Debt Recovery Lawyers, Liverpool
Unpaid debts are hugely frustrating for all businesses, and it can be challenging to know the best way to proceed to ensure you recover outstanding sums. If you have exhausted all other methods of recovering the debt without success, your last resort is to take legal action.
If you decide to take your debtor to court, it is recommended that you seek legal advice and act quickly. We always encourage clients to attempt to solve matters using methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as mediation. However, if court action is unavoidable, our Commercial Debt Recovery Solicitors can act on your behalf. Contact us today for prompt and practical legal advice.
How do I start a debt recovery court claim?
First, the debt recovery County Court procedure requires you to draft a formal letter. This lets your debtor know that, if they do not pay the debt in a specified period, you will commence legal proceedings. You must include specific information in the letter, depending on whether your debtor is a business or an individual or sole trader.
If this does not lead to payment, you can start a formal legal claim. This can be done online (only if you are claiming for a fixed amount) or using the N1 claim form. As part of our comprehensive debt recovery service, we can do this on your behalf. The claim must include details about the claimant (you), the defendant (the debtor) and the debt, e.g. the amount.
The defendant will receive notification of the claim and will have 14 days to respond; however, they can ask for more time.
What happens after I have made a claim?
This depends on what the defendant does next. They may:
- accept they owe you the money and pay the full amount;
- pay only the amount they believe they owe;
- defend all or part of the claim; or
- not respond.
If the defendant disputes the claim, you might need to go to a hearing. The Court will send you a questionnaire asking for more information. If the debt is less than £10,000, you will be offered the chance to use the Court's small claims mediation service. Our solicitors can represent you any hearing. If your claim is successful, the Court will order your debtor to pay.
If the defendant does not respond to the claim, you can request a County Court Judgment (CCJ), which will order the defendant to pay.
How can I enforce a judgment?
If the defendant still does not pay, there is a range of options – our Commercial Debt Recovery Solicitors can advise on which one offers you the highest chance of recovery. You can instruct a County Court Bailiff (for debts of £5,000 or less) or a High Court Enforcement Officer (for debts of at least £600).
Alternatively, you can apply for a further order including:
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