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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32218
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I ow £700 to a Medical Practice for a procedure which took

Customer Question

I ow £700 to a Medical Practice for a procedure which took place some 4 year ago. The bill ws paid by my insurance coma y but it did not cover 2-% of the costs.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I have offered to pay half over several instalments. I am in London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have responded to the debt agency with my offer. It has been rejected.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No.
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

I'm sorry to read of the above. Over approximately what period do you propose to repay the bill please?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Over 4 months
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

Thank you. From what you say they have rejected your offer - what are the proposing or threatening as from what you say paying more is presumably not an option?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
We have not reached that stage.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
They say that the medical firm wants to be paid the whole sum I do not know if they have sent my offer as it is in their interest to get as much as possible from me
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

thank you. If you are not able to come to terms, then it is open to the creditor to issue proceedings against you in court though if you expect to be able to repay the amount within approximately for months, I can see comparatively little benefit in their doing so is providing you were to enter a defence to any claim, it is likely to take considerably longer than four months for the matter to come to trial by which time presumably would have repaid the amount in question.

Clearly you are not able to pay more than you can actually afford and therefore, their refusing your offer is not entirely productive bearing in mind the above. In those circumstances, all you can really do is explain to them that you have offered to make repayments in instalments and whilst you would like to be able to offer more, it is simply not possible for you to do so. You can point out precisely the above that you expect to be able to repay the amount demanded over a period of four months and observed that whilst they are course have the right to issue proceedings against you, the matter would take more time than that to come to trial and as such, in particular given that they cannot reclaim legal costs in the small claims court, they would effectively be dealing with a lot of additional paperwork for effectively no benefit.

You can go on to say that whether they accept your offer or not, you will put money aside each month until the total balances accrued and then make payment to them once you have saved sufficient monies in one lump sum with or without their agreement in this respect. You can go on to say that you stand willing to make payments by instalments in the meantime at their preference.

If they decide to issue proceedings against you, then you would need to ensure you enter a full defence within 14 days of receipt to avoid a County Court judgement being entered against you. Providing you do so, as above, the matter is like to take considerably longer than four months to come to trial by which time presumably would have made full repayment. The only issue in the circumstances would be the additional court fee that may be payable in those circumstances which from memory is £70

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you for your helpful answer. The one point which I may not have explained well is that I made an offer to pay half the £700 owed. That has been rejected
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you. The point which I did not make well is that I have offered to pay hqalf
]ie £350 over 4 months. I haven in come at the moment and would pay the sum over 4 months via my credit card which I share with my wife.
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

thank you for the clarification. This does clarify why they are unwilling to accept the offer as it did seem to me to be rather silly for them to reject the offer otherwise.

Generally, claims companies will be willing to settle matters for less than the total amount owed but it can depend upon their knowledge of your affairs and assets generally and how easy they believe it will be to make a recovery. You can consider that from their point of view, it costs them money to issue proceedings and recover monies through the courts which monies they will not necessarily be able to recover from you and such, it is generally in their interests to agree a voluntary payment and because of the above, you can usually leverage this to negotiate the amount. Accordingly, you may wish to consider offering a slightly higher sum and explain, whether it is entirely true or not that anything beyond that is entirely unaffordable and something not within your means and see how they respond.

Expert:  Joshua replied 15 days ago.

I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.
I trust the above was of assistance and that you do not have any follow up questions for now. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.
I hope I was able to answer your question. If you would like to ask me another question in the future, you can add me as a favourite Expert. You'll have the option to do that on your "My Questions" page if you choose to rate our interaction or you can request me by name if you wish. Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.