Our specialist team of commercial debt recovery solicitors can pursue and defend outstanding debts that might be impeding your cash flow, including unpaid invoices and disputed debts that may require specialist legal advice as to the merits of a potential claim.
We will carefully consider the commercial reality and economic viability of pursuing or defending your debts; weighing up the cost-effectiveness of issuing or defending court proceedings against the ultimate prospect of recovery and the sums of money involved.
We find that most debtors tend to respond to our letters before legal action. If they don’t reply our expert solicitors will advise you on the next steps involved in the debt recovery process while pursuing your claim. If necessary we will issue court proceedings on your behalf.
Our specialist debt recovery solicitors regularly advise a variety of clients, including businesses and individuals, in relation to debt collection disputes and frequently deal with multiple matters concerning late payments at any one time.
How our debt collection solicitors can help you
We will carefully consider the commercial reality and economic viability of pursuing or defending your debts
We will advise on the cost-effectiveness of issuing or defending court proceedings
As part of our debt recovery service, we can provide a credit check on your debtor to determine if the case is worth pursuing
Our debt recovery team will work with you to try and recover the debt without the need for expensive court proceedings
How to recover unpaid debts for your business
When collecting a Commercial debt, there are four main steps:
Step 1 - Send a Letter Before Action (LBA)
Before legal proceedings can be issued, a Letter Before Action must be sent to the debtor. The letter should set out the details of the claim, how long the debtor has to pay and what actions will be taken if the debtor fails to pay. Most cases are settled at this stage and there is no need for further litigation.
Step 2 - Issue court proceedings.
If there is no satisfactory response to the LBA, the net step is to issue court proceedings at the County Court. Once the court serves the claim form on the debtor, they have 14 days to pay the debt, start negotiations or defend the claim.
Step 3 - Obtain a County Court Judgment (CCJ)
If the County Court decides that the debtor does owe the money, it will issue a County Court Judgment (CCJ). The CCJ allows you to take enforcement action against the debtor to recover the debt. If the debtor cannot afford to pay back the money, they may ask to change the terms of (vary) the judgment or pay it back in instalments via a payment agreement.
Step 4 - Enforcement action/insolvency and or bankruptcy action
If the payment is still not made, there are several ways to enforce the Order.
Attachment of Earnings Order – The debtor’s employer will deduct an agreed amount from their monthly/weekly salary.
Charging Order – The debt is secured against an asset (usually property) owned by the debtor.
Bankruptcy Petition – If an individual owes the debt, you can use insolvency proceedings. First, you serve them with a Statutory Demand and if the debt is not paid, you can issue a Bankruptcy Petition.
Winding Up Proceedings – If the debtor is a limited company and is insolvent, you can apply to the court to wind up the company.
Warrant of Execution – Instructing Bailiffs to secure goods to the value of the debt.
Commercial Debt Recovery FAQs
What is a statutory demand?
A statutory demand can be made by anyone, you don’t need a lawyer. A statutory demand is a formal written demand for payment of a debt within 21 days. It can be used to support a bankruptcy order or winding-up order.
How long do I have to collect debt?
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the limitation period is six years for most types of debt.
What is a Charging Order?
A charging order is an imposed court order which can secure debt against a debtor’s assets (usually property) in order to secure payment.
Is it always worth pursuing an overdue debt?
This can depend on factors such as whether the fees involved are more than the debt owed, or if the debt isn’t being paid because the debtor can’t afford to, or if there is a dispute. It is often better to accept a payment agreement over a period of time rather than pursuing legal action. Our debt recovery team can give you further advice that is more specific to your circumstances.
What is an unsecured creditor?
Unsecured creditors will only receive payment during insolvency once secured creditors have been paid. Secured creditors will commonly include banks, lenders or invoice factoring companies, while unsecured creditors will usually include suppliers, customers or contractors.
Can interest be charged on overdue debts?
If the interest rate is not specified in the contract, you can charge 8% plus the Bank of England base rate. You can only charge interest once the invoice becomes overdue.
Most Employment Lawyers have no idea of the rural world, but Michael has! However, we do not just limit his involvement in our own businesses and our client’s affairs to employment matters in the rural world – Michael deals with our retail business and professional practice as well. He is outstanding in this field.
Meet the Team
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