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© 2019 by KB Law Solicitors 

KB Law Solicitors is the trading name of KB Law Solicitors Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA registration number 638922. KB Law Solicitors Ltd is a limited Company registered in England and Wales under registration number 10194135. 

 

DEBT RECOVERY

At KB Law Solicitors, our business clients put their trust in us to recover the debts that are weighing them down, and we always deliver. With vast experience in the field of debt recovery, you can rely on us to put pressure on your customers without alienating them from your business.

When your business delivers a product or service to a customer, you expect to see the return somewhat immediately.  However, when a customer fails to pay the amount they owe, it can be difficult to recover the debt without losing their business. With experience that spans the industries, KB Law Solicitors expert solicitors are able to pursue debt tactfully, maintaining the relationship while helping you receive your well-deserved payment.

As well as chasing a one-off debt, we can further assist you in setting up a system that clients commit to each time they must make a payment. Instead of spending your working days chasing customers for their due balance, let the debt recovery solicitors at KB Law Solicitors help you to claim back what you rightfully earned.

At KB Law Solicitors, we provide services to assist you in recovering your debt including assistance with:-

  • Recovering a range of unpaid money however complicated

  • Preparing defences to claims and counterclaims in disputed debts

  • Issuing court proceedings

  • Building disputes and rent arrears

  • Sending letters before action

  • Issuing & serving statutory demands

  • Tracing of debtors

  • Enforcement of judgments

  • Winding up proceedings against limited companies

  • Bankruptcy of individuals

  • Repossessions

  • Credit control procedures

  • Charging orders

  • Third party debt orders

  • Attachment of earnings

  • Warrants of control (previously known as warrants of execution)

  • Applications to obtain financial information (previously known as oral examination)

Depending on the type of contract you made with the debtor, we may be able to recover sufficient interest and administration costs from them to off-set against our costs.

There are 3 stages involved in the debt recovery process.

Step 1: Letter Before Action

The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims came into force on 1 October 2017. The Protocol applies to any business (either a partnership, sole trader, public body or in limited form) when claiming debt from an individual. However, it does not apply to business-to-business debts.

Information to be sent with the Letter before Action

  • Information Sheet

  • Reply Form

  • Financial Statement Form

The Letter before Action must be sent by post (it can also be emailed additionally). The debtor will have 30 days to respond to a letter of claim. The burden of responsibility falls to the creditor to provide documentation (in a specific format) to accompany a letter of claim

Debtor’s Reply

The debtor is required to use the Reply Form for their response

  • Request copies of the documents they wish to see

  • The debtor can also include any documents they consider relevant with their response

  • If the debtor indicates they are seeking advice regarding the debt, a creditor must allow a reasonable amount of time for this to happen. In essence, they cannot commence proceedings before 30 days have elapsed from receiving the Reply Form

The aims of the Protocol?

  • To encourage early engagement, communication and exchange of information between the parties

  • To enable the parties to resolve a matter without the need to commence court proceedings. This can include agreeing a payment plan or considering using an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure

  • To encourage the parties to act in a reasonable and proportionate manner.

  • If proceedings cannot be avoided, to support them

In the event of a creditor not complying with the Protocol?

  • Additional delays could be encountered if legal proceedings are stayed to remedy a failure to comply with the Protocol

  • Interest may not be added or at the very least, the amount may be reduced

  • The creditor could end up facing the debtor’s legal costs or face other sanctions

Bearing in mind the implications of ‘bad debts’ and concerns around cash flow, businesses need to give greater consideration to who they choose to give credit to in the future.

 

If the debt is over the £5,000 threshold and is not disputed you may want to consider insolvency proceedings which could be quicker than issuing a County Court Claim.

Step 2: Court Proceedings

If no payment is received and no contact made by the debtor to explain the situation, you may want to issue court proceedings against them. As your debt recovery solicitors, it’s our duty to then draft a Claim Form and Particulars of Claim, as appropriate, claiming the amount of money owed from the debtor plus any interest as well as a contribution towards your legal fees. This is then sent to the court for issue. The debtor then has 14 days in which to make the payment, or submit an Acknowledgement of Service, which will then give them a further 14 days by which to submit their Defence.

 

Step 3: Enforcement

If the debtor still fails to pay after a further 14 days and no defence has been filed (or if the Judge finds against the debtor in a defended action) the final step is to issue a County Court Judgement (CCJ). Once Judgement is granted, this will appear on the debtor’s credit record. If after this, the debtor still refuses to pay, it may be necessary to enforce the Judgement.

 

There are several methods of enforcement. These are as follows:

Warrant of Execution:

If a Warrant of Execution is issued, a court bailiff will trace the whereabouts of the defendant and make a visit to their premises to demand payment. Where payment is not possible, the court bailiff has the right to seize goods to the value of the Judgement.

 

Charging Order:

If you choose to enforce the Judgement through a Charging Order, the court places a charge on the defendant’s property, similar to a mortgage. This means that if the defendant sells or remortgages the property, they will be forced to use a certain amount of the proceeds to repay the debt. If the defendant does not sell or remortgage the property, an Order for Sale may be applied for, forcing the defendant to sell the property and pay the balance owe using the sale proceeds.

Attachment of Earnings Order:

If your debtor is an employed individual rather than a company, it may be possible to enforce the Judgement through an Attachment of Earnings Order. If this is the case, the debtor’s employer will be forced to deduct a certain amount from their salary in order to pay you back until the Judgement debt is satisfied.

If you wish to obtain advice or legal assistance in respect of your Debt inquiry, we offer an affordable and confidential consultation at a fixed fee with and experienced debt recovery lawyer where we can answer your questions and explain the processes that will apply. 

For more information or to book an initial consultation, please contact us