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What to do with this solicitors letter?

(16 Posts)
nicelyneurotic Wed 05-Mar-14 19:41:29

I've received a letter from a solicitor. I don't want to go into the details here but they've given me 7 days to reply. I work and think I'll need longer to appoint a solicitor and think about a reply. Can I ask for an extension?

Really down about this as the letter is asking for things that I've already offered to arrange.

It also accuses me of something with no proof.

I'm surprised a solicitor would state something with no proof. Is this normal?

Thanks to anyone who has read this and replies.

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 05-Mar-14 19:46:02

I assume you can reply and say that 7 days does not give you enough time to take your own legal advice, and suggest that you will respond within 28 days.And keep a copy.

I dom't know this for sure but it seems a reasonable request.

Hope someone qualified can answer to you - if not if you are in a union, is there a free legal advice line?

AddToBasket Wed 05-Mar-14 19:48:15

Obviously, you haven't given us much to go on but if there's a good reason for extending a deadline then just call them up and say so. A court is likely to be sympathetic if there is good reason and you keep everyone informed of the delay and you arrange a realistic new deadline.

What happens at the end of 7 days? Do you need to reply at all? Is this the first letter you have received?

traviata Wed 05-Mar-14 19:51:39

yes you can ask for an extension.

Solicitors can't order you to do anything. If they say 'you must reply within 7 days' it has no more force than if your next door neighbour wrote it.
However, it may be different if the letter says "unless you reply within 7 days our client will do xyz". Then your only option is to explain that you won't be able to respond within that time but you will be appointing a solicitor and will be responding properly, and ask their client to hold off.

As to lack of proof; it isn't up to the solicitor to decide whether you did the thing you are accused of doing. The solicitor is there to advise their own client, and to act on their instructions - not to decide for themselves who is in the right or in the wrong.

Joy5 Wed 05-Mar-14 20:11:58

As someone who has received so many accusational letters from my ex's solicitor during our divorce, all with absolutely no grounds, it took me a long time to realise they absolutely countered for nothing, and just cost me a fortune i couldn't afford in sending a reply.

Its been quite normal to me for over a year, to receive these letters with no proof whatsoever. Seems some solicitors will write whatever their client with too much money tells them to put.

So now i just reply myself, get a lot of things off my chest, and all it costs is the price of a stamp!

So i'd post the full info on MNs, use a different name if it helps, and see what the response is, don't see a solicitor costing loads unless you have no alternative. smile

nicelyneurotic Wed 05-Mar-14 20:16:58

Thank you. Yes, this is the first letter I have received. It says if I don't reply they will take action, but doesn't say what exactly.

I'll find a solicitor tomorrow and will ask for an extension. Could I call or email them?

nicelyneurotic Wed 05-Mar-14 20:19:45

Thanks Joy5. So solicitors don't actually resolve anything then? I'd like a resolution without going to court.

Joy5 Wed 05-Mar-14 20:32:56

When i was using a solicitor, am now self repping in my divorce, my solicitor used to send a reply, and as my ex was lying in his original letters, i always had something i could send back to stop his claims so it came to an end.

Its a bit hard to say not knowing what area of the law you're in, but if its to do with money then the small claims court might be possible, but if its to do with libel/slander then unlikely anyone would take it further.

If nothing else, if you write a holding reply back to the solicitor saying you'll be taking your own legal advice and they will be making contact shortly, then the person who requested the solicitor's letter will be charged for receiving your letter, and also probably the thank you for your contact letter you'll receive back in return. One thing i have learnt, by my ex taking legal action for over a year against me in our divorce, is i'm learning lots how solicitors work!

PurplePidjin Wed 05-Mar-14 20:37:31

Google the name of a solicitor before you act! A friend had one saying he owed £X to a big bank - the letter was from a firm of solicitors - and he had 5 days to reply. Googling showed them to be a bunch of scumbag con artists trying to bully people into paying off old (and therefore the banks don't bother pursuing them) debts. He sent a fairly simple standard letter off and they fucked right off to the far side of fuck, at least so far hmm

traviata Wed 05-Mar-14 20:38:07

Seems some solicitors will write whatever their client tells them to put.

Yes. That is the solicitor's job. The solicitor is not a judge. He or she cannot decide what s/he thinks is the truth, and put that. His job is to advise the client, and then act on the client's instructions.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 05-Mar-14 20:41:43

You might find a solicitors who have mediators, or access to mediation services if this is a domestic property dispute after separation etc. I googled and found a local one to try and avoid court with ex.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 05-Mar-14 23:02:31

I often reply to similar letters, my legal advice I get is always reply within the timescale stating that you will be taking legal advice and will then give a fuller reply.
You have provided a reply within the timescale. Enough to show you are considering the matter.

SpinningFates Wed 05-Mar-14 23:48:39

Is the letter from a firm of solicitors claiming an unpaid debt? If so just ignore. Don't ring them, whatever you do. Don't write back. Don't engage.

Have they threatened to take further legal action in 7 days?

Sounds like a standard debt collection letter - ignore - chancers.

SpinningFates Wed 05-Mar-14 23:49:48

Don't write to them. They will "copy" your signature and "update" your records!!

babybarrister Thu 06-Mar-14 16:32:13

ideally get your solicitor to write to them saying that they need more time and not to take any action for 28 days

nicelyneurotic Thu 06-Mar-14 16:59:05

Thanks everyone. I'm getting my evidence together and meeting a solicitor tomorrow.

It's not an unpaid debt. It's mostly the other party demanding something, yet being as obstructive as possible when it is offered. A total waste of time and money for any solicitor.

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