Do what you say you’ll do

I act for a few clients who have found themselves in a difficult financial situation for one reason or another.  Some of these clients have made promises to repay the amounts they owe on a particular basis (usually an additional amount each month) and while they began making these payments, they did not continue with the payments.  They then find themselves at the business end of a court action to recover the arrears and in my office.

There is a recurring theme in these matters.  My clients give undertakings to pay off the arrears that have accumulated and find themselves unable to continue those payments.  If you are in a similar position you should bear in mind that the difficulty with not meeting your obligations (which you undertake) is that when it comes time to try resolve the matter (and possibly settle a court action), the attorney acting for the creditor often looks at where you may have missed payments as an indication of your apparent unreliability.

My suggestion is that if you are going to promise to make payments to clear an arrears balance then make sure you can manage the payments for as long as they need to be made.  Remember that creditors’ lawyers are often a suspicious bunch and are probably convinced (sometimes subconsciously) that you are up to no good and can’t be trusted even if the reasons for your falling into arrears were beyond your control.  If you can’t meet your promises you will find the creditor’s attorney to be less than sympathetic going forward.

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