Lawyer demanding 8% interest !!!

canadabob
canadabob Posts: 14 Forumite
edited 5 September 2018 at 7:50PM in MoneySaving dads
My partner and I are separating somewhat amicably, we have agreed on a price for me to buy out her share of the property, but I've just received a letter from her Lawyer INSISTING that I complete the purchase within 28 days, if I don't he intends to charge me 8% on the price that we have agreed on (just 7 days ago).

This is off his own bat, something that he has come up with, it wasn't inspired by my ex partner.

Is this demand legitimate ? can a Lawyer impose conditions like this and demand any % that springs into his mind ?

Seeing as how I haven't been dragging my feet arranging a mortgage etc his demand seems to be extortionate, verging on harassment.

Comments

  • AnotherJoe
    AnotherJoe Posts: 19,622
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    I believe 8% is a standard interest rate used for delayed payments so it hasn't been conjured up at random.
    28 days is tight since it's out of your control to a major extent, eg how fast will your lender move and so forth. It sounds unreasonable to me and whilst IANAL I don't see how they can arbitrarily set a deadline. If you don't sign any agreement to that period, they would have to take you to court for it which I would hope themcourt would take a dim view of. You need to speak to your solicitor. Hopefully it's just a "shot across the bows" to encourage you to get a move on.
  • ceh209
    ceh209 Posts: 876
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    Worth noting that 8% is an annual rate so if you're 1 day late, it will be 8%/365 = 0.022%
    Excuse any mis-spelt replies, there's probably a cat sat on the keyboard
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,853
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    If you are separating somewhat amicably, there is no need for the solicitor to be sending you any letters; it is probably a ruse to get more money out of your ex. You could have a word with her and suggest this; she may not even be aware that the solicitor has written to you and that she is paying for this.

    As others have said, even if it was valid to charge the interest, it would only be a tiny amount providing you don't drag your heals. I don't see how charging interest could be valid though. I definitely wouldn't respond to the solicitor, just get on and complete the sale.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
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    It is standard to include provisions in orders for interest on late payment. It's actually in the standard precedents which have been issued by the President of the Family Division of the High Court, for financial orders, so it is perfectly normal for the solicitor to have included it. 8% is the current (annual) interest rate for County Court debts so again, perfectly normal.

    The interest would be paid to your ex, not to the lawyer (and your ex could chose not to pursue it, if she wanted to, if the payment was late)

    28 days is fairly tight, if you are remortgaging. I would suggest that you (or your solicitor) write back and propose that the timescale be changed to 56 days instead. Although the 28 days is probably (check the wording) from the date the order is made - depending in where you are in the divorce process and how far along you are in the process of remortgaging it may be more reasonable - e.g. if you have not yet got your decree nisi, so the order is not going to be going to the court yet, but you are already progressing your remortgage, then 28 days from the date of the order may actually be 6-8 weeks from now, which would be much more reasonable.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
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    tacpot12 wrote: »
    If you are separating somewhat amicably, there is no need for the solicitor to be sending you any letters; it is probably a ruse to get more money out of your ex. You could have a word with her and suggest this; she may not even be aware that the solicitor has written to you and that she is paying for this.

    As others have said, even if it was valid to charge the interest, it would only be a tiny amount providing you don't drag your heals. I don't see how charging interest could be valid though. I definitely wouldn't respond to the solicitor, just get on and complete the sale.

    It would be silly not to respond. OP needs to agree the terms of the order and as their ex is using a solicitor, they will need to
    respond to the solicitor. If they want to discuss it with their ex first and then write to the solicitor to say the two of them have agreed 56 days not 28, that's fine, but not responding at all is daft as it means the order can't be finalised, and that is not in the interests of either party.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • Thanks to everyone for the comments and guidance, it's much appreciated and will be followed.

    As Tacpot12 said the Lawyer was doing this off his own bat, but it's all sorted now.

    Thanks again guys for your time and consideration, it's valued and appreciated.

    Bob.
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