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Welcome to JA.
I am sorry to hear about your situation.
I suggest you undertake the following steps to recover your £500
Draft a letter to the person and at the top of the letter put the following words in big bold print LETTER BEFORE ACTION
Within the letter describe why the amount in question is owed to you.
The letter needs to demand payment within 14 days and say that if he does not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. Further in the letter inform the person that if court proceedings are commenced you will seek interest on the amount owed.
Send the letter via post(recorded delivery and email too)
Hopefully the letter will compel a response from the debtor very quickly.
Do you understand what i have stated so far if yes i will provide a template letter and the next steps?
Please see attached the template for your consideration.
The only online dispute is via the courts but before you commence court action online using the site below you will need to send the letter before action.
I hope i have clarified the position, if not please let me know.
However if i have clarified the position, please before you leave please leave a positive rating as this will help improve the service provided in future.