If you find yourself fruitlessly chasing unpaid invoices, you may require the services of Loch Law’s debt recovery solicitors. We can provide an effective and efficient resolution to your situation.
It can be easy to feel powerless in a situation where a debtor can ignore you in the hopes that you will go away. Instead, with the right help and by following the correct processes, you can ensure they fulfil their agreed-upon obligations.
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How Loch Law can help
The issue of debt recovery can be avoided, or at least resolved much quicker, by ensuring that your terms and conditions are drafted correctly. We can make sure that your terms and conditions document covers the topic of debt recovery, including outlining entitlement to any financial interest added to an invoice if it is not paid within a clearly defined timescale.
If an invoice has not been paid within an agreed-upon or appropriate time period, our comprehensive debt recovery service might include:
A Letter Before Action
A Letter Before Action (LBA) is drafted and sent as a formal payment request for the debt owed to your business. As part of its wording, it will warn of the imminent issuing of a court claim if the debt is not paid within a given period of time. Before any legal proceedings can take place, an LBA must be issued.
If the debtor fails to respond to the Letter Before Action, the next step is to issue a legal claim through County Court. As part of that claim, the debtor is sent a court form requiring them to pay the debt, often plus interest and any associated costs, within 14 days.
Obtaining a County Court Judgement
This court order confirms that the debtor has defaulted on the payment. A County Court Judgement (CCJ) provides you with the power to take enforcement action in order to collect the debt.
Enforcement of a CCJ
Almost immediately after obtaining a County Court Judgement you can begin enforcement proceedings. Your method of enforcement will vary depending on the circumstances of the debt and the situation of both you and the debtor.
Enforcement methods that we regularly use include:
County Court bailiffs
Employed by the County Court, these bailiffs enforce debts valued at less than £600.
High Court enforcement officers
These officers are employees of a private company licenced by the High Court to enforce debts with a value above £600. As the officers are paid upon successful collection of debt – from the debtor themselves – they are motivated to see it carried out successfully. Unlike a County Court bailiff, High Court enforcement officers are legally allowed to force entry to commercial premises if they believe there are goods belonging to the debtor inside.
Third-Party Debt Order
Once known as the Garnishee Order, this method legally enforces a County Court Judgement by obtaining payment from a third party that owes money to your debtor. Creditors aware of a large contract paying money to the debtor will likely use this method to freeze the account and intercept these funds.
Attachment of Earnings Order
If your debtor is an individual who is employed, an Attachment of Earnings Order can be applied to their income, meaning that a proportion of it is given to you each month. The debt is paid over a period of time.
A Charging Order can be secured against any property that is owned by your debtor, whether as a sole or joint owner. The debt is then paid either when your debtor remortgages or sells the property.
While this enforcement method does not necessarily lead to payment, it requires the debtor to attend court for questioning. That questioning can help to make an informed decision on which method of enforcement should be used. At the session of questioning, your debtor could offer payment proposals, outlining how they intend to pay the value of the debt.
There are, however, situations where the debtor cannot pay their debt to you. In those instances, we might issue either a Winding Up Petition or begin Bankruptcy Proceedings, depending on the value of the debt.
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Thank you so much for your work; it is greatly appreciated. I can’t wait to get this situation resolved! Thank you again. We would be lost without you.
I cannot recommend Joe Milner at the Tunbridge Wells office highly enough. He was extremely helpful and reassuring, and settled my claim quickly and efficiently. What a delightful chap to do business with.
It goes without saying my contacting you at the outset & getting your great advice gave me confidence through this upsetting episode.
The expertise of Loch Law made me feel in very safe hands. Caroline was thorough in explaining the legal situation, giving clear advice and was committed to getting me a fair outcome
Thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate the fact that you were able to understand the nature of our company and tailor your advice accordingly. I think that ability is key in defining a good lawyer. Lawyers who cannot deviate from 100% security are of little use.
The expertise of Loch Law made me feel in very safe hands. Caroline was thorough at explaining the legal situation, giving clear advice and was committed to getting me a fair outcome.
I cannot recommend Joe Milner at the Tunbridge Wells office highly enough. He was extremely helpful and reassuring and settled my claim quickly and efficiently. What a delightful chap to do business with.
Pam and her team are always on hand to expertly advise us on any employment law issues we have. The speed of their service levels combined with high-quality advice always exceeds our expectations and as a result, we have been a satisfied client of the firm for over 7 years. I would not hesitate to recommend Loch Law to any business.
The speed of their service levels combined with high quality advice always exceeds our expectations and as a result we have been a satisfied client of the firm for over 7 years. I would not hesitate to recommend Loch Law to any business.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your help and please let whoever helps you get this out of the door know that I appreciate theirs too!
We have been incredibly thankful for having your support over the last few years and our clients have been very impressed with the help they have received from Pam Loch and the rest of the team. We cannot praise you highly enough.
What is a Letter Before Action?
A Letter Before Action (LBA) is a formal letter issued to your debtor requesting payment. It should set a deadline by which the debt is expected to be paid and warn the debtor that the issuing of a court claim is imminent. A Letter Before Action must be sent before starting legal proceedings.
How can I make sure my County Court Judgement is enforced?
Obtaining a County Court Judgement is not the end of the debt recovery process. Enforcement ensures that your debtor pays you what they owe. The type of enforcement method that is suitable will often depend on two things: the size of your debt and the circumstances of your debtor.
Methods of enforcement might include using the services of a County Court bailiff for debts of less than £600 or a High Court enforcement officer for debts above that figure. You might decide to issue a Third Party Debt Order, an Attachment of Earnings Order, a Charging Order, or an Information Order. If your debtor can’t pay, you could choose to begin Winding Up or Bankruptcy Proceedings.
What can I do if my debtor can’t be found?
Tracing a debtor who has seemingly disappeared into thin air can be incredibly frustrating. Debt recovery specialists, such as those at Loch Law, can help you to trace your debtor, ensuring that they meet their financial obligations.