Debt Recovery Solicitors – A Guide To Debt Recovery
If an individual or a business owes you money, you have every right to recover that debt.
Nobody should have to chase money that is justifiably theirs but if you find yourself in that situation it can be tricky to know how to go about it.
On one hand you want to show you are serious about recovering the debt. On the other hand, you want to be able to understand and help the debtor make payment, whilst maintaining the relationship.
So, what do you do? – The General Process is Outlined Below:
- There is usually either an invoice or agreement with someone who owes you money.
- This will ensure you have a record of when the goods/service or loan was provided and will outline payment terms, such as the amount to be paid and agreed payment date.
- If the stars align and you receive payment – fantastic!
- But if this does not happen, it’s time to apply a bit of pressure.
- This should not be a forceful pursuit, just a chance to reach out through emails or phone calls to politely remind the debtor what they owe.
- Now is the time to take stricter action and highlight a specific deadline for the debtor to settle the debt before you take up legal action. Also explain that Debt Recovery Solicitors will be instructed id they fail to pay on time.
- You could consider serving the debtor with a statutory demand*
- In most cases, this is enough to jump-start payment but if you’re still left empty-handed, it may be time to start court proceedings. If not, you may need to speak to a Debt Recovery solicitor for some guidance.
- A Claim Form and Particulars of Claim will be sent to the Court outlining the details of the parties involved and the nature of the claim.
- The Court will then send this to the Defendant along with a Response Pack to respond to the Claim.
- The Defendant will then have 14 days to either admit and pay the debt, enter into negotiations or dispute the claim.
- The Court will give directions to the parties to make sure that it has all the relevant information to decide at a court hearing whether the debt should be paid.
- Possible outcomes include ordering the defendant to repay the debt, interest and fees or, if the defendant is unable to pay, it may lead to insolvency proceedings or a High Court Enforcement Officer may be instructed to retrieve assets to satisfy the Judgment obtained.
This is a general guide on how debts are usually recovered. Each case will depend upon have its own facts.
To help give you the best chance of getting paid, we have outlined some “Dos and Don’ts” below:
- Learn about the debtor – before entering a business relationship try to gain as much knowledge as possible about their ability to pay. If you are loaning large amounts of money, ask for consent to carry out a credit check. Make sure agreements are in place.
- Use effective methods of contact – written forms such as letters and emails are efficient but more personal means of communication (e.g. phone calls) are much more effective as it is harder to ignore someone you are talking to directly. Always follow up a call with an e-mail.
- Make sure your terms of credit are clear – Written guidelines that set the terms and conditions for supplying goods/services on credit.
- Check the legal status of the debt – You generally only have a certain amount of time to recover a debt (usually six years), so make sure you do not leave it too late.
- Be afraid of causing offence – telling the debtor that you are getting a solicitor and taking legal action can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is also reasonable and necessary if they fail to respond to initial requests for payment.
- Jump straight into court proceedings – if you decide to dive headfirst into issuing court proceedings without following any of the pre-action protocols, you could be penalised by the Court for failing to follow correct procedure.
- Rule out other ways of resolution – for example, the presence of a mediator can help you and the debtor work together to reach an equally agreeable arrangement without the need to take legal action.
- Ignore the cost of recovering debt – getting a court Judgment and enforcing the debt can be costly so it is worth considering the size of the expenditure against the size of the debt to avoid losing even more money.
FREE Guide to Statutory Demands – DOWNLOAD NOW >
A Statutory Demand can be a really cheap and effective way of recovering a debt simply because of the consequences of the debtor failing to pay. Essentially you can make the debtor insolvent. For a FREE PDF file download on this method, please click HERE >
How can we help?
For more information on how we can help you recover a debt including our internal processes and your options on enforcing judgements, please find detailed information in the links below:
We have the experience and expertise to recover your debts no matter what the size.
If you are having difficulty in recovering a debt, please contact us now by using the “Make a free enquiry” below. To make life easier for you, we are open from 8am – 8pm during the week and from 9am to midday at weekends.