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Debt Recovery

If you are owed money and seek to recover this, we would be delighted to assist with this task. Our team are experienced in this area and have previously recovered money for both individuals and overseas organisations in difficult circumstances

Before taking steps to recover monies owed, it is usually advisable to verify that the individual or organisation have the means to repay the debt by way of existing assets or future income. We can verify the individuals means at the outset in a number of ways including by checking the debtor’s accounts at Companies House (if your debtor is a Limited Company), whether or not the debtor holds a property registered at the Land Registry, or by organising a more detailed investigation.

Letter Before Action

If you decide to instruct us, we would normally first issue the debtor with a Letter Before Action formally requiring payment to be made within a given time. In our experience, this simple approach often bears immediate results.

Issue Legal Proceedings

If such formal action does not provide the desired result, then it is usually advisable to take court proceedings in order to recover the debt. In our experience, this is often a highly effective way of securing the repayment of a debt. The claim form will detail the debt due and include a claim for interest and/or compensation, as well as solicitors’ fixed costs and the Court fee paid. Once the claim is issued at Court, the debtor has 14 days to respond either by acknowledging the debt (in which case a further 14 days is added) or by admitting the debt and/or offering a rate of repayment; part admitting the debt and/or offering a rate of repayment or to defend and/or lodge a counterclaim. If no response is received after 14 days you are entitled to request Judgement often referred to as a CCJ. A debtor will often wish to avoid a CCJ being obtained as if payment is not made in full after one month expires from the date of the CCJ, this will be entered onto the debtor’s credit file and may in turn adversely affect the debtor’s future credit.

Enforcement of Debt

If the debtor has still not paid after one month has expired from the date of the CCJ, then there are several enforcement methods available. These are as follows:

  • Warrant of Execution, i.e. enforcement by county court bailiff (usually for debts under £600);
  • Writ of Fi Fa, i.e. enforcement by High Court enforcement officer (for debts over £600);
  • Attachment of Earnings order. This is an order compelling the debtor’s employer to make payment out of the debtor’s salary;
  • Charging order. This secures the debt against the debtor’s property, which means that when the property is sold any proceeds available to satisfy the debt can be paid together with fixed costs of obtaining the charging order and all interest accrued to date.
  • Third party debt order. This order requires a third party (usually the debtor’s bank if details about this are available) to release funds to pay the debt.

It is also possible to require the debtor to attend court so that the debtor’s financial situation can be established.

Bankruptcy and Winding Up

This option is only available if the debt is over £750 and should not be used if there is a dispute about the amount owed. (If there is a dispute about the amount owed a CCJ should be obtained first).

Our team would be happy to provide specialist advice about any of the above. Please send an email to info@formanlaw.co.uk or telephone us on 0208 655 8482 for further information or to make an appointment to see us.