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    • uncommonadvice
    • By uncommonadvice 17th Jul 17, 9:15 AM
    • 147Posts
    • 224Thanks
    uncommonadvice
    Debtor traced, pre-action sent, what next?
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:15 AM
    Debtor traced, pre-action sent, what next? 17th Jul 17 at 9:15 AM
    I received a judgement for £8000+ back in November 2016. This is regarding a former tenant. My solicitors traced him and sent a "pre-action" letter with no response. I would now like to take this further but my relationship with the solicitor has broken down. What should be my next step?

    The solicitor has never provided me with a copy of the judgement and they didn't reveal the address of the ex-tenant.

    When I asked the solicitor what to do next they basically said "nothing until you pay us £XXX", and trust me that £XXX was a large amount of money and had never been mentioned until that point (I had paid requests from them up to that point).

    This is a well known local firm of Solicitors with a long history.

    Any pointers would be gratefully received.
Page 1
    • mrginge
    • By mrginge 17th Jul 17, 9:19 AM
    • 4,115 Posts
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    mrginge
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:19 AM
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:19 AM
    Extortion is a criminal offence and should be reported to the police.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 17th Jul 17, 9:24 AM
    • 463 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    aneary
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:24 AM
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:24 AM
    Extortion is a criminal offence and should be reported to the police.
    Originally posted by mrginge
    I doubt very much that a solicitor would be carrying out extortion on the OP. It's more likely that they need the money to cover disbursements or the OP still owes money and the solicitors will not continue until they have been paid.
    • uncommonadvice
    • By uncommonadvice 17th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 224 Thanks
    uncommonadvice
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
    I don't think they are extorting - just giving me very poor service. I've never once received an invoice for anything as of yet.
    • mrginge
    • By mrginge 17th Jul 17, 9:32 AM
    • 4,115 Posts
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    mrginge
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:32 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:32 AM
    I doubt very much that a solicitor would be carrying out extortion on the OP. It's more likely that they need the money to cover disbursements or the OP still owes money and the solicitors will not continue until they have been paid.
    Originally posted by aneary
    According to the OP the solicitor is demanding money for apparently no reason.

    Unless of course the OP is simply editorialising so they can then drip feed the actual salient points.
    • david1951
    • By david1951 17th Jul 17, 9:44 AM
    • 357 Posts
    • 409 Thanks
    david1951
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:44 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:44 AM
    I received a judgement for £8000+ back in November 2016. This is regarding a former tenant. My solicitors traced him and sent a "pre-action" letter with no response. I would now like to take this further but my relationship with the solicitor has broken down. What should be my next step? You can ask for a copy of the case file (you will need to pay an admin charge), including all documents they have referred to (contact details, the judgement, the PA letter, etc) throughout. As long as you are paid-up so far, I'm pretty sure they have to provide this. Once you have it, withdraw your instruction and tell them to close their file and incur no further costs.

    The solicitor has never provided me with a copy of the judgement and they didn't reveal the address of the ex-tenant.

    When I asked the solicitor what to do next they basically said "nothing until you pay us £XXX", and trust me that £XXX was a large amount of money and had never been mentioned until that point (I had paid requests from them up to that point).

    This is a well known local firm of Solicitors with a long history.

    Any pointers would be gratefully received.
    Originally posted by uncommonadvice
    To be clear, are the solicitors saying you owe them money, or that they want money to proceed further?
    • aneary
    • By aneary 17th Jul 17, 9:44 AM
    • 463 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    aneary
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:44 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:44 AM
    According to the OP the solicitor is demanding money for apparently no reason.

    Unless of course the OP is simply editorialising so they can then drip feed the actual salient points.
    Originally posted by mrginge
    I don't think the OP has given the full story hence why I don't think the solicitor is demanding money for no reason.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 17th Jul 17, 9:45 AM
    • 1,879 Posts
    • 2,776 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:45 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:45 AM
    The OP says that the money had not been asked for before; not that it isn't owed.
    • david1951
    • By david1951 17th Jul 17, 9:47 AM
    • 357 Posts
    • 409 Thanks
    david1951
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:47 AM
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:47 AM
    I doubt very much that a solicitor would be carrying out extortion on the OP. It's more likely that they need the money to cover disbursements or the OP still owes money and the solicitors will not continue until they have been paid.
    Originally posted by aneary
    OP said that the money was for advice on what to do next, not for services so far.

