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  • FIRST POST
    archived user
    Solicitor fee/scam?
    • #1
    • 16th May 19, 8:36 AM
    Solicitor fee/scam? 16th May 19 at 8:36 AM
    I completed on selling my property through Premier Property Lawyers 6 days ago and chose the option to have the settlement sent by cheque as they wanted £46.80 to do a BACS transfer. Not only do I think BACS is an unusual way to transfer such a large sum of money but that this is an extortionate charge to do so.
    However, 6 days later I am still awaiting the cheque. On calling this morning I am told it was posted first class on the day of completion. They cannot tell me if the delivery was recorded in any way without checking with the post room! If they have no evidence of posting the cheque where do I stand in terms of insisting on a free electronic transfer or holding them liable for lost interest whilst another cheque is sent?
    Is there any one else out there who has also had the same delay from them suggesting a company policy rather than a postal problem?
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 16th May 19, 8:38 AM
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    zx81
    • #2
    • 16th May 19, 8:38 AM
    • #2
    • 16th May 19, 8:38 AM
    As with all scams on MSE, that's not a scam.

    Ask them to reissue payment.
    • Mr.Generous
    • By Mr.Generous 16th May 19, 8:40 AM
    • 2,435 Posts
    • 3,596 Thanks
    Mr.Generous
    • #3
    • 16th May 19, 8:40 AM
    • #3
    • 16th May 19, 8:40 AM
    I too dislike the stupid big charge, but the business will get a hefty charge from the bank for the transaction so they pass it on plus a few £. Go into the branch and collect the cheque then pay it into your own bank. Expect the cashier to make casual enquiries about the cheque due to money laundering regs.
    • SmashedAvacado
    • By SmashedAvacado 16th May 19, 8:41 AM
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    SmashedAvacado
    • #4
    • 16th May 19, 8:41 AM
    • #4
    • 16th May 19, 8:41 AM
    Companies have costs that they incur when they transfer sums of money. Most of them will want to pass those costs onto their customers. The costs of sending money will include the fees they have to pay the bank and also the cost of employing various people that need to deal with that.

    You asked for a cheque - they posted it. If you don't get it, you can ask them to send you another one and agree to destroy the first one if it doesnt show up.

    You are not entitled to lost interest.
  • archived user
    • #5
    • 16th May 19, 8:45 AM
    • #5
    • 16th May 19, 8:45 AM
    If I do this and they again say it is the fault of the postal system that it has not arrived but cannot prove that they even put it into the postal system what recourse do I have?
    • SmashedAvacado
    • By SmashedAvacado 16th May 19, 8:49 AM
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    SmashedAvacado
    • #6
    • 16th May 19, 8:49 AM
    • #6
    • 16th May 19, 8:49 AM
    You have none. The post isn't guaranteed.

    Not everything involves "compensation". Its not their fault. You haven't suffered anything other than very mild inconvenience.

    also the interest on a couple of days will be buttons.
  • archived user
    • #7
    • 16th May 19, 8:53 AM
    • #7
    • 16th May 19, 8:53 AM
    I am not looking to gain the lost interest - I realise that is minimal. I am more concerned in verifying that the cheque has actually been dispatched as promised and ensuring that this does not become a process that takes weeks to resolve instead of days. Just wanted to see what I could request from them as evidence that their part has been completed successfully.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 16th May 19, 10:18 AM
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    steampowered
    • #8
    • 16th May 19, 10:18 AM
    • #8
    • 16th May 19, 10:18 AM
    I don't think there is anything you can do other than ask for confirmation that the cheque was sent.

    If it doesn't arrive, you can ask for it to be reissued.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th May 19, 10:49 AM
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    G_M
    • #9
    • 16th May 19, 10:49 AM
    • #9
    • 16th May 19, 10:49 AM
    I'd be surprised if it was BACS. How much was it for?


    More likely it is a CHAPS payment for which banks typically charge between £25 and £45. As explained above there are also busines costs to be covered.


