We offer a full debt collection service to all clients, be they commercial or private.
Our Debt collection service usually begins with a letter of claim sent to the debtor. Most clients have already sent several reminders to the debtor before they consider instructing a solicitor.
It would appear that many debt collectors like to threaten insolvency or bankruptcy by sending a statutory demand and delivering it in person via a process server. This can be intimidating, but in our experience, this is not a cost effective approach, unless you actually intend to follow through with your threats. You should also bear in mind that if your debtor does actually become insolvent or bankrupt then you are unlikely to recover anything anyway.
We therefore usually recommend that we send just one solicitors letter by first class post threatening legal action if no payment is made within the next seven days and for this service we will charge you £50 + VAT. We usually recommend that this letter is not sent using registered post or other signed for delivery service as documents are often deemed to be delivered provided you can provide evidence of posting. In other words, you do not have to prove that there were received only that they were posted. After that, if no payment is received we normally advise you to issue court proceedings.
Before issuing court proceedings, you should consider whether the debtor has the assets to pay your debt. If not, then obtaining a court judgment against them may be ineffectively in recovering any money from them. However, if you do obtain judgment then there are several different enforcement options available to you, which we discuss here: Understanding Enforcement Options
As Solicitors, we have an advantage over debt collection agencies in that we have experience acting for both debtors and creditors, from the initial letter of claim right through to the enforcement procedures, including bankruptcy and insolvency. We will advise you regarding the various legal remedies available to you to recover your money and which ones are most appropriate and cost-effective for your specific matter.
Later, the brother got married and then divorced and my client sought to secure her interest in the property ahead of the brother’s wife. Unfortunately, the brother was not co-operative and so we had to issue court proceedings. An agreement was reached and the proceedings were withdrawn, but the brother again did not comply with the settlement, so fresh proceedings were issued.
The matter eventually settled via a mediation and although the whole process was costly (as each party paid their own costs) my client was very pleased to avoid going to court, which would have been even more divisive and expensive for the family, as whatever happened, someone would have to pay the extra legal costs!
Disputes between family members are always emotionally charged and it is often difficult to make sensible commercial decisions. We can act as a sounding board to avoid making conflicts worse and help create an environments in which a settlement is more likely.
- Justin Sadler