Our Debt Collection service usually begins with a letter before action being sent to the debtor.
Most clients have already sent several reminders to the debtor before they consider instructing a solicitor.
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. Furthermore, if the debt is disputed, the debtor could challenge a statutory demand which if successful could lead to a costs order being made against you.
You should also bear in mind that if your debtor does become insolvent or bankrupt at any stage of the process then you are unlikely to recover anything anyway.
Court Judgements and Enforcements
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 ineffective 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 before action 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.
Debt Collection from £50 plus VAT
We therefore usually recommend that we send just one solicitors’ letter by first class post threatening legal action. For most debts as little as 7 days notice can be given 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 within the time limit we normally advise you to issue court proceedings.
If the debt is between a business and an individual, or a sole trader, a pre-action protocol applies and you are required to provide the debtor with certain specific information and allow 30 days for a response to be received before issuing proceedings. We will advise you if this applies to your debtor and will ensure that the required information is provided to the debtor.
These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed.
If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.
|Value of Claim (including interest)||Type of Claim||Paper Claim Form Fee||Online Claim Form Fee||Initial Advice (Fixed Fee)||Full Representation (plus VAT)|
|Up to £300||Small Claim||£35||£25||£95||£250-£750|
|£300.01 to £500||Small Claim||£50||£35||£95||£250-£750|
|£500.01 to £1,000||Small Claim||£70||£60||£95||£250-£750|
|£1,000.01 to £1,500||Small Claim||£80||£70||£95||£250-£750|
|£1,500.01 to £3,000||Small Claim||£115||£105||£95||£250-£750|
|£3,000.01 to £5,000||Small Claim||£205||£185||£95||£250-£750|
|£5,000.01 to £10,000||Small Claim||£455||£410||£95||£250-£750|
|£10,000.01 to £25,000||Fast Track||5% of the claim||4.5% of the claim||£95||£500-£3,000|
|£25,001-£100,000||Multi Track||5% of the claim||4.5% of the claim||£95||£1000- £10,000|
|£100,000.01- £200,000||Multi Track||5% of the claim||Unable to issue online||£95||£1000- £10,000|
|More than £200,000||Multi Track||£10,000||Unable to issue online||£95||£1000- £10,000|
Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:
- The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
- Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
- The costs quoted above are based on the debt being undisputed and enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt not being required.
Our fee includes:
- Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
- Undertaking appropriate searches
- Sending a letter before action
- Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
- Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default
- When Judgment in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
- If payment is not received within 7 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs
Our fee does not include:
- Pre Action Correspondence with the debtor or their solicitor
- Service of the Claim Form by any method other than first class post (for example via personal service or where the debtor lives abroad)
Matters usually take between 6 weeks – 10 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether it is necessary to issue a claim and the progression of the claim.
This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgment in default.
If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve and future fees will be involved, see Understanding Enforcement Options
For all other debts, initial advice can be given via a one-hour fixed fee meeting for £95 including VAT. Thereafter, we will give you an estimate and we will not exceed that estimate without getting your permission first. If appropriate, we will offer you a fixed fee for a fixed amount of work. We also offer Pay As You Go Legal Service, whereby you only pay for the legal services you actually want.
Debt Recovery Testimonials
"Thank you very much for your help, also please do convert my special thanks to Mr Sadler, he was indeed helpful and simplified the whole process of recovering my debt in minutes. I surely would recommend your services to friends and family of mine in desperate need and also will come back to you should my situation get worst and need legal help. I am glad I came across your firm so clear and transparent in fees structure, help and advice. Many Thanks"September 2017– Ritesh
Would like to place on record my thanks to Chris Miller who worked on our case. Great support and hard work to ensure we came out with a positive outcome. Would not hesitate to contact or recommend Chris, Justin and team to help with any future cases. Thanks again, Joe
I have recently used Barrett & Co to assist me with my divorce and can only say good words about the experience. Paul Wild especially not only provided reassuring advice, but his professionalism (and indeed, that of everyone at Barrett & Co) made me feel supported throughout the whole process, and left me with the feeling that he genuinely cared about my situation. The level of dedication displayed by not only Paul but also Richard Ince in the conveyancing team was top notch, in particular when turning work around within tight timescales, and keeping me appraised throughout so nothing came as a surprise. I will definitely use Barrett & Co for any legal needs in the future - very highly recommended!
Barrett & Co come highly recommended. I recently worked with Alan Warnes on a property sale that was very complicated due to changes in the lease, and dealing with difficult and lengthy queries from the buyer's solicitors, and Alan guided me expertly through the process. His tenacity, patience, legal expertise and good humour were greatly appreciated. I have used Barrett & Co's services for previous property purchases and sales, for declarations of trust, and one of the partners also became executor to my parent's estate several years ago. They are very professional, and also warm, friendly solicitors to work with. I would not hesitate to engage them again if the need arises.
Thanking Justin Sadler and Chris Miller for being so welcoming, understanding, supportive, very dedicated to our situation. They are very professional and a very committed legal team! Also the receptionists were always welcoming and kind. I would highly recommend Barrett and Co Solicitors in the first instance!
I had Justin Sadler work with me, giving excellent advice and general support with a very difficult, complex case against an ex-business partner. Happy to say that I got a full settlement before going to court, as with that advice, I was in a very strong, empowered position to emphatically 'win' my case without incurring additional court costs!
Jane Whitfield was friendly and professional and I found the process of making a will to be easy and straightforward. I would thoroughly recommend.
Great service and brilliant advice, value for money. Justin Sadler help me with employment law issues. Justin was very supportive and really help me understand a difficult situation. I would highly recommend him & Barrett & Co.
I would definitely recommend Charlotte (I was getting a document witnessed). She was polite, professional and very efficient. Would use again.