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Thank you for reading, I've recently rented out my first house and I made a mistake of giving a sort code from 1 of my Barclay accounts and an account number of another, this obviously makes up a combination of sort code and account number for someone else. The estate agent then transferred the money to the account and we only realised what I'd done 2 weeks after when I chased them up for the money.

Since realising what had happened and seeing that the money had cleared from the estate agent's account they contacted their bank TSB and reported the issue. TSB then contacted Barclays and requested a letter to be sent to the person who's had the money deposited to them. We then received a letter back from TSB after 21 working days to say they've had no response back and to speak to citizens advice/take legal action.

I phoned citizens advice and they've said I should go to a drop in centre with documents and so on.

My questions are:

  • Will citizens advice be able to help me, or am I only going to get told to seek legal advice anyway?
  • What can I do as I'm not the person who's made payment or been paid, but I also don't want to cause the estate agent lots of work from my mistake, but legally no bank will talk to me anyway.
  • Will I have to seek legal action or the estate agent?

EDIT: Just to make it clear I totally understand this is my fault as I stupidly gave the wrong details. I'm just trying to find out what angle I come at this from as I'm neither the person who made the transfer or the person that received it.

Also the money involved is £800, £550 of which is deposit and I'll need to pay back at some point.

Regards

Liam

  • The estate agent did exactly what you told them to do. If you need a lawyer, you're going to have to be the one who hires him or her. Of course you need to consider the cost of that vs. what you hope to recover. – keshlam Sep 20 '16 at 9:07
  • Hi, I totaly understand that they did what I told them to, I appologise if it came across in any other way. It was my mistake but, where do I stand with regards to me neither being the one who tried to pay someone or the one who has received the money... In theory I could be you and trying to retrieve this money.. If you get my point? It was £800 but I owe £550 of that back as it's deposit money. I've read up that it's illegal for anyone to not return the money and they don't have a leg to stand on. Do I HAVE to use a solicitor? Sureley there should be a process without one? – Liam Wheldon Sep 20 '16 at 9:23
  • In the US you could try Small Claims Court. Not sure what the equivalent is there. – keshlam Sep 20 '16 at 9:25
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    I am not a lawyer but you have no legal recourse against the estate agent. They paid the money using the bank details you gave them. If the lucky recipient refuses to return the money then you may have to eat the loss. – TheMathemagician Sep 20 '16 at 11:29
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Will citizens advice be able to help me, or am I only going to get told to seek legal advice anyway?

They are just advisory. i.e. help/guide people. They are not responsible for any outcome.

What can I do as I'm not the person who's made payment or been paid, but I also don't want to cause the estate agent lots of work from my mistake, but legally no bank will talk to me anyway.

You are right. You estate agent would have to follow-up with banks [which you have already done].

Will I have to seek legal action or the estate agent?

Once you follow-up with the Banks and the Ombudsman, you should proceed to legal. Legally if it is a mistake on your part, the beneficiary is NOT entitled to the money and has to refund it. However establishing this takes a while and hence most of the times beneficiary does not pay back the money that is not rightfully his.

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    Hi, thank you, I've been to citizens advice but they said it's all abit out of their area. I've now contacted Barclays and they have said that if i get my estate agent to go into branch with proof of the transfer and proof of their identity. Then they'll be able to process it all in branch. So fingers crossed.... – Liam Wheldon Sep 20 '16 at 14:53
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I just thought I'd follow this up as it's now resolved.

I spoke with citizens advice and they hadn't really got any advice other than they legally can't keep the money.

I then contacted Barclays (as this is who was sent the money) they were very helpful and assured me that if my estate agent went into the bank with proof of transaction and their details then they'd definately follow this up and resolve it.

The day after speaking to Barlcays online, my estate agent contacted me to say the money has now appeared back in their bank. So it looks like the previous letter sent back from TSB must have been an automated letter like a timeout and actually in the background Barclays must have still been processing it.

Regards Liam

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Citizens Advice can tell you whether it would be possible / worth taking it to Small Claims Court or not, and how to phrase your claim if so.

If you do go to Small Claims Court, you don't need legal representation.

I would think of Citizens Advice as a kind of triage as to whether you need to seek legal advice or not.

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    Given that Citizens Advice is free, consulting them is definitely worth doing. – DJClayworth Sep 21 '16 at 3:48

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