Debt Recovery

If someone owes you money and you want to recover it, try writing to them to obtain their proposals for settlement of the debt (keep a copy of the letter and any reply). If this does not have a successful outcome.

Firstly, consider whether the debtor could dispute your claim to the money. If you feel there might be issues to sort out between you try using an alternative dispute resolution, you might then both reach an agreement over the debt. If you feel that there is no dispute:-

Secondly, find out if the debtor has any assets to assess if it is worth pursuing the debt. It might be possible to arrange for a credit rating check to be carried out on the debtor by a credit reference agency to establish the debtor’s credit rating and to see if they have any unpaid County Court judgments against their name. Whichever course of legal action you choose, you must send a final warning letter before you begin a claim the courts may penalise you on costs if you do not.

Thirdly, if it transpires that the debtor is not a man of straw you could pursue your claim. If you win the judgment, the debtor is required to pay the sum claimed and possibly the court fees and interest. Bear in mind that you will have to pay all court fees yourself upfront when the claim is issued.

If the claim is for no more than £5,000 excluding interest and court costs, the claim is likely to be allocated to the County Court Small Claims Track. Even if you win the judgment you cannot claim your solicitor’s costs in small claims hearings but you will be able to reclaim the court fees you have paid and reasonable witness expenses.

If you win and the debtor still does not pay the debt, you can try enforcing the judgment. There are various ways of doing this and again a court fee is payable which you can recover from the debtor but only if you are successful in enforcing the judgment.

If someone owes you money and you need assistance with the court procedure please contact this firm for a free quotation on +44 (0)208 539 0075.

This guide is intended as general information only, it does not seek to summarise the relevant legislation which is a complex and technical area of law. You should take specific professional legal advice prior to pursing any course of action.