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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73938
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Builder offered a full refund but hasn't paid, Birmingham

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Builder offered a full refund but hasn't paid
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Birmingham Bank have returned me 2/3 of the deposit from their fraud team I wish to return that money to the bank and get my money from the builder
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Citizens advice told me to send a recorded delivery letter to his house and business address but both come back undelivered . Loyds bank asked me to start an action fraud case
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I only have whats app messages and no paperwork

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Please explain your situation in some more detail

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I have been advertising for a builder, Zidane Empire contacted me and gave me a quote .. zidane builders ltd gave me a contract for £19,000 but needed £7000 upfront for materials .. builder would take care of building plans and permission. I paid deposit to his account .. 2 days the builder came to take more measurements but instead of any drawings he tod me he made a miscalculation and needs more money .. I explained he has delivered 0 materials or any work done but asking for more money.. Builder offered me a full refund NO PROBLEM...Then invited me to a site so i can see his work .. Next day I went to the site and the builder agreed I would get a full refund .. Then I received a whats app message telling me in breach of the contract.. its this point I got REALLY Worried ... I phoned his business insurance and they told me policy has expired .. I contacted BARK the website he got my details from and his not registered withBark .. the paperwork and references were fake.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Builder got angry when rhe bank fraud squad got involved and now won't return any money

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

If you have received 2/3rds of the money owed, I suggest you do not send that to the bank and then pursue the builder for the full amount as you are risking getting nothing at all and losing all the money you have already received. Instead, simply pursue the builder for the balance, thus reducing your financial risks.

If money is owed by one party to another, the debtor can potentially be taken to court to try and force them to pay up. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the money that is owed. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome.  There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The debtor will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the debtor that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial repayment.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi Ben .. my builder did not teturn any money, the 2/3rds was paid by my bank out of there fraud/net inversigation team. As I wrote Zidane Empire came to my house but my contract was with Zidane builders ltd. It appeared to me that these are 2 different companys .. no emails or phone calls from Zidane empire have been replied to .. citizens advice gave me a template to follow. These were posted to his business and home address recorded delivery but nobody signed for them... I only have whats app to contact the builder

Hello, thank you for your further queries, I will be happy to answer these. I understand that the builder did not return the money but however you got it back, the fact of the matter is that you have been compensated for 2/3rd of the amount under dispute so instead of returning it and risking getting nothing from the builders, you are best advised to keep that and simply pursue the builders for the remaining amount

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