Calling All Legal Eagles - A little advice needed

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I know a few folks on here have an eye for this kind of thing so......

We had an extention built on our house in 2017, Prior to this in August 2016 we had to have a bat survey done as part of the planning process. It was done by a local company and was £130 and was a total waste of time and money, but there you go.

August 2016

This morningIi had a letter from some solicitors called Thomas Higgins stating they had been instrcuted by the bat comapny to recover a debt of £130 that we had not paid in August 2016 (bit of googling shows you can pay Higgins Solicitors 10 quid for a threa-o-gram for non payment of invoices)

Now, it was 2 years ago. I think I paid them but without going back theough all my old bank statements online, i cant directly prove it.

My main issue with this is that this was from 2016. We have never heard a peep from them sinc ethe day we received the report and original invoice, no reminders, no friendly threat letters - nada. It was 2 full tax years ago, so thay had to have submitted 2 lots of accounts which would have highllighted the non payment in both April 2017 and April 2018 so why this now.

I am assuming I have no rights around the fact that its "been 2 years and you never wrote or called" side of things?

I dont mind paying if i genuinely missed this - but the attitude of the way they have approached this makes me want to tell them to fuck off

Many of you run small businesses here so maybe I've missed someting important about the way in which invoicing is done but I would appreciate any thoughts on the matter

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Comments

  • DodgeDodge Frets: 354
    I'm not a legal eagle at all, but is it such a hardship to check your bank statements?  Most banks allow you to download as a CSV or similar - you could seach a column for a £130 transaction in seconds.  I'm sure with a bit of thought you could check email history and calendars to narrow it down to a few months.  I'd want to know the truth first before engaging with them.

    I wouldn't have thought there's any time limit for recovering genuine debts, but you're quite right in thinking they could have got in touch direcly first than going through a debt collection company for a more acceptable approach.

    This does happen as a result of adminitrative failures too - I was once written to from a debt collection agency for non-payment of an NTL (remember them?) bill after I left them and moved house.  That was likely +2 years after the event.  Turns out when I paid off my contract when I moved house, they 'forgot' to cancel my line rental.

    One phone call to NTL fixed it.  They admitted their error and cancelled everything.


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  • TheBlueWolfTheBlueWolf Frets: 1533
    I'm no legal expert but it's been 2 years with no contact from the firm in question, which seems dubious.

    Go back through your bank statements anyway just to be sure. You know it was August 2016 so you won't spend much time finding the statement.

    Twisted Imaginings - A Horror And Gore Themed Blog http://bit.ly/2DF1NYi


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  • hywelghywelg Frets: 2017
    Facts are facts. Be sure of yours. 
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  • HattigolHattigol Frets: 2039
    They have 6 years to sue you for it so they are well within time. Annoyingly.
    "Anybody can play. The note is only 20%. The attitude of the motherf*cker who plays it is  80%" - Miles Davis
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 10706
    Limitation Act says 6 years.

    They can leave it until 5 years and 364 days to issue the claim at court.

    The surveyor really should have sent you a reminder directly before instructing solicitors - BUT dig out your old terms and conditions for the survey. You might find that you have agreed to pay their legal fees for any debt recovery even if there was a Small Claims track trial. It's a very common term in many such documents.

    So be nice, check your records and unless you can prove you've paid - pay it and move on. Especially if there is such a Debt Recovery term in the T&C.

    This space is for rent.

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  • MusicwolfMusicwolf Frets: 235
    If they carried out the work, invoiced you but you haven't paid - who is the injured party here?
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  • TravisthedogTravisthedog Frets: 1750
    Oh look don't burn me, my main issue is the threat of legal action without any previous contact and after 2 years.

    Of course if I'm at fault I'll pay up no questions
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  • MusicwolfMusicwolf Frets: 235
    I would agree that it's very annoying to receive something like this out of the blue and I'm sure that, if it happened to me, I would also want to tell the chasers where to go, however.  You really need to check your records and, if you are at fault, you'll just have to 'suck it in' as they say.  I felt the same way when I went overdrawn on one of my accounts and received a condescending letter from the bank that started something along the lines of "Nobody like to receive a letter informing them of charges...................".  I was thinking to close my accounts with them but I realised that I would be creating hassle for myself and, in the end, the person that I was really annoyed with was myself for not managing my account. 
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  • midlifecrisismidlifecrisis Frets: 1459
    as others stated, they do have 6 years to take legal action. If you can prove youve paid, fine, tell them to FO. If not then you should pay them, but not any extra charges ie debt collectors charges if they try. If they get balshy just tell them you'l pay them in installments £10 a month.:)
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