A care home manager has been fined £1,118.62 after he settled an £804 debt to his accountant with five crates of mostly 1p and 2p coins. He had been to the bank especially, he said: be glad that you weren’t behind him in the queue. So what did Robert Fitzpatrick, the care home manager, do wrong?
So they’ve copied this from the Mail.
And they are correct that coins are only legal tender up to certain amounts, depends upon the coin (this is not true in the US, where the penny is legal tender in any amount).
But the bloke hasn’t been fined that amount at all. For he’s not done anything illegal in the slightest which, even these days, is a requirement for being fined. He’s been told that his original £800 odd payment was not made in legal tender. Thus he must make the payment, plus legal costs I assume, properly.
He does get his £800 odd in pennies back though.
Churnalism is bad enough but being unable to copy a story properly is something else, eh?
There’s an important point at the bottom of this. It is not necessary to settle a debt in legal tender. As long as everyone agrees you can settle a debt with pennies, a pint or a plate of barbecued puppies. However, it is sufficient to settle a debt with legal tender. If you offer such and it is rejected then you are deemed to have paid that debt.
Which is why the guy didn’t get fined: he did nothing illegal in attempting to settle a debt not in legal tender. If the accountant had laughed and banked it then that would have been the end of the matter. What he has been told is that because the accountant did not accept the not legal tender then he must pay the bill in legal tender: or, if the accountant were to accept it, a plate of barbecued puppies.