    Sounds like they simply want money up-front, which is completely normal.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 17th Jul 17, 9:50 AM
    • 463 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    aneary
    OP said that the money was for advice on what to do next, not for services so far.

    Sounds like they simply want money up-front, which is completely normal.
    Originally posted by david1951
    Which is why I said disbursements.

    However I would like to know how the relationship broke down.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 17th Jul 17, 9:53 AM
    • 1,879 Posts
    • 2,776 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    OP said that the money was for advice on what to do next, not for services so far.

    Sounds like they simply want money up-front, which is completely normal.
    Originally posted by david1951
    Actually the OP only said they want money before they proceed any further. This could be for services so far or up-front. If there's £1000 owed in fees it's quite understandable that they won't undertake further work until that's paid off.
    • uncommonadvice
    • By uncommonadvice 17th Jul 17, 10:19 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 224 Thanks
    uncommonadvice
    They are saying I owe them money, and that they won't carry on until I pay up.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 17th Jul 17, 10:22 AM
    • 463 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    aneary
    They are saying I owe them money, and that they won't carry on until I pay up.
    Originally posted by uncommonadvice
    In that case ask for an invoice and pay.

    They can hold onto your case file including all the debtors details until you pay.
    • mrginge
    • By mrginge 17th Jul 17, 10:42 AM
    • 4,115 Posts
    • 7,241 Thanks
    mrginge
    They are saying I owe them money, and that they won't carry on until I pay up.
    Originally posted by uncommonadvice
    Drip drip drip. It's like pulling teeth with some posters.

    Surely when they said you owe them money, you asked them what for?

    Care to share the outcome of that conversation?
    • aneary
    • By aneary 17th Jul 17, 10:47 AM
    • 463 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    aneary
    Drip drip drip. It's like pulling teeth with some posters.

    Surely when they said you owe them money, you asked them what for?

    Care to share the outcome of that conversation?
    Originally posted by mrginge
    I bet the solicitor said that you need to pay £x to cover costs up to now and costs going forward.

    The OP decided that is was too much because solicitors spend 3 years at uni, a year doing an LPC then two further years of training just to work for free.
    • uncommonadvice
    • By uncommonadvice 17th Jul 17, 10:50 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 224 Thanks
    uncommonadvice
    "I bet the solicitor said that you need to pay £x to cover costs up to now and costs going forward. "

    The above is basically the case. My point is that:

    1) These costs differed widely from what I had been told at the outset.
    2) They've never sent me an invoice.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 17th Jul 17, 10:51 AM
    • 463 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    aneary
    "I bet the solicitor said that you need to pay £x to cover costs up to now and costs going forward. "

    The above is basically the case. My point is that:

    1) These costs differed widely from what I had been told at the outset.
    2) They've never sent me an invoice.
    Originally posted by uncommonadvice
    Ask for an invoice then.

    Btw how many times did you call, email etc?
    • Jenniefour
    • By Jenniefour 17th Jul 17, 11:02 AM
    • 1,091 Posts
    • 1,060 Thanks
    Jenniefour
    Ask for an itemised invoice. I recently had some work done by a solicitor, bill came in a couple of hundred pounds more than I expected but as they'd sent a properly itemised bill I could see that their charges were correct and fair. There was an item on it that I'd forgotten about.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 17th Jul 17, 12:34 PM
    • 1,983 Posts
    • 2,894 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    Ask for an itemised invoice. I recently had some work done by a solicitor, bill came in a couple of hundred pounds more than I expected but as they'd sent a properly itemised bill I could see that their charges were correct and fair. There was an item on it that I'd forgotten about.
    Originally posted by Jenniefour
    +1.

    And be aware that unless they were working on a fixed fee basis, the final bill is going to be different from any general 'quotes', 'estimates' etc you thought they gave you.

    Finally, if you drip fed your solicitor info in the same way you've drip fed it into this threat, it's hardly any wonder they've racked up a massive bill simply try to extract the full story out of you!
    Last edited by ReadingTim; 17-07-2017 at 12:51 PM.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 17th Jul 17, 1:14 PM
    • 55,145 Posts
    • 48,335 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    Solicitors will keep itemised time records. The more time you've used the more it's going to cost.
    “ “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.” Sir John Marks Templeton
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