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Dealing with Debt

Dealing with Debt
Unless agreement has been made to the contrary, the law says a payment is late after 30 days for public authorities and 60 days for business transactions after the customer receives the invoice or after the customer receives the goods, products or service, whichever is later. Businesses can use one or more of a number of methods to secure recovery of debt:

Contact the Company

If you have already sent the company an invoice and statements with a reminder of payment try contacting the company by telephone. Training courses on methods of debt collection and understanding business finance are delivered by a number of organisations and can be identified using the events finder

Mediation

Mediation describes the process whereby an impartial person who is trained in dealing with difficult situations between two or more parties acts as a ‘referee’ to try and come to an agreement. It is often a cheaper alternative to using a solicitor and taking court action.

Mediation companies can be identified through the Civil Mediation Council registry

Small Claims Court

If you wish to take legal action, usually the first step is to send a letter to the customer letting them know what you plan to do. A letter of claim advises a client that you intend to make a court claim unless the debt is settled by a specified date. In some instances this action may be enough to prompt payment.

Claims of less than £100,000 can be made online and you usually have to pay a fee which varies on the level of debt. Guidance is available to help you through the process

Training is available on debt recovery through the county courts covering things such as writing a letter before action, judgement and insolvency measures.

Debt Collection Agency

Using a debt collection agency can be a quick and easy way to recover debts either regularly or on a one-off basis. This option can be a less confrontational way of chasing late payments than taking court action and can save you time.
Find companies who deal with debt collection both in the UK and overseas please click here

Statutory Demand

A statutory demand can be used for money owed, either directly or through a solicitor. If your customer does not argue against the debt but still does not pay, you will be able to ask the court to wind up their business (or make an individual customer bankrupt). Sometimes, simply issuing a statutory demand can be enough to prompt payment prior to going to court.

More information

The Law Donut provides information on taking legal action as welll as a list of debt - related FAQ’s covering charging interest, using a solicitor, what to do if the if the debtor claims you have not fulfilled the contract and the legal options you can take when recovering your debt.

Information is also available on charging interest on late payments and claiming debt recovery on late payments