Debt Recovery For Businesses - Sutherland & Co Law
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Debt Recovery For Businesses

Before issuing a claim to recover monies due a letter should be sent to the debtor(s) providing the current position and allowing 30 days for contact or repayment to be made. At this stage you may consider offering an instalment plan. If no response is received then a further letter should be sent out granting a further 7 days to allow for contact or repayment to be made before the issuing of proceedings. These are letters before action and inform the debtor that court proceedings will begin if no agreement is reached and the debt remains outstanding. If you do not know the debtor’s residency address then we can arrange for a debtor trace to be carried out in an attempt to obtain the new address. If the result of the trace is negative the tracer’s fees are reimbursed.

If payment is made to fully satisfy the debt within the given timescale then you will only be responsible for payment of our fees for opening your file with us, sending out the letters before action and a debtor trace, should the same have been required. 

If the debt remains unpaid then we can assist you in issuing a claim in the County Court Money Claims Centre for a County Court Judgment (“CCJ”). At this stage we can look to add the cost of applying to the Court for a CCJ, the recoverable amount of our costs and interest onto the total amount you are claiming. We draft the paperwork for the claim and a copy of the same will be served on the debtor(s). The debtor(s) must respond to the claim within 14 days from the date which the Court deems to paperwork to have been served on the debtor(s).

Within the given 14 days the debtor(s) may:-

  • File an Acknowledgement of Service – Allowing the debtor(s) a further 14 days to respond
  • Pay the debt in full
  • Make payment in instalments 
  • Defend the claim – If a claim is defended then a Junior Barrister may need to be instructed to proceed with the civil action as this is out of the normal scope of debt recovery
  • Not respond – We may then apply to the Court for the CCJ for the monies owed

If required we will be able to apply to the Court to enforce the CCJ as follows:-

  • Apply for an Order to obtain information from a judgment 
  • Instruct a High Court Enforcement Officer (“HCEO”) (for debts over £600.00) – The High Court Enforcement Officer’s fees are paid by the debtor and are the same are sought from the debtor(s) before the monies owed to you. If this proves unsuccessful you will be responsible for payment of the HCEO’s fixed fee
  • Seek an attachment of earnings – This is an Order that the debtor’s employer must pay a contribution of the debtor(s) wages into Court and this will be done until the arrears are paid in full.

Before you decide to pursue monies owed to you it is important to take into consideration the debtor’s financial position – if they have filed for bankruptcy, have liquidated or have inadequate assets to appease the claim then it is unlikely that the debt will be recoverable.

Our Debt Recovery Team consists of Chelsea Peace who is a Solicitor Apprentice.

The Supervisor for all Debt Recovery matters is the Managing Director, Caroline Sutherland.

For further information please contact us.

Please see below our fees:-

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Debtor Trace

  • First Locate Fee – £37.00 inc VAT
  • Legal Fees for conducting Trace Search – £25.00 plus VAT

28 day and 7 day letters – Letter before Actions letters

  • Legal Fees for issuing both letters – £75.00 plus VAT

 

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Applying for a County Court Summons/CCJ

Legal Fees for issuing a County Court Summons

Court Fees

  • £225.00
  • £70.00 (for claims greater than £500.00 but no more than £1,000)
  • £80.00 (for claims greater than £1,000.00  but no more than £1,500.00)
  • £115.00  (for claims greater than £1,500.00 but no more than £3,000.00)
  • £205.00  (for claims greater than £3,000.00 but no more than £5,000.00)
  • £455.00  (for claims greater than £5,000.00 but no more than £10,000.00)

Please note that costs will vary dependant on each individual case. If a claim is defended by the Tenant then a Junior Barrister may need to be instructed to proceed with the civil action as this is out of the normal scope of debt collection.

If the County Court Judgement is not defended, then the cost of obtaining the County Court Judgement will be included in the legal fees for issuing the County Court Summons.

Application to call Tenant in to Court for questioning (if necessary)

  • Legal Fees for preparing Court paperwork – £75.00 plus VAT
  • Court Fee – £55.00
  • Fee for Agents to serve court papers – From £85.00 plus VAT 

After being awarded a County Court Judgment

  • Legal Fees for issuing a 28 day letter – This will be included within the £225.00 charge for dealt with the County Court Summons paperwork

Enforcing a County Court Judgment/an already granted S8 Notice Court Order

  • Attachment of Earnings if Debtor employed – To be agreed

If the debt owed is over £600.00 (including court costs) then we would advise to transfer the debt to the High Court as High Court Enforcement Officers have more success rates in collecting debts owed.

If the Judgement is transferred to the High Court then fees will be agreed at that time.  The fees would involve a set legal fee for our work involved in completing the relevant paperwork to transfer the Judgement to the High Court and a further court fee of £66.00.   If the High Court Bailiff is unable to collect the debt,  i.e if the debtor was in jail, no longer in the country, had no assets (i.e just having a mattress on the floor) or if they were deceased, then the High Court Bailiff’s would charge a £75.00 plus VAT* compliance fee.

*Court fees and third party expenses are correct at the time of this Tariff in January 2018 and therefore subject to change.