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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75146
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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An ex friend has been using my credit card. He said he would

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An ex friend has been using my credit card . He said he would pay for his expenses then but now is unable to clear his debt. Total debt is about GBP3800.00. What should I do ?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Im abroad.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: They have admitted their debt and have offered to repay only GBP35.00 per month which does not even cover the interest portion. I would like them to pay more per month.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: thats the short of it. Perhaps the lawyer can ask me some questions.

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.

How long has this money been owed to you for? and have you made any formal requests, asking your friend to pay you back in full?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Hi Ben,
Actually Im asking on behalf of my son. He was a student in the UK. He came back in October 2020 and was to return to the UK later. His friend asked the first couple of times if they could use his credit card and they will pay, which they did for a couple of times. Now they ran up the debt to about GBP3,800.00 and have stated that they can only pay GBP35..00 a month which is unacceptable to me. The credit cards have been used since March 2021. Yes, I have requested them to pay back in full.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
What options do I have ?

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues he has experienced in his situation.

If the debtor is unwilling to repay the debt with a reasonable repayment schedule, then your son may eventually have to look at making a claim in the courts to try and recover what he is due.

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.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** think we have to go the moneyclaim route.
Would I need to submit proof of a formal letter before action together with the money claim ?
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Am I correct in saying that should the debtor reject the amount claimed, then we would have to go to court ?
Also, the debtor has some Buy Now Pay Later plans on the credit card - the due date for these plans are not till next yeaR . Should I include them in this claim ? Or do I have to make another claim when the due date falls ?
Basically I would have to clear the crredit card balance first and then claim from them. Is this correct ?

Hi there, thank you for your further queries, which I will be happy to answer. You won’t need to submit the LBA with the claim but you would need to include it as part of the evidence further in the process.

You should be able to include the other plans in the claim because the purchase has already been made and you know what the owed amount is, but there is a chance the court could say they should not be included, in which case you can just make a separate claim in the future

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thanks ***** the debtor can't agree to the repayment plan, then we would need to go to court ?
Can your solicitors firm represent us if we need to go to court in the uk ?
Please confirm these 2 questions.

Yes if you cannot agree on a repayment plan, you can indeed go to curt. As we are a basic chat service, unfortunately we cannot offer legal representation. I hope this clarifies things for you a little bit more.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** will follow up on this chat if I have further queries. I have another 6 days to do so ?
Have a good day.

Yes you would normally have a 7 day trial and can come back to me with short follow ups in that time.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi Ben
Should there be a disagreement with my debtor , and the case proceeds to a court hearing, do I have to be physically present at court as the claimant ? I read that the claimant need not be present at court and can elect to leave the decision to the judge. Is that correct?

You do not need to be present but that can affect your claim as you will not be there to be asked questions by the judge or the other side or to clarify things. I would always recommend you attend in person unless absolutely necessary

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