Ask an UK Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
the money was placed electronically from his account to mine over a period of a year or so. we were in a relationship of sorts though not living together. i have text messages saying it wasnt a loan, it was never a loan. hes claiming it was for mutual use, ie savings, although he constantly saying it could be used as and when i wanted and he did not have access to the account. i'm not refusing to gift the money back, im just saying im not prepared to give it back whilst he keeps asking for an ever increasing number of items without putting an end to it. he was constantly buying gifts and in fact would get huffy if told not to buy things. all items were gifts and given of his own free will with no coercison.
How much money over how long?
What do you learn
What does he earn?
What was the money used for?
Were they Regular and consistent payments?
What state were your own finances in at the time?
Please define "relationship of sorts"
Do you have any proof of the fact that these were allegedly giftsor that he didn't want payment, text, emails, notes etc?
What are the personal items and what type of things are they andwhat value?
It was £10,100 over the course of about 18 months. I earn about £5000 a year as does my husband. The claimant at was earning somewhere in the region of £80 000 although I didnt ever ask him outright about his earnings. The relationship was started with the full knowledge of my husband and we were all close friends. Initially we discussed living together at some point, which was when money was placed into my account.When it became clear to my husband and myself that we were not going to be able to live with the claimant, we suggested he took the money back. He said no, it was fine and encouraged us to use the money any waay we wanted, including laser eye surgery, motor cycle tests etc. We didnt use the money for any of those things, but suggestedthat we use it to
This would appear to be a case of a spurned lover? Is areasonable assumption?
The money, was it regular consistent amounts or was it arbitrarysums?
Do you have any proof whatsoever of his encouragement to use themoney to spend on "luxuries"? Do you have any proof of him stating many timesthat it wasn't a loan other than your own individual testimonies?
Even when you said that you were not going to live together andsuggested he took the money back, it appears he declined.
Why then, the change of heart?
When did he give you these things? When did he stop giving them? Whendid he start asking for it back?
You said that he is asking for other items back and the listkeeps growing. What "other items"
i apologies if messages are coming through strangely, my tablet isnt easy to use for this sort of thing. He started to ask for return of items after he left the relationship, when he didnt like the fact that some tools were not returned instantly he asked, because i was too upset to do it.The only proof i have is that my husband was also privvy to the conversations and my adult children also, although they are unaware of the sexual element involved. the claimant was merely a close family friend.The items were given during the course of our relationship, in fact the book was delivered to my house about two days before he ended it. other gifts included cameras and watches for my husband, and some shoes and a tablet and laptop for me. these he has acknowledged as gifts in a without prejudice letter. I completely believe that all items weregifts, as no mention was made of having to hand them back at any time
You need to give me all the information I've asked for please.
I need to know how the money arrived? In dribs and drabs? Anarbitrary sums? Weekly? Monthly? I need to know the pattern of the payments
The reason is that neither your husband nor you have a great dealof income and he is likely to say that he was lending you this money to helpyou out.
On the other hand, you can use the argument that because of yourlow-income, there is no way that you could ever repay this money and would nothave accepted it and it had not been a gift because you could simply not affordto take on a loan.
I assume that you have made no other applications (eitheraccepted or refused) for finance and that you were not being chased for moneyby any other creditors in any way
the money was paid in about £500 appoximately, every week. at the time it was referred to by him as savings for all of us to use. he in fact asked for £3000 at one point to buy a ca, which i gave to hom as he had no access to the account. when we said living together wasnt going to be an option, in March, we offered to transfer the money to him, he refused. we then spent three months being led to believe that the money could be used to update our property and be repaid on the sale of the house. It was only after he ended the relationship entirely that he requested the money back there and then. we have at least seven text messages stating it was not a loan, it was never a loan, there is no loan.My husband and i have no hire purchase agreements, no loans, only very small credit card bill, paid off regularly and an overdraft of less than £500. We have no ccj's or debts of any sort.
I am not going to be able to give you a definitive answer to thisbut I am only going to be able to tell you how the court will look at it.
The first thing is that the items that were given to you both aregifts unless they are the kind of thing which he would have had an interest inhad you all got together. In that respect, it is necessary to look at the itemsto see whether they would have been shared in the future or not. That would ofcourse depend on whether they were given in anticipation of the forthcomingrelationship with you all
with regard to the money, the court will decide whether this wasan arrangement between friends or arrangement intended to create legal relations.
The fact that the money was paid over a protracted period of timepoint to it being a gift. The fact that you have no outstanding debts or billsat the time the money was paid and that the money was used to spend on thingsthat you would not ordinarily have spent money on, also assist you.
It is not usual to lend someone money unless they actually needmoney.
The fact that he said that this was money for you all to use doesnot assist you at all. Nor does the fact that at one stage he asked for someback to buy a car. That points to either it being a loan or it being a moneyfor you all to use.
