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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 77806
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I need advice regarding blackmail, Uk, I have spoken to

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I need advice regarding blackmail
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Uk
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have spoken to citizens advice and also filled in a form on 101
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The person owed me money for dog walking that's already taken place. After months of waiting and trying to put in place a payment plan that was agreed to and still no payment I spoke with the customer and said I had been advised to take the legal action the customer then accused me of mistreatment to the dog whilst in my care. This has caused server stress
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

I understand a customer whose dog you walked has not paid you for the service and has now made an accusation against you. P{lease provide some more details of what exactly has happened and when. Thank you

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you for your reply. I walked two dogs for the owner in the early part of this year. One of the dogs a sore on its head which didn't happen in my care during the time the customer asked for advice about the sore. I haven't seen the dogs for quite some time because she couldn't pay me. I offered to set up a payment plan with them to help which they accepted but never made payment on. Then on Tuesday the 10th I contacted her to see what was happening to be told that she couldn't pay me and that she was going into an iva. I asked if I had been listed with the Ivan company and said that I had been advised to seek legal action to which I received a reply warning me that I should be aware that it was clear her dogs had trauma happened in my care and not by her dog like I had told her. But at no point had I suggested her dog was the cause or did it happen in my care I have been left feeling scared stressed and sick
No problem at all, and thank you for providing this information. How long did you provide your services to this customer please, and when exactly was it?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I worked with the customer from around the 15th Feb till 31st march since march I have asked for payment understanding from her she was having money trouble thus offering a payment plan then on the 10th May I informed I had been advised to take legal action then the threat came straight of that message

Thank you. Can I also just check how much you are owed in total please?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
308.00
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I also have all chat information that has been exchanged

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 full reply on here; usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.

This is not blackmail from a legal perspective and it all comes down to a breach of contract on the customer’s part for refusing to pay you what they owe you. There are ways for you to try and take it further if you wanted to recover the money that you are owed.

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 9 days ago.
What about the fact she has accused me of something I haven't done and only done this after stating fact about money

Hello again and thank you for your further queries, which I will be more than happy to answer. That still does not amount to blackmail. Accusations alone will not be sufficient, there has to be a demand with menaces, for example she threatens to publicly state that you have mistreated her dog. But even then she could try and argue that she had evidence of it and genuinely believed it was the case, rather than doing it maliciously. Lastly, blackmail is a criminal matter – I very much doubt the police will get involved in this case and will likely tell you it is a civil matter which you need to pursue as I explained earlier.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

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