Experienced Commercial Legal Advisors Help for Debt Recovery
Posted by Fredyoung on April 28th, 2016
Particularly in the current economic climate, recovering unpaid invoices in a timely and cost effective manner is essential for businesses. This article explains the process of commercial debt recovery and the steps a solicitor will take once you instruct them. The first step in any debt recovery process is for your solicitor to send out what's called a "letter before action".
Normally sent to the debtor immediately upon receipt of instructions from their client, the solicitors letter demands settlement of the outstanding debt, within 7-14 days and may also include a claim to recover interest or costs, quoting legislation for the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act 1998. The letter makes it clear, that if payment is not received within the given time frame, court proceedings will be issued and further costs will be incurred, without further notice.
Sent out at no cost to the instructing client, the purpose of this letter is to generate a response from the debtor and in most cases, this is enough to prompt the speedy settlement of any outstanding bill. If the "letter before action" is not responded to, your solicitor will move to the next step. This is to issue a County Court claim form. This Debt Recovery is an official document detailing the amount of debt, the court fees, the costs and the amount of interest payable. Interest payable can be calculated in one of two ways.
Either statutory interest is recovered at the rate of 8% and is payable on the amount outstanding, for the period from the due date of the invoice, to the date of the judgment! Or under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act 1998, interest is payable at the rate of 8% above the Bank of England's prevailing base rate, along with any fixed costs associated with the Act, or any contractually agreed costs according to your terms and conditions of business.
A Judgment is a court order detailing the details of the debt and gives a date when payment must be made. If a Judgment remains unpaid for in excess of thirty days of the date of the Order it is registered with the Register of County Court Judgments and results in the debtor's CCJ or County Court Judgment being the public domain as the Register is open for public inspection and Banks and Finance Houses regularly check with the Register when checking individual's credit worthiness. In the event of a disputed claim, where the debtor files a defense, your solicitor will advise on the options open to you and refer your case to the dispute resolutions department within their firm. They may also be able to advise on options Family Law and Probate available, to help you finance the fighting of your case.