    I may be unfairly maligning Premier Property Lawyers but are they one of the cheaper online warehouses? If so, it's common for there to be costs on top of their 'headline' quotes. But their fees will be specified somewhere in the paperwork you initially received..........


    N0 - not a scam.


    Whether the cheque was lost in the post (it happens) or not actually sent due to oversight or poor internal communication somewhere can only be established in the same way as any other leter that does not arrive- through chasing the sender.


    At worst the cheque may need o be cancelled and re-issued. Be aware that banks often charge a fee for cancelling a cheque ....
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 16th May 19, 11:01 AM
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    Tom99
    I'd be surprised if it was BACS. How much was it for?
    More likely it is a CHAPS payment for which banks typically charge between £25 and £45. As explained above there are also business costs to be covered.
    Originally posted by G_M
    So would I, but their blurb say they receive the sale proceeds from the buyer by telegraphic transfer and send you the proceeds via bank transfer. Deliberately vague.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 16th May 19, 11:07 AM
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    agrinnall
    So would I, but their blurb say they receive the sale proceeds from the buyer by telegraphic transfer and send you the proceeds via bank transfer. Deliberately vague.
    Originally posted by Tom99

    Telegraphic transfer has no real meaning in the UK anyway, so they are probably the same thing.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 16th May 19, 11:19 AM
    • 22,390 Posts
    • 21,209 Thanks
    AdrianC
    I completed on selling my property through Premier Property Lawyers 6 days ago and chose the option to have the settlement sent by cheque as they wanted £46.80 to do a BACS transfer. Not only do I think BACS is an unusual way to transfer such a large sum of money but that this is an extortionate charge to do so.
    Originally posted by Katherine Lewis
    CHAPS is the default way to send large amounts of money - the maximum amount for Faster Payments is £100k, and there's much greater traceability and security on CHAPS.. Others have already pointed out the charges that banks make for CHAPS.

    However, 6 days later I am still awaiting the cheque. On calling this morning I am told it was posted first class on the day of completion.
    Now you know one of the reasons why they suggested CHAPS. When the cheque does arrive, it's going to be several days after paying in before you can do anything with it.

    They cannot tell me if the delivery was recorded in any way without checking with the post room!
    That's hardly unreasonable, is it?

    If they have no evidence of posting the cheque where do I stand in terms of insisting on a free electronic transfer or holding them liable for lost interest whilst another cheque is sent?
    Not a hope. You can get another cheque sent out, of course. BTW, Royal Mail don't regard an item as lost until 10 working days after posting.

    Anyway, how much interest are you talking about...? Let's assume the cheque arrived the very next day, and was paid in promptly. It'd be four working days from posting before you earn interest on it, in the absolute best case. Even if you could get the heady heights of 1.5% on it, four days interest on the average property sale price of a tidge under £250k is just about exactly the same as you thought you could be clever and save by not paying for CHAPS. Before claiming for losses, you have a duty to mitigate them...
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 16th May 19, 11:43 AM
    • 14,251 Posts
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    AnotherJoe
    I completed on selling my property through Premier Property Lawyers 6 days ago and chose the option to have the settlement sent by cheque as they wanted £46.80 to do a BACS transfer. Not only do I think BACS is an unusual way to transfer such a large sum of money but that this is an extortionate charge to do so.
    However, 6 days later I am still awaiting the cheque. On calling this morning I am told it was posted first class on the day of completion. They cannot tell me if the delivery was recorded in any way without checking with the post room!

    Well duh! What else would you expect?

    If they have no evidence of posting the cheque Were you expecting photo of a smiling employee dropping it in a post box? where do I stand in terms of insisting on a free electronic transfer or holding them liable for lost interest whilst another cheque is sent?

    Nowhere. You asked for a Victorian method of transferring money and are now suffering one of the potential consequences.

    Is there any one else out there who has also had the same delay from them suggesting a company policy rather than a postal problem?
    Originally posted by Katherine Lewis

    Do you know what they are charged to use the CHAPS/ BACS system and make a transaction? If so, please reveal.

