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Good evening, I'm not...

Good evening, I'm not sure if you are able to assist with advice regarding Metal Industries Benefit Administrators? It is an issue with charges for interest on late payments and arrears (which have now been settled and I am in possession of a letter of good-standing). They are going as far back as 2004 yet I have no records and nor can they provide me with any dating that far back, so we can't disprove or prove their claims.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

We are in Johannesburg South Africa?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

My Accountant is assisting with looking at the recon and trying to make sense of how the interest was charged. The Lawyers want me to supply a letter of motivation to lessen the amount but I have delayed this because I feel that I can't pay any amount for which I don't understand, how it was calculated, nor (more importantly) whether the arrears amounts and dates are in fact correct since we don't have records going back to 2004. Also, MIBFA themselves have told me that their system changed in 2007 and they can not produce records before that date. So my gripe is specifically that if it is indeed true, then how can they demand interest for late payments before 2007. Also, in 2010 our Firm was also handed over to Lawyers for collection which was settled at the time. How can MIBFA or any Company for that matter not inform their Debtor of the debt until now. Is that even legal?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Nothing that I can think of right now thank you.

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Answered in 8 hours by:
3/26/2018
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,770
Experience: Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
Verified

Hi I'm Freddie,

Welcome to Just Answer. Thank you for your question. I am reviewing it now and will post a reply here ASAP.

Regards

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It would appear to me that you are being charged double for at least a period from 2004 to 2010. If you settled the entire debt due in 2010 to the attorneys, then they can only charge you again from 2010 onwards. If the new attorneys are now charging you from 2004 again, then clearly there is a duplication in the charges.

What is more, they can only claim an amount which they can prove, especially anything before 2010 (since that is a certain date on which you settled all older debts.

I hope this answered your question.

I know it will take an extra minute of your time to rate my service, but if you do not rate it, I do not get paid by the website so I would really appreciate it if you would be so kind as to rate my service positively. Feel free to ask further questions here on this topic at no extra cost if you need more information.

Regards

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Customer reply replied 30 days ago
Thank you for your reply.
Please note that the debt settled in 2010 was for submissions, not for interest on late and/or arrears submissions. The current Lawyer representing MIBFA made me aware of interest due at our first meeting last year in May, but did not specify how far back that would end up going. I have been provided with a recon that I do not understand, and have no records with which I can compare /verify the said figures. Legally I need a valid reason to use in my objection and in order to contest the interest (which by the way amounts to R.48500). It has been suggested to me by the Lawyer that he would argue in my favour and assist me in getting the amount reduced, even suggesting to possibly half. But I still feel principally, that is also too much and have voiced the same.
MIBFA as a Company have never contacted our Firm to inform us of this arrears (outstanding submissions) nor the interest outstanding since 2004 - the first time was in May last year when they handed us over. MIBFA has failed to communicate effectively with me throughout the process of me bringing the account up to date. In addition, there is a payment of R.4500 (provident fund submission) made by us as a cash deposit into their bank account, which they claim they do not have. They want me to prove that the payment was made, and not them disprove it.....I have a valid bank receipt (albeit faded but still legible) and been in contact with the bank to try and obtain records, but apparently the bank can't assist as far back as 2010.
Is there any legal point in our favour here or anything that I can use to fight this?

Yes certainly,

You must look at their own rules regarding the collection of debt - it is unreasonable, and, probably unlawful for them to not take steps to collect debt as it becomes due.

So, as with anything else, they are obliged to limit their own damages and take reasonable steps within a reasonable time to collect debt. If they do not, they cannot hold you liable for their losses.

I would simply argue that any interest charges older than 3 years have prescribed and that they are not entitled to such interest.

They are the plaintiffs, so they must prove their claim - so, I will also argue that they must provide the documents to support their claim as far back as 2004 (if they want to claim that far back) - if they are unable to, then it will not be possible for them to succeed in proving their claim.

Please remember to rate the answer positively.

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Customer reply replied 30 days ago
Thank you for your reply.
In order for me to draft the suggested letter opposing said interest on arrears, could you advise any definitive legal way of wording the objection (a phrase or two perhaps) in order to strongly motivate my letter?

Well, if I were in your position,

I would write them a letter and say that I place their entire statement of reconciliation in dispute and ask them to provide proof thereof.

I will then say that in 2010 I paid all outstanding payments and settled the account as in 2010 fully and finally.

Then I will say that any interest charged charged must be charged either as a result of an agreement, or as a result of some statute and I will ask them to provide me with a copy of either the statute or the agreement in terms of which they are charging interest.

I do however suggest that you get an attorney in your area to assist you with this. In the long run it would be worth it.

Regards

Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,770
Experience: Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
Verified
Freddie Lombard and 87 other South Africa Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Thank you so much for the positive rating. I hope I can be of assistance to you again in the future.

You may request me personally.

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-fwlombard1/

Regards

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