marcolevi
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To apply the doctrine of duress must the innocent party actually succumb to the pressure applied by entering into the contract or accepting to do what is being asked of them? Or is it enough for an illegitimate or unlawful threat to be found, as well as there being a lack of a reasonable or practical alternative?
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Eh? Did you have an example in mind?

If B applies economic pressure to A in the hopes of getting A to agree to contract with B, but A nonetheless doesn't contract with B, then of course economic duress has no application as there is nothing to rescind.

If B holds a gun to A's head in the hopes of getting A to contract with B, but A nonetheless (bravely) doesn't contract with B, duress still has no application. A has a completely separate claim for trespass to the person (assault).
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coder9413
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Duress to person :
1. injury to person
AND
2. (1) is one of the reason which the victim enter into contract

Economic Duress :
A. The threat is illegitimate (e.g. threaten to break another contract / launch a strike )
B. The person who threaten originally don't have the right to the benefit from the threat ( analogous to blackmail ) and that person think so.
C. The victim have no other practical way but to enter into the contract/ made a complaint ? etc.
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marcolevi
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(Original post by Forum User)
Eh? Did you have an example in mind?

If B applies economic pressure to A in the hopes of getting A to agree to contract with B, but A nonetheless doesn't contract with B, then of course economic duress has no application as there is nothing to rescind.

If B holds a gun to A's head in the hopes of getting A to contract with B, but A nonetheless (bravely) doesn't contract with B, duress still has no application. A has a completely separate claim for trespass to the person (assault).
..
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(Original post by marcolevi)
Oh ok thanks. In my scenario the creditor has threatened the debtors in numerous letters with escalating threats to credit rating agencies n legal proceedings etc if they dont pay the remaining amount of their debt as soon as possible, n the creditors also said in each letter, it will ' affect your ability to ever borrow money again.' But the debtors have not yet payed the money therefore they haven't succumb to the illegitimate pressure n done as the creditor has asked in face of the threat. So i was just wondering if because they have not yet done what the creditor asked, can economic duress be applied or not?
Duress doesn't have the slightest application on those facts.

i) If A already owes B £100 under a perfectly valid contract then A has to pay. B exerting 'duress' doesn't somehow let A off the hook for the debt... that is not what economic duress is about at all. Economic duress lets A rescind new transactions, or contractual variations, entered into as a result of B's illegitimate threats. It doesn't get A out of existing ones!!

ii) Those don't sound like illegitimate threats to me. If A owes B money, and fails to pay, B is perfectly entitled to report A to credit reference agencies, or to commence legal proceedings. His continual threats to do so might be the tort of harassment, but because they are not illegitimate, they couldn't be duress.
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Nolofinwë
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(Original post by Forum User)
Duress doesn't have the slightest application on those facts.

i) If A already owes B £100 under a perfectly valid contract then A has to pay. B exerting 'duress' doesn't somehow let A off the hook for the debt... that is not what economic duress is about at all. Economic duress lets A rescind new transactions, or contractual variations, entered into as a result of B's illegitimate threats. It doesn't get A out of existing ones!!

ii) Those don't sound like illegitimate threats to me. If A owes B money, and fails to pay, B is perfectly entitled to report A to credit reference agencies, or to commence legal proceedings. His continual threats to do so might be the tort of harassment, but because they are not illegitimate, they couldn't be duress.
OP, the post I've quoted is excellent, and I completely agree with it. (I would rep, but it's not letting me, so please accept a hypothetical rep instead)

I would just add that, having read the quoted post, I re-read you're scenario to see why duress might apply. The only thing I thought of is that it might be the case that the debt repayments are not yet due, i.e. the contract stipulates the time for repayment, and, that time still being in the future, the creditor's demands for the repayments now are an attempt to force the debtor into entering a variation to the original contract under which the whole sum would become due at once/earlier. If that is the case (i.e. it is some sort of attempt to force a variation to the original contract), then in theory economic duress could apply, but you might still have difficulty proving illegitimacy on the facts.
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(Original post by Nolofinwë)
OP, the post I've quoted is excellent, and I completely agree with it. (I would rep, but it's not letting me, so please accept a hypothetical rep instead)

I would just add that, having read the quoted post, I re-read you're scenario to see why duress might apply. The only thing I thought of is that it might be the case that the debt repayments are not yet due, i.e. the contract stipulates the time for repayment, and, that time still being in the future, the creditor's demands for the repayments now are an attempt to force the debtor into entering a variation to the original contract under which the whole sum would become due at once/earlier. If that is the case (i.e. it is some sort of attempt to force a variation to the original contract), then in theory economic duress could apply, but you might still have difficulty proving illegitimacy on the facts.
True - didn't occur to me that the debt might not be due yet.

Also - to the OP, you need to be careful with my argument that because B is entitled to report A to a credit reference agency, a threat to do so cannot be illegitimate. While that is true, it is not always true that if doing B is entitled to do X, threatening to do X in order to coerce A into doing or not doing something is also legitimate. If A commits a crime, B cannot threaten to report A to the police if A does not pay B money - that is blackmail. I think that is the only counterexample - just wanted to flag it up for completeness.
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