Why should I instruct a solicitor?
It can be a cost effective and efficient way of recovering debts. We specialise in this type of work and will work with you, guiding you on each individual matter. Many debtors who have avoided payment previously will pay on receipt of a letter from a solicitor.
How much will it cost me?
We generally offer fixed fees as set out in our schedule until a case becomes defended. We then charge on an hourly rate which is dependant upon the level of lawyer dealing with it. All fees will be discussed with you in advance of pursuing a debt.
What can I recover from my debtor?
In addition to the debt itself you may also be able to recover a contribution towards your legal costs and interest (usually 8%pa unless your terms of business provide otherwise). If your debtor is a business you can also charge a fixed sum for recovering a debt. This ranges from £40 to £100 depending upon the size of the debt.
Is it always worth pursuing a debt?
You want to be sure that the likelihood of recovering the debt justify the expense of pursuing it. However, you do not want to create a precedent which encourages other small debtors not to pay. You should investigate why payment has not been made. If there is a dispute, try to resolve it. If non-payment is due to cash flow difficulties, consider trying to agree an acceptable repayment schedule. We can advise you through this process and assist with monitoring payments.
What will my solicitor need to pursue the debt?
We need copies of the invoices and/or details of how the debt arose. Also full names and addresses of the debtor(s). Any other information which you believe might be relevant (ie. Letters, emails, details of discussions) is also helpful to have from the outset as this enables us to tailor your claim accordingly.
How long will it take?
An initial letter before action to the debtor can generally be sent the same day as instructions are received. This gives the debtor 7 days in which to pay. Court proceedings can take up to 3 weeks to issue and serve due to delays at the Court. A debtor then has 2 weeks to reply before we may be in a position to apply for judgment. We will guide you through the timescale but will deal with the matter as swiftly as the court system allows.
Can I stop pursuing the debt?
There is no obligation to issue proceedings after serving a letter before action. We will advise you at every stage.
How can I enforce a judgment in my favour?
The best method of enforcement will depend upon the debtor’s circumstances. We will advise you upon the most appropriate. This may include attachment of earnings (where a debtor’s employer is instructed to deduct a regular amount from earnings and pay it to you); Charging Order (where your judgment is secured against a property (or asset), preventing its sale without payment to you); and instructing the bailiff/sheriff to collect money you are owed or to seize goods for sale.