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Old Acquaintance saying we owe him money, would like to settle out of court.

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by Kelck22, May 15, 2019.

  1. Kelck22

    Kelck22 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Washington
    We received a letter from an old acquaintance saying we owe him $4670. The only potentially legitimate claim is $250, the rest is upkeep for his property that we would in no way be liable for. He says if we dont pay him in 14 days he will sue us. We have written a letter outlining why in no way would we be liable for the rest of the $4670. If we send a letter with a check for $250 and state in the letter that in cashing the check he is agreeing the matter is closed is that legally binding?
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    I would say you have a good strategy to resolve the matter. I would only add that you put something in the memo line of the check such as "paid in full".

    It may be possible that you don't really owe anything at all depending on the time that has passed, but if you feel you owe $250 and want to try a quick resolution then offer the check. If later someone decides you owe more then you have a $250 head start.

    Make it clear in your letter that you dispute anything above $250 and that acceptance of your offer is payment in full. Use of the word "settlement" may imply that you owe more but are paying less. You are not doing that- you are paying what you owe in full.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The technique is called "accord and satisfaction" and is addressed by RCW 62A.3-311:

    RCW 62A.3-311: Accord and satisfaction by use of instrument.

    Note that if he returns the check within 90 days, the accord and satisfaction didn't work and you could still be subject to a lawsuit.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    It isn't wise to respond to threats.

    If you're sued, you simply defend.

    If I received such a letter, I would simply file it away, and NOT respond.

    If I were sued, I'd swiftly respond with a general denial of each and every allegation.

    I never communicate with the opposing party, and I don't waste time with mediation.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Read this and act accordingly.

    If I were you, I would not send a check. Rather, I would send something that explains why you don't owe anything other than $250 and offer to pay the $250 upon his written agreement.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    *I* think the OP should explain when this alleged debt was incurred and what it was for. That way, the OP can be directed towards the appropriate statute of limitations. Alternatively, the OP can simply review the Limitations of Actions (statute of limitations) for Washington: Chapter 4.16 RCW: LIMITATION OF ACTIONS

    (This was alluded to by mightymoose in post #2)
     

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