To protect your cash flow you need to ensure that your business can collect bad debt. This is a common area of business activity and there is a well-established legal process for debt collection for businesses.
THE PROCESS OF RECOVERY OF BAD DEBT
Letter of demand is sent to the debtor. This debt collection letter needs to be legally admissible and so must include: specific details of the debt, a request that payment be made by a certain date; and a warning that debt recovery options will be pursued if payment is not received by this date.
Suing for debt. Court proceedings commence with the filing of a Statement of Claim. The Court handling the matter depends on the amount of the debt and the forms required vary so it’s important to seek legal advice at this stage.
The way that the debtor responds to the Statement of Claim determines the next steps. They may agree to an instalment order, they may not respond at all in which case a Court Judgment will be obtained or they may file a Defence.
The Court has a range of options available to proceed with collection of your money. These include:
- Seizing property, where the debtors goods are seized and sold at auction
- Selling Real Estate
- Summons, where the debtor has to attend a public Court examination to explain their assets and
- Garnishee Order, where a percentage of their wages are given to you
- Bankruptcy/winding up proceedings
HOW WE CAN HELP
We have experienced business solicitors who are completely at home with the legal processes involved in London debt recovery services. We can help you at any stage of this process of recovering a business debt, whether it is helping you write an effective and legally sound letter of demand, or pursuing the matter through the Court system. Our debt solicitors are familiar with the process of enforcing Judgment and can manage the process right through to bankruptcy or company winding up proceedings if need be.
We are also well aware of the costs of debt litigation and can advise you on whether it is commercially viable to proceed to Court.
NEVER LETTING IT HAPPEN AGAIN
One way to protect against bad debt is to review your contracts, trade agreements and terms of trade. We can help you make sure that your terms are clear and your processes solid so you can avoid lengthy and costly litigation proceedings in the future.
DEBT COLLECTION COSTS
We believe that it is important for clients to know how much small debt claims will cost, particularly with debts less than £10,000 where the costs would not usually be awarded to the winner, except in certain circumstances. It is therefore usual for each party to bear their own costs in the Small Claims Court. Wherever possible, we will fix our fees for dealing with a specific area of work or at the very least cap our fees in respect of our process.
WE SET OUT BELOW OUR FIRM’S FEES:
DEBTS FROM £2,000 TO £5,000
DEBTS BETWEEN £5,000 TO £10,000
DEBTS OVER £10,000
Letter of Claim 200.00
Chase up letter 30.00
Any additional chase up letter 50.00
Commencement of proceedings 300.00
Entry of Default Judgment 70.00
Reply to Defence – simple matter 150.00
Reply to Defence – complex matter 250.00
Capped fees up to and include trial 950.00
We will agree fixed fees/capped fees or staged fees on a case by case basis which is dependent on the facts and complexity of each individual case. This will be assessed and costs details will be provided to you. These cases need careful consideration not only about their merit, but whether it is proportionate to the legal costs and disbursements it will cost to pursue this matter through the Courts.
All fees are quoted exclusive of VAT. Court fees and third-party disbursements such as Barrister’s costs will be quoted to you separately as these are part of the disbursements.
We reserve our rights to vary our fees depending on the complexity of the matter but will notify you as soon as we are able to do so. It must be appreciated that some cases have numerous documents and/or a lengthy history. They may be complex and not straightforward.
We reiterate our general advice, which is that Court action should only be taken as a last resort. We advise our clients to explore all options to resolve all issues amicably, especially where parties do not fully recover their costs, even if totally successful. In doing so, they save money, time and the stress and inconvenience of Court proceedings.
Contact us to discuss the specific details of your business debt with an experienced debt solicitor in London.