Recovering Business Debts
So, you have a business and you want to recover an outstanding debt owed by an individual. Sounds simple enough – but where do you start? That is where our team of experienced solicitors can help you with recovering business debts. Our civil litigation team is on hand to provide you with support, so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Read on if you need help recovering business debts.
Before anyone can bring a claim against a debtor for an outstanding debt, they must first comply with what is known as ‘Pre-Action Protocol’ (PAP). PAP works to encourage communication and potential conflict resolution between the parties at an early stage. It encourages both parties to make it clear what they believe is owed and why it has not been paid.
Failure to comply with the PAP can lead to the court applying costs sanctions to the non-complying party, so it vital that the PAP is adhered to.
Changes in the law
From 1 October 2017 the PAP for businesses who are owed a debt by an individual (or a sole trader) is changing. The new PAP has been designed to pave the way for discussions without the need to engage in the court procedure where possible; further, it allows the debtor to seek legal advice on their position before a claim is issued.
The new procedure
The new PAP provides for creditors to first send the debtor certain information about the debt. The debtor can then ask the creditor for any further information it requires. This saves initial costs for the creditor to a certain extent, particularly if the debtor does not respond.
After this initial information is sent, the creditor can then send a letter of claim to the debtor. This letter must be accompanied by a specified information sheet and reply form together with a financial statement form for the debtor to complete. The letter itself must set out details of the agreement between the parties, information about the debt, whether or not any instalments are currently being paid and whether or not this is acceptable, and an address to which the completed response paperwork should be sent. An updated statement of account for the debt (with details of any interest or further charges) must also be sent.
The debtor then has 30 days to respond before proceedings can be commenced.
If you are a business seeking to recover a debt from an individual, contact us here or call us on 01753 486 777 for a FREE initial consultation.
Solicitor Advocate ( Litigation )