Collecting Interest on Delayed Settlement Payment


#1

Ex and I reached a mediated settlement agreement. The agreement stated that he had 15 days from the date of the agreement to pay me a fairly large sum of cash. The agreement did state that either party could take the other to court for noncompliance, but interest on a late payment was not mentioned. Ex willfully did not pay me until some months later. During that time frame, this particular amount of money was in the stock market and did extremely well. I was denied that opportunity. In addition, this particular money had previously been in a joint stockmarket account, and ex had (without my knowledge or permission) changed the name on the account to his alone; thus denying me access. This happened before the mediation. Do I have recourse for this lost interest or gains? And do I have recourse for the attorney’s fees incurred attempting to get him to comply with the original agreement? Your thoughts will be most appreciated.


#2

If the agreement said nothing with respect to interest, the standard judgment rate of 8% would apply. If your agreement provides for attorney’s fees to be paid to the non-breaching party you should recoup your fees.


#3

Erin, thanks for your quick response. Can I just use the Small Claims Court system for these sums or would it be a safer bet for me to go back through the same civil court (and more attorney’s fees!)? The interest is around $6,000 - attorneys fees quite a bit more. And I realize I can only sue for $5,000 in small claims.


#4

The district court would be the appropriate forum for this case.