Saturday, March 10, 2018

Litigation Can Bankrupt You So Be A Mediator Not A Litigator

Welcome to Money Tips Daily this is Money Kelly bringing you money tips to help you save and make more money!

Avoid litigation. The well-known phrase "I'll see you in court" often ends in the bankruptcy court or losing your house to pay legal costs, which can run into millions.  Not only is litigation costly in terms of legal fees, but it can also take up an awful lot of time and energy, and literally drain you emotionally.

I once got involved in a dispute over a £500 unfair charge by a freeholder on a leasehold flat I owned. To cut a long story short, they kept escalating to so-called ‘costs’, like a game of poker, and we ended up going to court, but by this time they were claiming £14,000! 

The case took two years of my life fighting this small dispute. In the end, with the help of a great city barrister, who charged me £2000 upfront, I won the case and got my legal costs back. However, in reality I had lost hundreds of hours of my time, energy and sleepless nights.

At all costs, avoid going to court and use arbitration services, ombudsman or just common sense to settle disputes. Sometimes you just need to talk! 

Courts and Judges are notoriously fickle and you can never guarantee which way a case will go. Barristers know that if you upset a Judge, for instance by arguing or not submitting papers on time, the case could go against you. 

In the case of smaller disputes over charges you think you are incorrect, it is sometimes better to pay the charge and dispute it after (obviously not in the case of a dodgy builder who has just messed up your kitchen) . This especially applies to utility companies, banks and credit card companies, who have an unfair advantage over us in that they can register a late payment or default against us which will damage or credit rating, without even going to court.  

Bonus tip. Add legal expenses insurance to your household and motor insurance. It is usually very inexpensive and could save you a lot of money.

Action...Be a mediator not a litigator.

Check out my Podcast episode "Avoid Litigation Be A Mediator Not A Litigator " on Anchor!

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