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    • richyje123
    • By richyje123 18th May 17, 12:24 AM
    • 2Posts
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    richyje123
    Late Payment Fee
    • #1
    • 18th May 17, 12:24 AM
    Late Payment Fee 18th May 17 at 12:24 AM
    Today, on my door mat landed a County Court Claim form from a Vets Practice. We used there services just over a year ago.

    Yes, before I continue I agree this should have been paid for in the first instance and I have buried my head in the sand for some time.

    However, as stated on previous reminder invoice (2nd invoice) they have charged a late payment fee which was added to the original invoice just over a month after the 1st original invoice was raised.

    My question is whether a small business is able to add a late payment fee to a service they were providing (and if so what these charges could be). From a general search on the web it appears if this is a commercial debt (ie business to business) this may be possible, however not sure as to my understanding this is not a commercial debt.

    They have also added interest at 8% per annum.

    I have no objection to paying my debts, but interested in the legal side of whether it is allowed to charge a late payment fee. I am not aware of any terms and conditions I agreed to that allowed for such a fee.

    Thanks for your help...

    Richard
Page 1
    • GarthThomas
    • By GarthThomas 18th May 17, 7:20 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    GarthThomas
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 7:20 AM
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 7:20 AM
    If you are happy to pay your debts, and accept that they've had to chase you to get to this point, then why are you interested in the legal side?

    Academic interest, or you want to leave them not being paid for the chasing that you made them do?
    • lewishardwick
    • By lewishardwick 18th May 17, 8:01 AM
    • 450 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    lewishardwick
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 8:01 AM
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 8:01 AM
    If you have no objection to paying your debts, why didn't you pay when you head the opportunity?

    Have you checked the T&Cs of payment?

    Pretty much every service I pay for has a late payment fee.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 18th May 17, 10:09 AM
    • 7,456 Posts
    • 39,098 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 10:09 AM
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 10:09 AM
    The 8% interest is the statutory level I think you'll find.

    You acknowledge you've been ignoring the request for payment - personally I'd say suck it up and take it forwards as a lesson...
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£412.21
    • Helvetica Van Buren
    • By Helvetica Van Buren 18th May 17, 11:47 AM
    • 239 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    Helvetica Van Buren
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 11:47 AM
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 11:47 AM
    I have no objection to paying my debts,
    Originally posted by richyje123
    Yet here we are.
    • Spatton
    • By Spatton 18th May 17, 1:44 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    Spatton
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 1:44 PM
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 1:44 PM
    Yes they can add a late payment fee. It could also be thought of as an admin charge for all the hassle of chasing you (time, resources, the distaste of having to do it - I've never met anyone who likes having to do, especially not when they've already done the work and deserve to be paid), plus an incentive for you not to do it again.


    I assume you have Googled the "Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998", to which your interpretation is partly right and partly dubious from your explanation, as you can be charged interest on top of the late payment fee, but at a different rate from B2B transactions.


    If you really want the hassle of going to court to argue over interest, good luck, but I doubt proportionality will be on your side being as you acknowledge you owe the money. You could well end up with a costs order against you, which could get very expensive indeed.




    • richyje123
    • By richyje123 18th May 17, 4:25 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    richyje123
    • #7
    • 18th May 17, 4:25 PM
    • #7
    • 18th May 17, 4:25 PM
    The late payment fee they have charged is £65, so far above the £40 the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 states for a debt this size. Just to clarify this is not a commercial debt, so this does not even apply.

    I am already being penalised by the 8% interest they have added and I will pay.

    The law is the law and I am fine to pay what I owe (with interest) but I am not happy to pay late payment charges which they have no legal rights to charge.

    I have no intention to use this vet practice in the future, so dont mind negotiating on the payment to clear this up.
    • GarthThomas
    • By GarthThomas 19th May 17, 1:26 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    GarthThomas
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 1:26 PM
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 1:26 PM
    Why don't you want to just pay? It seems a fair enough charge for making them chase you for the money. They have a business to run, and you've had them over for no good reason.

    They can (and hopefully will) let it be known to other surgeries who the problem customers are, so you may find that no-one will want your custom in the future.
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 19th May 17, 3:45 PM
    • 680 Posts
    • 618 Thanks
    StopIt
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 3:45 PM
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 3:45 PM
    The late payment fee they have charged is £65, so far above the £40 the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 states for a debt this size. Just to clarify this is not a commercial debt, so this does not even apply.

    I am already being penalised by the 8% interest they have added and I will pay.

    The law is the law and I am fine to pay what I owe (with interest) but I am not happy to pay late payment charges which they have no legal rights to charge.

    I have no intention to use this vet practice in the future, so dont mind negotiating on the payment to clear this up.
    Originally posted by richyje123

    You're continuing to quote an act that doesn't apply.


    If they're charging an illegal charge, get advice from your CAB for redress. However. I think you're on a hiding to nothing. As you've been served court papers, your time to negotiate charges has long passed.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 19th May 17, 3:53 PM
    • 11,201 Posts
    • 10,864 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Make the vets an offer to settle out of court, minus the fee, and they may cancel the claim.
    Last edited by sourcrates; 19-05-2017 at 4:14 PM.
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    • redux
    • By redux 19th May 17, 4:11 PM
    • 16,864 Posts
    • 21,129 Thanks
    redux
    I don't know, but I imagine that the court may also charge a process fee, and perhaps the applicant expects this to be added to the debt.

    The OP hasn't said anything about either disputing the original bill, or about having had difficulty in affording to pay.
    • bengal-stripe
    • By bengal-stripe 19th May 17, 4:11 PM
    • 3,124 Posts
    • 2,009 Thanks
    bengal-stripe
    Today, on my door mat landed a County Court Claim form from a Vets Practice.

    I have no objection to paying my debts, but interested in the legal side of whether it is allowed to charge a late payment fee. I am not aware of any terms and conditions I agreed to that allowed for such a fee.
    Originally posted by richyje123
    Now is your chance!

    Let it go to court and let the judge decide whether or not you owe a late payment fee and/or 8% interest.
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