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CM CLUB - What happens if you have to take a family to court?

(22 Posts)
LoveMyGirls Mon 18-Aug-08 15:26:39

Bottom line is I haven't been paid for the past 4-5 weeks, family have offered to pay under £600 now or £20 per month (which will take nearly 7 yrs to pay off) they owe me nearer to £1700 but I already said I would accept £1400 (out of the goodness of my heart) I can't afford to just lose that money I've got bills and debts too sad sad sad

So now what do I do? Is court the only way?

saltire Mon 18-Aug-08 15:28:09

Probably. I had to do it once. it's not nice, but if it's the only way to get what you're owed, then so be it

LoveMyGirls Mon 18-Aug-08 15:34:55

I've tried ringing NCMA for legal advice but they haven't got back to me yet.

What happens Saltire? Did you get everything they owed you?

I'm worried about the court saying they can only pay me £10 per month or something stupid. I wouldn't be in debt if they paid me on time, now i'm paying interest on their debt angry I can't afford to drag this out for years but the pathetic £600 they have offered is an insult tbh I bent over backwards to help this family out when they needed it, I turned away a family because of this family begging me to, they have really messed me about. I have remained professional and been as helpful as I could have possibly been. I'm not backing down I need that money for my business to survive, I have a family too. Going to court seems like the hardest way to end this for both our famillies.

Why do people think we don't need to be paid angry sad The family said they have spoken to the CAB and I'm not classed as a priority person that needs to be paid.

saltire Mon 18-Aug-08 16:12:35

Do you ahve it in writing that they offered you £600. Do you also ahve any copies of correspondence? i assume you ahve written to them asking for the money.
I was lucky as I had the might of the RAF behind me,and the person in question got their wages arrested (she owed me over £1,00, the local nursery over £1,00 and DHE almost 6 months rent) becasue of some sort of ruling int eh military they can only take 4 days pay a month of you, so it got paid that wya, I got it all back though. I would go to your local CAB. I couldn't do that as the one nearest to me was appointments only and I could never get anyone to answer the phone and the one in Dundee wouldn't see me becasue I lived in Fife, not Tayside! I ended up using a solicitor and it only cost aobut £100 in the end, which I think was added onto the amount i got back from her

ayla99 Mon 18-Aug-08 17:06:58

court is a last resort and does not guarantee you a single penny. Some people have gone through the process, won and then not got their payment because they moved/lost their job or whatever. The court does not obtain your payment for you, it just decides whether you should be paid or not iyswim.

So, I would write a formal letter, and offer them the opportunity to avoid court by agreeing a payment plan. You could include a suggestion in your letter like this: Eg pay £600 first month and then 11 x £100 per month. With option to reduce to £1400 (as you've already offered this) if they pay by [eg within 6 months].

If they agree to a plan, put it in writing and make sure the plan is for the full £1700 or whatever is actually owed. If you choose to accept less, thats up to you but in case they mess you about I would make sure your paperwork shows clearly the full amount actually due. Also make clear in the agreement that if they miss a payment or pay late you will take them to court.

With 2 incentives - avoiding court and the possibility of getting the amount reduced you may have more luck with them keeping to the agreed payments. If you do take them to court, you will be expected to show that you have already taken steps to obtain the payment. And even if you win, they may feel they've nothing to lose by not paying as there are unlikely to be any further consequences.


lsa2 Mon 18-Aug-08 18:55:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lsa2 Mon 18-Aug-08 19:01:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 18-Aug-08 20:03:15

If they have spoken to CAB, then I assume they are having money problems. CAB are right in that their mortgage/rent, council tax are essential and other debts low priority.

In which case, a judge will ask them how much they can afford and order judgement to this effect.

The judge will also take into account they have offered instalments already - you would need to prove they could pay more than they have offered otherwise the judge will see the hearing as a waste of time.

If they fail to pay the court ordered instalments, you would incur further costs enforcing the payments etc and are still not guaranteed your money.

If the judge feels the case is valid (he will see both sides versions on paper first and any money offers) he will set a hearing. You may claim court costs if you win but no solicitors costs in a small claims court. If they state on the court papers that they will pay x per month it may not get to the hearing stage anyway.

I'd only go down the court route as a last resort and try and set up a private agreement.

LoveMyGirls Mon 18-Aug-08 20:16:51

No worries Isa2 (can't help with your question, sorry)

This is not good, lets hope we can settle something out of court, I don't want to go to court and wait ages for the money either but to accept less than half of what I'm owed as the first offer seems mad to me, lets hope they come back with a higher offer.

HMO1 - NCMA will act on my behalf I think if it goes to court. They haven't offered instalments really well they did but £20 for 7 yrs is hardly a valid offer is it? A one off payment for less than half is hardly reasonable either is it?

Not sure why people bother going to court if it doesn't help sad

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 18-Aug-08 20:23:42

Court can be very good money wise, but if they are finacially struggling (I took them seeing CAB that they are) then a judge will not order a repayment schedule that they cannot afford. If they arent, then you may get a decent repayment schedule.

If NCMA will act on your behalf, then you dont have to worry about paying your own legal costs - although its very easyto represent yourself if you need to.

I didnt mean their offers were reasonable, no one really knows that without seeing the incomings and outgoings. If they offer instalments upon receiving court papers they will have to give a breakdown to the judge - the papers have an expenditure sheet to complete.