    If not, on what basis other than complete lack of information do you believe its "extortionate"? Do you often jump to conspiracy theory when things dont go your way? Just think how much staff time you've taken up chasing this bit of paper. That's not what they want any more than you. I'm sure they would be glad to be rid and have this concluded.
    Please dont criticise my spelling. It's excellent. Its my typing that's bad.
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 16th May 19, 2:51 PM
    • 978 Posts
    • 1,177 Thanks
    MovingForwards
    It's a standard BACs payment fee plus VAT on top, all solicitors charge it, it's even included in their fees when buying a house and they transfer the money to the sellers solicitors.

    If it was under £100k you could have asked them to pay you by faster payment instead, which is free.

    Cheques do take longer to arrive, sometimes the authorised signatories are all out the office when the cheques are due to be signed so they are not dealt with until the next day. If the cheque and covering letter is not together, in the envelope and with the post room in time they miss the post being sent out. That potentially could mean it isn't even on it's way to you until the third day.

    Generally, letters are also sent 2nd class, sometimes 1st class depending on what documentation is being sent to you eg a draft will or POA, very rarely recorded /signed for unless it's original documents being returned to you. And no, the solicitors don't personally know when the letters have been sent and do have to check with the post room.

    Technically, it will probably be tomorrow or Saturday you receive it.

    (Small local firms post is out at 4pm, large city firms is 5pm).
    • ACG
    • By ACG 16th May 19, 3:01 PM
    • 18,857 Posts
    • 10,439 Thanks
    ACG
    They probably mean CHAPS which is £30 for many banks from memory. So £15 for admin costs?

    You should realise that banks for individuals is very different to banks for business. I have 2 accounts with the same bank, one personal and one business, the business one has far more money in it accruing 0.1% interest and being charged a monthly fee and costs for certain transactions. The personal account has far less money in it earning no interest but everything is free. So they are quite possibly passing on their costs to you.

    Also the bank account your money is held in will be a customer account which will very likely be 0% interest, the reason for that is because if it earns interest, they have to pay you the interest accrued and it is not worth the hassle - so there is no benefit to the solicitors for keeping hold of your money, that means it is very unlikely to be a scam.

    Just to add, I am not PPLs biggest fan so I have no intentions of defending them but I doubt this is a scam.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 16th May 19, 3:19 PM
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    Tom99
    It's a standard BACs payment fee plus VAT.
    Originally posted by MovingForwards
    CHAPs is what solicitors normally charge £25/£45 for. My experience is that BACs is normally free, the same as a cheque.
  • archived user
    Thank you all for your contributions. It will go down as one of the annoying facts of financial life as we now live it. PPL and I have managed to get to a satisfactory conclusion today. Hopefully, there will be no further hiccups!
    • allypally26
    • By allypally26 16th May 19, 8:41 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    allypally26
    ĎAlso the bank account your money is held in will be a customer account which will very likely be 0% interest, the reason for that is because if it earns interest, they have to pay you the interest accrued and it is not worth the hassle - so there is no benefit to the solicitors for keeping hold of your money, that means it is very unlikely to be a scamí

    This hasnít been the case for several years solicitors no longer have to give the interest to clients any longer.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 17th May 19, 7:32 AM
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    agrinnall
    CHAPs is what solicitors normally charge £25/£45 for. My experience is that BACs is normally free, the same as a cheque.
    Originally posted by Tom99

    Businesses will have to pay a fee for BACS Direct Credit payments, and it's very likely that there will also be a fee (but smaller than CHAPS) for making a Faster Payment. However, I'd say it's almost certain that what the OP was charged was a CHAPS fee.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 17th May 19, 8:32 AM
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    davidmcn
    Businesses will have to pay a fee for BACS Direct Credit payments, and it's very likely that there will also be a fee (but smaller than CHAPS) for making a Faster Payment. However, I'd say it's almost certain that what the OP was charged was a CHAPS fee.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    We charge clients nothing for BACS (or cheque), small charge for FP and larger charge for CHAPS.

    CHAPS fees charged by banks to larger customers like law firms are fairly modest - the solicitors' charges are largely for their own admin costs.
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