Consumer and Commercial Debt Recovery and Debt Collection

How Does Debt Recovery Work and What is the Process?

Debt recovery is the process of taking assertive action against a person or business who owes money. It is a wide-ranging phrase and includes telephone calls, emails and letters, site visits and court proceedings.

The Money Claim Process
When collecting debts, it is paramount to have quick, effective and quality communications. These key elements will trump quantitative and repetitive efforts that only infuriate debtors and discourage them from engaging. With our instant turnaround on instructions, our process is direct, effective, and it gets results.

The debt recovery process itself is straightforward and it can be broken down into the below steps, with each one offering further information.

Stages of Debt Recovery

Letter Before Action (LBA)

Court Proceedings (Claim Form)

County Court Judgment (CCJ)


The Insolvency Petition Process

As an alternative to the money claim process described above, we also offer a comprehensive insolvency service to wind-up (or bankrupt) a debtor and ensure that their assets are distributed to creditors. Each step of this process is explained in more detail below.

1. Statutory Demand

2. Winding-Up Petition

3. Bankruptcy Petition

How Much Does Debt Recovery Cost?

Whilst the cost of debt recovery varies significantly amongst different firms and agencies, we take a pragmatic approach and for uncontested matters, we just charge a low fixed-fee at each stage with absolutely no commission charged and no obligation to escalate matters.

In most cases, the costs are recoverable in full under either legislation or contract. Using Debt-Claims therefore becomes cost neutral once the debtor has paid.

Our initial letter before action costs just £12.50 (plus VAT). If you need to progress to a money claim, then the cost of the money claim depends on the value of the claim, full details of the pricing structure can be seen in our price guide and are explained in more detail in our recent article which looks at what costs are recoverable.

What Makes Debt-Claims Solicitors Different to Other Firms or Agencies?

Debt-Claims Solicitors is a part of Askews Legal LLP – a multi-discipline law firm that offers innovative and cost-friendly solutions to common legal problems. In addition to our cost-neutral pricing structure, what really sets us apart is our online portal. Our portal gives our clients complete control over all aspects of the recovery process and centralises everything into one easy-to-manage hub.

It takes around one minute to upload a new matter and from there, each action only requires a couple of a clicks – whether that’s submitting court proceedings, requesting a CCJ or instructing High Court Enforcement Officers.

Because our portal is automated and owned by us, our clients can rest assured knowing that the instant they instruct us, that instruction has already been actioned and with all updates coming direct to the portal, our clients do not need to waste any time chasing updates.

Our portal is simple to use and guides you through each stage, eliminating the need to instruct costly law firms.

What Size Businesses Can Benefit from Debt-Claims Solicitors?

The answer to this is simple – absolutely any size. Our clients range from large trade suppliers and industrial manufacturers, debt recovery agencies, to independent landlords, dentists, and personal trainers.

The flexibility of the portal means that any client, large or small, can use our system easily and cost-effectively, whilst maintaining full control. To read more about how Debt-Claims Solicitors can revolutionise your debt recovery process, read our recent article.

How Effective is Debt Recovery and how Many Debtors Pay?

At Debt-Claims, we pride ourselves on being transparent – we can never promise to collect every debt but what we take enormous gratitude in knowing, and what we can promise, is that if the debt is collectable, then we will utilise every option available to recover what is owed.

As a real-life percentage and on average across all industries, around 90% of debtors will pay following one of our initial pre-action letters. Of the remaining 10%, we would expect around 8 out of every 10 to pay following court proceedings. Unfortunately, there are always debtors who are unable to pay, even when expending every option available.

For debtors who don’t pay, we suggest that our clients explore insolvency actions. These allow us to force a debtor into bankruptcy or liquidation and an appointed practitioner will be employed to dissolve and distribute any assets to creditors.

Our high success rates are down to tried and tested methods designed at promoting engagement and Debt-Claims is led by a team of experienced debt recovery lawyers.

Should Legal Action be Used?

Whilst concerns about legal action are usual, we are big proponents of taking action against debtors and we encourage our clients to do the same – ultimately, the legal process is there to be used and it has been designed by legislatures that way.

The United Kingdom (particularly England and Wales) has a robust process for money claim proceedings and there are two courts (the County Court Business Centre and the County Court Money Claims Centre) dedicated to dealing with these actions.

The importance of prompt payment is readily recognised as a fundamental part of society and the process has been designed around upholding that. Going further, several pieces of legislation exist that impose financial penalties on debtors (and compensation/interest to creditors) to ensure that lawfully owed sums are not withheld. This reaffirms the need to utilise the tools available to collect what is owed to our clients.

We have two articles that consider claiming interest on invoices, and particularly the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.

How Long is There to Collect a Debt?

Generally, a creditor has six years from the date that a sum became due to bring an action against the debtor. There are exceptions to this rule where actions can be commenced after six years if certain conditions are met.

With the generous timescales allowed to bring actions, we advise our clients to look at old debts which were previously unrecoverable but could now be paid. Interestingly, where a client already has a CCJ against a debtor in respect of a debt, this is not subject to the usual six year cut-off – more can be read in this article.

What Information is Needed to Get Started?

All that is needed to instruct us is the name and address of the debtor (or just company name – we can find the address) and details of the outstanding debt, along with details of where any payment should be made to.

We always suggest where possible that copies of the invoices, contracts, or statements of account, are available to hand in a PDF format so that they can be uploaded and attached to correspondence sent by us.

Is There Anything Else to Consider?

A few examples of commonly asked questions and our responses are detailed below.
However, our team are always on hand to answer any questions.

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