If it is indeed money for you all to use, then there is anargument that he is only entitled to one third of it back and it might be anidea to offer in that amount on that basis. If you can do that, I can tell youhow to word it in the letter to him so that he does not take that money andcome back and ask you for the rest.
Ultimately, it may be that he is simply a spurned lover and theitems and the money were indeed given as gifts but, in the fullness of time,when the relationship did not emerge, he has changed his mind. The court will consider a spurned lover angle.
I probably have more experience of this than anyone else quitesimply because I have been on the receiving end of a claim where I actuallylent money to an ex-partner (a long time ago) which was money to buy a car. Shewas adamant that she did not want a gift although at the time, I would be happyto gift it. I can tell you the amount, it was £375 in 1975. What was fatal toher defence that the money I gave to her was a gift was the fact that shesigned a standing order giving me £25 per month back and paid it for fourmonths before cancelling it (on the instructions of her new boyfriend who shehad dumped me for and gone off with). After a lot of arguing, we ended up inthe local County Court and she lost although if you read all the newspaperreports (this one made the dailies!) although it was a victory in court for me,the newspaper reports did not read the same way! And so, moving swiftly on...
Ultimately, if he decides to pursue you for the money, and theitems, you have no option but to defend his claim. You can try to head him offat the pass (as the saying goes) by making him an offer now and if you areminded to do that, I can, as I said, advise you how to do it.
If it does end up in court, the court will simply look at all thefact and make a decision.
As I said earlier, I cannot give you a definitive answer to thisbut I can only tell you how the court looks at it.
Does that answer the question? Can I assist further or answer anyspecific queries?
If you have not done already, please don't forget to positivelyrate my answer service even if it was not what you wanted to hear. You shouldnow see a series of buttons which enable you to rate my answer serviceformally.If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating. It doesn't give me, "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is mylivelihood!If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little, pleaseask.
The thread does remain open for me to answer follow-up questionsafter rating my answer service.Rating doesn't close the enquiry atall even though the site may give that impression. It remains open for you toread and ask for further clarification.Regards.
PS Experts on here are online and off-line all day each day andweekends so please bear with me if I do not get back to you immediately.
PS. I use voice type, voice recognition typing because I onlytype with two fingers and it would take me ages. Sometimes, a computer does nothear me correctly and you will get an incoherent word. I do try to butsometimes they slip through. I apologise therefore if anything doesn't makesense. It is me losing it, not you. Just ask if anything is not clear please.
thankyou for your answers.We have in fact offered to gift him back the entire sum of money, on the assurance that the matter will be at an end. However, he has simply added more and more items to the list of things required and offered no assurance that this will be at an end. We are really unclear as to what his basis for taking us to court for the money would be, given that we have offered it back as a gift. It seems to us more of a vendetta and less the actions of someone who genuinely wants to negotiate. We had a letter a number of weeks ago in which his solicitor stated there woukd be no court case, given that we had offered the monies and that his client was willing to offer the assurances we asked for.However the assurances have never been forthcoming, merelyincreasing demqnds
In that case, this is relatively easy to deal with.
Incases like this, I never suggest making an offer. I suggest sending a cheque.Armed with a cheque in the hand for some of the amount he wants, compared to anargument over the whole of the amount, (and arguments that he may win or lose)the cheque in the hand is a pretty powerful incentive to accept it.
Soconsider deciding how much you would like to pay him (you need to make itattractive enough) and send it with a covering letter headed "without prejudicesave as to costs". That means that he cannot produce the letter in court as anyproof that you admit owing him any money at all.
Tellhim in the letter that you are offering this money in full and final settlementof all claims against you, past, present and future, and that by cashing it he acceptsit as such. Tell him that if he does not not accept it, he should return thecheque to you and if he issues legal proceedings, you will defend them on thebasis of A, B, C, whatever.
Do tell him that this is not your money(because you do not have it) and that it has come from someone else who hasagreed to discharge the debt for you.
Tellhim that if he does not understand the significance of the letter. He shouldtake independent legal advice.
Ican tell you this approach works nine times out of 10, provided the offer isreasonable and not derisory.
For legal reasons which I will not bore you with but whichgo back several hundred years, the cheque must not come from you, but must comefrom a third party, friend, relative, solicitor, our accountant, neighbour,girlfriend, wife, husband, whoever, just not from you.
Here is some rather heavy reading http://www.voltimum.co.uk/news/2312/cm/the-law----full-and-final-settlement-.html
If i send a without prejudice letter but he still refuses to accept what is being offered, and continues to court, how do i then let the court know that i have made a reasonable offer? It is a confusing area of the law!
As I said, don't send him an offer, send him a cheque.
