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Thread: Solicitor going bust during house sale, and scammers showing up on doorstep

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Jun 2014
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    Solicitor going bust during house sale, and scammers showing up on doorstep

    Hello chaps,

    Bit of an odd turn of events causing my mother in law an awful lot of stress. After any pointers or experience from the collective wisdom.

    She has just moved house, sold her old place and moved in to the new one. She is still awaiting probate, but the sellers are letting her live there in the meantime.

    But... She called the solicitor today, and the line was dead. She went to the office, and it was cleared out and empty.

    Also, very bizarrely, yesterday her old neighbours called. A young couple turned up at her old house and asked the neighbours for a key as they were there to collect mail. They mentioned her first name the area she's moved to. They then said they were family - which they clearly were not.

    So.. a rather worrying set of events.

    She is very worried that the solicitor has done a runner with her money/ mortgage money, including her equity.

    Any advice on who else she should contact/ what she ought to do?

    Any view on why the couple would try to access her old house (now sold and paid for)?

    I did a bit of a Google and told her to call the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the first instance, and report the suspicious behaviour to the Police. She has also told the buyer of her old place so he's going to keep an eye on it (currently empty).

    All sounds very bizarre to me.

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    What's the name of the solicitors? You could check on their status on the lawsociety website - https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    Thanks, just had a check and they do seem to be SRA registered, which is positive. What's strange is that they never notified her of anything. The voicemail said they've now ceased trading.

  4. #4
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    An elderly relation was in a slightly similar position (in her case, the solicitor stopped trading because he was jailed for stealing client money - though fortunately not hers).

    In that case, the Law Society took over all the solicitor's files, and sent her her file so that she could register with another solicitor.

    I would contact the Law Society asap and ask for advice. If the solicitors were holding funds belonging to your MIL, I'd also be talking to the police (especially in the light of the visit to the house that you mentioned - the "collection of mail" could be related to any one of a number of potential frauds).

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipK View Post
    An elderly relation was in a slightly similar position (in her case, the solicitor stopped trading because he was jailed for stealing client money - though fortunately not hers).

    In that case, the Law Society took over all the solicitor's files, and sent her her file so that she could register with another solicitor.

    I would contact the Law Society asap and ask for advice. If the solicitors were holding funds belonging to your MIL, I'd also be talking to the police (especially in the light of the visit to the house that you mentioned - the "collection of mail" could be related to any one of a number of potential frauds).
    The joy of Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance is that it pays back client funds with absolutely no get out from the insurer.

  6. #6
    Yes as others have said, the SRA should have stepped in by now. They will appoint someone to oversee the transfer of files from the defunct firm.

  7. #7
    Master mr noble's Avatar
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    The couple may have wanted access to the house (the keys) in order to collect a load of stuff they’ve ordered online and don’t want delivered to their own addresss.


    What a terrible situation. So many horrible scamming gits in this world these days.

    I do hope your MIL can relax and get things resolved ASAP.

  8. #8
    Master
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    The couple may have wanted access to the house (the keys) in order to collect a load of stuff they’ve ordered online and don’t want delivered to their own addresss.
    Either that or some kind of credit fraud, maybe ordered credit cards using that name and address etc.

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