Good day,Hope you find this email well. ...

Asked by Babsie on 20-06-2022 09:26:55
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng

Good day,

Hope you find this email well. 

I urgently need an attorney to help me with a settlement letter to one of my customers. 

During Covid I had a customer butying some stock and could not supply as there was no stock available in SA at all. As our business went through a tough financial situation money where deducted from our account for SARS and other debit orders. 

We could not supply customer with stock as our business were under heavy financial stress and there where no way to get hold of the money that SARS deducted for outstanding penalties etc. 

My customer was very lenient and last week ask me to send him a letter through an attorney with a payment settlement. He got an director with him that want to take this matter further but ask me in his direct words "ask a lawyer to preare a settlement to repay the ourstanding amount back to them with a reasonable period then we will accept the offer and not the matter further". 

The amount owing a quite big but as our company is not in business anymore we would like to pay them back. The amount owing to them is R501 125.61, but to stop them from taking any further action we need to provide them with a letter drawn up by an attorney that we would pay them back. 

Would you be able to assist or what is my way forward?

Kind regards



Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 20-06-2022 09:54:23

Hi there Babsie and thank you for your question, 

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow-up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread. 

You could include the following paragraph in your letter to your customer - 

"We confirm that we are indebted to you in an amount of R501,125.61 in respect of stock ordered from us but which we could not deliver due to there being no stock available in South Africa. As we have previously explained to you, COVID had a massive impact on our business. We hereby offer to repay the aforesaid amount to you by way of monthly instalments, each in an amount of Rxxxxxxx per month, with the first payment being made on ____________ and further monthly payments being made on the 1st day of each and every month thereafter until the full amount has been settled in full. If you accept this proposal, then you undertake not to institute any legal proceedings against us for so long as we honour this payment proposal."

You would obviously put in the top section of the letter and you'd put something at the bottom about "please consider this offer" and "we look forward to hearing back from you", or something like that. 

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question. 

Att. Patrick 

Please remember this is a dialog if you have follow-up questions please use the REPLY button and ask. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted to be answered. I hope you found my answer helpful, and you have finished asking your questions, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button in order to mark the question as closed.

Message from the client

Thank you for the answer, what will the cost be if you draw up an letter like this for our customer?

We would really like to proceed with this through an attorney.

Message from the client

Thank you for the answer, what will the cost be if you draw up an letter like this for our customer?

We would really like to proceed with this through an attorney.

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 20-06-2022 10:10:01

The cost is going to be quite high, because you're going to have to give me all of the documents, and explain the full story, and I'm going to have to open a file and prepare the letter, send it, and then deal with any replies that they send through. Perhaps R5,000 - but if you are happy to spend that, then I'm happy to help.

There is nothing wrong with you sending a short letter yourself with that paragraph making an offer to pay.

If the company accepts the offer, then that would be the end of it. However, if the company comes back to you to say 'No', then I would suggest that you speak to an attorney about assisting in negotiating something which will work.

But I'm happy to help if you would like. Taking you on as a private client.

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