Debt Recovery

Financial transactions in and out of your company accounts can be a fast moving process that is often complex to monitor. Outstanding debts can mount up quickly – one missed invoice payment can be all it takes for cash flow to stall. Therefore, outstanding debt is something that needs to be addressed as swiftly and efficiently as possible. If your in house credit control department have done all they can to recoup the debt yet remain unsuccessful then you may require the assistance of a legal expert.

At Bailey & Cogger, our debt recovery team have a wealth of knowledge and experience dealing with matters of debts in a wide variety of industries and encompassing businesses of all sizes from initial start-ups to well established large corporations.

Advising businesses throughout Kent and beyond

We have offices in Tonbridge, Maidstone, Gravesend, Chatham and Tenterden where we can meet you to discuss your requirements.

If the need arises we can also offer meetings at your place of business or via Skype if appropriate. 

Book a fixed cost initial consultation with our business debt recovery solicitors in Tonbridge, Kent

To arrange an initial fixed fee consultation with one of our expert debt recovery solicitors, please call us on 01732 353305 or use our simple contact form and we will get back to you quickly.

What our debt recovery lawyers can do for you

We can help you with:

  • The development of robust credit control procedures 
  • Debt recovery pre-action proceedings:
    • Formal demand letters (referred to as Letters before action or letters of claim) requesting payment as soon as an account becomes overdue
    • Follow-up letters to deal with account queries
    • Compliance with the strict rules governing the recovery of debts from individuals, including sole traders and members of the public
    • Calculating interest due on outstanding accounts in accordance with your terms and conditions of trading
    • Calculating interest, compensation payments and recovery costs that may be added to outstanding accounts owed to you by other businesses under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998
  • Insolvency proceedings:
    • Issuing statutory demands for undisputed debts where the instigation of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings is considered the best way of securing payment
  • Alternative dispute resolution:
    • Using mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution to deal with disputed debts
  • Debt recovery legal action:
    • Issuing court proceedings for undisputed debts where bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings are not appropriate
    • Issuing court proceedings for disputed debts where alternative dispute resolution is not appropriate or has failed
    • Enforcing court orders directing debts to be settled

How much does debt recovery cost? – Our debt recovery fees

The cost of our debt recovery service depends on your circumstances and whether the debts passed to us are disputed. We are happy to provide a quote and to agree flexible payment terms, including monthly billing to help you budget.

Where the matter concerns a business debt (other than sole trader debts), it may be possible for you to recover some or all of the costs incurred in the debt collection process. This is because it is usually possible to add interest, compensation and reasonable recovery costs to any sums you are owed. 

What is the debt recovery process?

The debt collection process has three main stages:

  1. Pre-action proceedings

This stage is vital for several reasons, primarily because it is simply faster and more cost-effective to settle without going to court. Additionally, the courts require creditors and debtors to take all possible steps to resolve a dispute between themselves before resorting to court action. The courts will look more favourably upon parties that try to settle and this could even affect whether you are able to recover costs and interest.

In many cases, a letter from a solicitor demanding repayment of the debt is all it takes to get a debtor to engage with settlement negotiations. Alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, can also be very effective. We will provide all the advice you need to give you the best possible chance of settling out of court.

  1. Court proceedings

If out of court settlement is not possible, the next stage is applying to court for a money judgment. We can provide clear, honest advice on your prospects for success and handle the entire process on your behalf, ensuring that we claim everything you are entitled to, including any interest and legal costs.

Where the debtor cannot repay due to incurable financial difficulties, it may be more appropriate to pursue insolvency proceedings to make them bankrupt or wind up their business. You will be unlikely to recover all your money this way but this may be the best option to ensure you recover the maximum amount possible.

  1. Enforcement

If the debtor will not repay after you obtain a court order, the final stage is to pursue enforcement action. This could involve:

  • Instructing county court bailiffs to attend their property to recover the debt
  • Transferring the judgment up to the High Court to instruct High Court Enforcement Officers to enforce the debt (faster but more expensive than using county court bailiffs)
  • Obtaining a charging order over the debtor’s property. You may then be able to force a sale by obtaining an order for sale
  • Obtaining a third party debt order from court

Every business’s circumstances are different so we will provide tailored advice about which recovery route is likely to be best for you.

How long do you have to recover debts?

As it currently stands, unsecured debts must be enforced within six years or your claim will be stature barred. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you address any debts before this time frame is reached or exceeded. If recovery within six years is not possible, your options are:

  • Get the debtor to acknowledge the debt – this will reset the clock but must be done within the six year time-frame
  • Seek permission from court to enforce the debt – you must have a good reason why you did not seek recovery within the six year time frame and there is no guarantee that the court will allow you make a claim

If your debt is secured, for example, over the debtor’s property, then you have twelve years to pursue the debt.

Advising businesses throughout Kent and beyond

We have offices in Tonbridge, Maidstone, Gravesend, Chatham and Tenterden where we can meet you to discuss your requirements.

If the need arises we can also offer meetings at your place of business or via Skype if appropriate. 

Book a fixed cost initial consultation with our debt recovery solicitors in Tonbridge, Kent

To arrange an initial fixed fee consultation with one of our expert debt recovery solicitors, please call us on 01732 353305 or use our simple contact form and we will get back to you quickly.

Key contacts

Jasvinder Gill