LoveMyGirls Tue 19-Aug-08 08:06:24

Dad is due to start a higher paid job next month, so much better paid that mum wouldn't have to work so I think they are trying to pay me off with as little as possible even though in a few months they will be much better off if she goes back to work, i don't think it's fair I lose money just so mum can become a sahm iyswim?

They have been in touch again to say they are not going to increase the offer so i either take it or go to court sad NCMA still haven't called me back but I will be ringing them again today.

It's really unfair, I can't not pay my car tax, my mot, my accountant or buy dd1's school uniform I'm going to sink even further into debt to pay for things because they haven't paid me angry

Shoshe Tue 19-Aug-08 08:15:41

I know this doesn't help LMGs, But ALWAYS get paid in advance, no matter what.

Take them to court, keep ringing NCMA, what they are offering is NOT acceptable, they used your service, they have to pay for it, to say that that is all they are prepared to pay is not on.

Even if they said they could only pay 600.00 now and the rest when the H changed jobs, wouldn't be so bad, but to say that is it take it or leave it, is not acceptable, they signed a contract, stating what they would pay, they should pay it.

Go to court, if nothing else it will show them that you are a BUSINESS, not just a convienece for them.

LoveMyGirls Tue 19-Aug-08 08:20:12

I haven't actually looked after the children so they owe for the notice period rather than any time I've worked, I always get paid in advance the only reason this has built up is because it took them 2 weeks to decide not to come back to me then I was on holiday so i gave notice when I came back from hols with how much they owed, how much I would accept and dates to pay me by.

LoveMyGirls Tue 19-Aug-08 08:45:40

Think I might just accept the money, I just want this over with and if i accept i can have the money today.

LoveMyGirls Wed 20-Aug-08 07:45:06

I have written to them again I'm not giving up without a fight, I can't afford to.

KSquiff Wed 20-Aug-08 12:59:19

Hi I'm new - LMG, i do sympathise, I'm in exactly the sam possision, minded a 18 month old and it took the mother 2 weeks to decide to give me notice therefore owes me 6 wks (4 wks notice period) called NCMA they told me to write a letter stating that she had 14 days in which to contact me and settle payment or I begin legal proceeding (which I have now done) the only prob is that the falmily have refused to cantact me full stop, haven;t heard a dickie bird for 3 wks now - SO FRUSTRATING they owe me just over 1000 angry, Imust say the NCMA have been very helpful so far to me so I'd give them another go if I were you.

LoveMyGirls Wed 20-Aug-08 13:14:10

It's a nightmare isn't it I'm really run down and tired/ stressed out tbh, I could do with a few days in bed I think (fat chance), the family are keeping in touch and we're working on keeping this out of court but I will still lose a lot of money plus one of the new children I had signed up isn't starting now because mum has lost her job. I've got so much to pay out and I'm now 2k overdrawn sad plus credit cards! I just hope they pay me the minimum I'm asking for soon so we can put it behind us and move on, I'm also hoping that the mum whose lost her job can get a new one and still bring the child to me in a month or two then I can start trying to pay back my overdraught.

KSquiff Wed 20-Aug-08 16:41:45

It really does get you down, and the thing is people say "oh don't worry it'll get better" but when? I can't wait around for months on end. I can't remember the last time I felt relaxed and had a decent nights sleep, to top it all off my other mindee's mum told me on Monday that she's now cutting down to 1 day - GREAT - down to 150 a month from just over 1400!! It's really hard to keep your chin up especially when you still have bills to pay.

I'm seiously paniking cos the mother was so hard to get info and money out of that she moved 1 week before she stpped brining the child and i couldn't get her address out of her, I'm really hoping the NCMA legal team can find it out.

I'd love to keep it out of court but I don't know what else to do? The mother even said to me "I'll pay you little amounts at a time", apparently she cant afford it but she can afford to go out 3 times a week on benders at 50 quid a night and get her nails done every wk - I can't afford that!!!! but I've heard nothing in 3 wks and she and the father refuse to respond to my attempts to cantact them - what choice do I have. She's even claiming Workin Tax Credits to pay for me but obvoiusly I haven't seen any of it.

Sorry went off in a bit of a tangent.

london11 Wed 20-Aug-08 17:12:34

Keep trying to get in touch with NCMA and then take the family to court. You provided a service and they signed a contract to pay you - unless you broke the terms of that contract there should be no reason why you wont win. Of course that doesnt guarantee you the money but I feel strongly that parents shouldn't be able to get away with just not paying.

KSquiff Thu 21-Aug-08 17:10:56

My thoughts exactly london11, my husband keeps sayin just put it down to experience but why should she get away with it?!?! if it was the other way round would they take it lying down - something tells me not!

Got my pack through from NCMA today and I have to say it's going to take months, and there's a lot to it but I have all the relevant documentation so it should all be ok. Hope it all works out for you LMG.

LoveMyGirls Thu 21-Aug-08 20:08:39

I've decided to go with accepting half the total, I can't face going to court etc I just wanted it over with tbh.

I hope it goes well for you KS and you get every penny!

KSquiff Fri 22-Aug-08 16:11:41

Feel for you LMG, I just think we (childminders) do a very important job, one that many people have said to me "how do you do it?!' and would not even contemplate doing themselves. We do our job well, keep their children safe so they can go and do their thing and we damn well deserve to get paid for it!!! Wish for your sake you had the energy to go through with it but I understand if and why you don't. sad

Have been going through everything this afternoon and its only made me more determined! angry

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