If he returns it to you, then at least you know that he meansbusiness. I was then letting take me to court for the lot.
Without prejudice save as to costs means that,
the offer made is without prejudice that is that you don't makeany admission. You can withdraw the offer at any time until it is accepted.
So if he rejects your offer, he cannot take you to court and thenclaim that you will have already admitted to owing him £X because you alreadysent a cheque.
"Save as to costs" ...If however you go to court and he gets awardedless than £X you can produce the letter offering the money and the judge canvery often (if it is not in the Small Claims Court) award all the legal costsagainst him (even if he wins) from the date you made the offer.
You cannot produce a without prejudice offer in court as anyadmission, but you can produce it if it is needed so that you get some legalcosts.
Does that make sense?
Please don't forget to push the positive rating button or I don'tget paid at all today. The thread does remain open even though the site says itcloses. It does not.
Yes, i think it makes sense. thankyou. one more question just to clarify. Although the claimant has acknowledged in texts that we had a three way relationship, all letters from his solicitor and those directly from him have been addressed to me only. The money was put in an account that only I have access to, not my husband. Does this make my husband enough of a third party to issue a cheque as you suggest or is he liable to be considered too involved? Again many thanks and more apologies for the terrible tablet-induced typing errors!
Tablet induced typing errors? Just stop taking the pills! (teehee).
It looks fine to me.
I don't think it does make you more remote enough but you cangive your cheque to anyone and simply get them to sign their own cheque. Buythem a drink for helping out.
Please remember (I have obviously not seen the texts) but you couldrely on any of the texts as proof thatit was a gift, if any of them obviously say that
Haha, very good.
I dont have a text that says the money was a gift, but seven in which he says it wasnt a loan! Presumably that isnt quite clear cut enough. I am rather expecting that this will be the one case in ten where a cheque will be turned down, but I suppose I have no control over that and will have to face it if that happens. Fingers crossed that a large cheque puts him off pursuing other items that he gave as gifts. Thankyou for all your help.
I think that's pretty good. I would probably handle this slightly differently in that case.
At this stage in time, I would probably put off paying him back and give a transcript of the texts to the solicitor and ask for his comments. Tell him that you will produce the text in court if it goes that far.
Ask him, what his client meant the money was if it was not a loan.
see what he comes back with before you pay him.
I sent one of the texts originally and the reply was something along the lines of 'we take the view that courts would not view the money as either a gift or a loan, but his money which should be returned and we think we have a good case'. We have earlier messages referring to it as 'the savings'. We have no evidence for or against other items being gifts, except our own testimony and the balance of probability that someone would loan someone else a number of expensive and less expensive items on a frequent basis, whilst in a relationship and never mention that the items were ever going to need
to be returned. The argument that money or items were for mutual use, would surely mean we are entitled to a proportion of the value of items still retained in the claimants house that were bought at the same time !
We have had no correspondence from his solicitor since aug 12 th , all has come directly from claimant, in without prejudice letters.
If the letters are now coming from the claimant and not the solicitor,that points to the claimant either not paying the solicitor's bill or thesolicitor not thinking that the claimant has a good case. Of course, the solicitorwill tell you what he wants his client to hear and not what you want to hear.
This is one of those things that, if it went to court, would bedecided by a judge and I would not like to bet on the outcome. Certainly, basedupon the facts in front of me, this one could go either way.
The solicitor is arguing (and will obviously believe that thecourt will agree with him) that the money belonged to the claimant and was heldon trust. I must say that I find that rather stupid notion because surely theclaimant is capable of looking after his own money! Why would he give it to athird party to look after?
However one of the things that you want to do is avoid going tocourt because you never know the view that the judge is going to take on theday.
You could raise that issue with the solicitor or, if you want toput this behind you, simply send the claimant the cheque.
Remember that you have more chance of the claimant's putting thecheque in the bank than the solicitor who will advise his client to go for thejugular because that way, the solicitor gets more money in legal costs.
Indeed, why give money to a third party and why would a third party agree to look after money? Does the fact that we havent actually spent the money suggest we thought of it as a loan, or merely that we were not the gold diggers the claimant has tried to suggest?I certainly want to put it behind me, that is why the money has been offered on a number of occasions! A life lesson in being wary of people bearing gifts, I think.
We have just had a further communication in which the claimant says i need to pay him back £600 that he paid in to my adult daughters account of his own free will. He had no loan agreement with her and no loan agreement with us, nor did we offer to act as guarantors for this money. It was paid in amounts of perhaps £50 -£100 on a few occasions when she was short and he offered to cover it. I assume i can not be held liable for this and that he would have to resort to small claims against my daughter?
How old is she? If over 18 and tell him to take it up with her.
She is and thats is what i thought. Thankyou again.
Glad to help.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).