sell land in South Africa, which may or may not exist. He has a salary and I believe already has a court order against him to pay rent, after he fell into rent arrears last year. I believe he has a regular salary of about 38K from a reliable employer, so should be able to afford a repayment plan from what I know of his outgoings. However, I am very aware that he almost certainly doesn't have much spare money and forcing his bankruptcy would achieve nothing for me.I have looked at options of taking him to court, which seems would cost me about 4K. I don't think he would attend mediation. I can't find the cost of a statutory demand.
https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands Thank you. A stat demand is free to send - it would put pressure on him as a threat of bankruptcy. You don’t have to follow through with the bankruptcy petition - but the debt would then be formally due and owing. Is he ignoring all correspondence? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
he is ignoring all correspondence in the form of text messages and earlier on phone calls, including when I blocked my caller ID. He did of course pretend he was dying (in a message meant to be from his daughter on the day I demanded money) - so I presume he is hoping I will just disappear with my money demands. He, has been active online most days, however, and I would imagine in error read a WhatsApp message I sent on his work phone recently (he had not opened any of my WhatsApp messages since I asked for money) and then immediately changed his settings on that phone so that I couldn't see that he was active - until that point he had also been active on that phone every week day. So I have not doubt that he is alive and ignoring me.
Thank you. Do you know his current fixed address? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Please can you advise what steps if any I need to take before I send a statutory demand? For example, do I need to send a written request to pay debt/set up repayment plan? Do I need proofs of debt owed to attach to statutory demand?

Thank you. I would recommend you you send two letters:

- One containing a stat demand;

- and one sent on a "Without Prejudice" basis that states, the money is owed, you will give him time to pay - I would ask for an initial good will payment 1. Say £1000 - and then ask for him to send you post dated cheques. At least you then dont have to rely on him to make the payment ever month.

What sort of repayments do you think he could make? On a monthly basis?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you Alex. Would I send the ‘without prejudice’ letter first and see if I get a response, do you mean? Do I need to send proof of debt with statutory demand? I have been reading up on this process and am concerned that if he disputes the debt, the demand can be set aside and I have to pay his costs. Also I saw that there were several kinds of statutory demand. I presume I need the form for a debt payable in the future as he’ll have to pay in instalments? I imagine he could pay from £200- hopefully £500 a month. I believe I know quite a lot of his outgoings and based on his salary, I don’t think this would be unreasonable to expect.

Thank you. I would send both at the same - the Stat demand and WP letter. The State Demand lets him know the debt is owing and there will be consequence for inaction. The WP letter is to get a means of settlement and payment. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you. Please can you confirm whether I need to send proof of debt and whether having to pay costs if demand is set aside is something to be concerned about? Also please can you confirm whether it is the ‘debt payable in the future’ version of the statutory demand I need to complete?

Thank you. If you have any acknowledgement or proof that would help. Normally- the debtor will send you a note - offering the opportunity to set aside the application before going to court. So you would have an opportunity to negotiate. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you Alex. Is it the ‘debt payable in the future’ version of stat demand I need to complete? I have a letter dated some time last year from the debtor saying he owed me money. He left a space on it for me to fill in final amount. Is it okay to fill in with an amount higher than was borrowed at time letter was dated, if that makes sense? Also, would you recommend posting or delivering demand in person? I’m worried he won’t take delivery by post.

Thank you. No - the debt should be due and owing now. You should send the WP letter as a means of settling the debt - and getting payment. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you for your reply. I will do the WP letter, but I was referring to the letter the debtor had given me saying he owed me money, but left me to fill in amount. The letter was written in April 2019, at which point he owed me less than he owes me now. What I meant is, can I fill in the final larger amount, which is what at the time he meant me to do, or should it be what he owed me at that point in April? Please confirm which form I should complete - is the 'debt payable in the future' the one for paying by installment? Also, do you recommend posting or delivering Stat demand in person please?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hi Alex. I have attached my attempt at completing statutory demand so far. I have highlighted in red my queries and in green detailed what the query is. Please could you advise on the queries?
Thank you. How much did he owe you in April? Can you prove the additional borrowings?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I would have to check the additional amount when at home. All of my bank statements show what has gone to him.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi Alex. Have you had a chance to look at the statutory demand above yet, please, as I was hoping to complete it later?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
To answer your earlier question, Alex, the amount he owed me on 08.04.19, the date of his letter, was £26, 286. The total debt is £43,741. I have attached the letter, so that you can see what I mean. Regards.
Thank you. That is evidence even without the amount. If the amount in the stat demand is dispute this should not defeat the demand entirely / the main point of the SD is to prove a debt is owed and the 21 days notice is served. Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you Alex. So do you recommend that I fill in an amount on letter and higher or lower amount? Should I attach copies of this and bank transfers to stat demand or WP letter? Regards

Thank you. I would do the higher amount - the quantum can always be changed.

Send the WP letter completely seperately.

Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you. Should I attach copies of bank transfers? I thought you meant to send WP and stat demand at same time?

Thank you. Yes - send them at the same time - they should be separate documents. Yes you can attach a bank statement if it proves your claim. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you. Is it best to post, then deliver in person if he won’t accept, do you recommend? Regards

Thank you. Send it by first class post would be best. Take a photocopy for proof of postage. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you Alex. I have attached the statutory demand, completed as well as I can. I have put a couple of things in red where I was hoping you could tell me if wording not correct and some queries in green, which I would appreciate if you could tell me if I have misunderstood please. Regards

Thank you. The points in red look ok to me. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you for prompt response. Have I understood correctly what I have written in green? Regards
Thank you. The only comment is - I would not say “Need to agree a repayment plan” - that point is already clear. Do the bank statements account for the whole debt? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you. A few credit card payments too. Should I send copies of everything, or just letter with totals? Regards
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Also, should copies go with Stat demand, wp letter or both please?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Alex. I've filled in an 'improved' version of statutory demand following your comments. I have highlighted in red a few queries I still have, if you are able to advise, please? Regards Lisa

Thank you. It cannot hurt to send evidence of how the debt accrued. You can send both the letter and Stat Demand together.

In response to your query;

- yes delete the crown minister paragraph -if you are indeed not a crown minister;

- include the Debtors current address;

- The consideration for the debt - is a description of how it arose? I.e use of your credit card or cash payments in return for a promise that it would be repaid.

- Reference - this is for your own use;

- Part C - this is not relevant to you.
Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thank you Alex for all of the information. Do I understand correctly, that you mean the stat demand and wp letter can be in the same envelope? In an earlier message, I thought you meant I should post at same time, but in separate envelopes. Regards Lisa

Thank you. Yes they can be in the same envelope - as long as they are separate letters. I would be most grateful if you would rate my response so far. Kind regards AJ

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Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thank you Alex. I really appreciate all of the advice you have given me and hopefully I am ready to progress now. I will rate you now and hopefully won't need to trouble you further on this matte! I have been really impressed with your responses and thank you greatly. Best wishes, Lisa