Debt Recovery Solicitors

At Birkett Long, our dispute resolution team offers a variety of services and collectively hold over 100 years of experience. 

No one chooses to become involved in a dispute. Becoming involved in litigation diverts attention away from your daily life and duties. However, in circumstances where a dispute is unavoidable, we provide practical advice that is tailored to reflect your objectives and keep costs to a minimum. The dispute resolution team boasts numerous litigators with a variety of specialisms. Therefore, we are confident that we will be able to assist you, whatever the circumstances. 

We are dedicated to ensuring that we understand your position from the outset. This enables us to work with you and provide practical and streamlined advice to help you achieve the best possible outcome. 

Whether you are a business or an individual, being owed money is frustrating and can have a huge impact on your cash flow and/or personal funds. It can also cause a strain on your relationship with the debtor. Although it is a situation which we all seek to avoid, sometimes it is inevitable.  

At Birkett Long, we aim to take the worry out of the debt recovery process for you. We take over the collection of the debt, allowing you the time to concentrate on other areas of your life or the management of your business.

Debt Recovery

There are two main ways to collect unpaid debts:

  1. County or High Court Proceedings

Collecting debts via county or high court proceedings involves sending a ‘Letter Before Action’ (LBA) that gives the individual a deadline to pay the debt. If this does not resolve the issue, we can help you obtain a county court judgement against the debtor and undertake more advanced proceedings. See below for more details on how this process works.

      2. Insolvency

Collecting debts via insolvency is less common since it means that the total value of an individual's debts is more than the total value of assets. If this is the case, our solicitors will work on collecting your debts via insolvency litigation. For more information about how issuing insolvency proceedings can assist you please see our dedicated page here.

Collecting debts via court proceedings. 

What fees will I incur?

At Birkett Long we offer a fixed fee scheme which applies from the initial letter before claim, all the way to obtaining judgment. For more details, please click the following link

The debt collection system is set up for simple undefended invoice debts. If, however, the debtor files a defence, Birkett Long LLP has a large dispute resolution team to deal with these cases. 

We will assess your matter upon receipt of your initial enquiry and confirm whether it is suitable for our fixed fee scheme.

Issuing proceedings

It is important to send a letter before claim to the debtor in the first instance. This will provide details of the debt and offer a period of time for them to pay before proceedings are issued. In our experience, this stage is sometimes all that is needed to recover the debt. 

However, if payment is not received and the debtor does not engage following the expiry of the letter before claim, then proceedings can be issued. Debt claims with a value below £100,000 must be commenced in the County Court. Service of a claim form gives the debtor a further 14 days to provide payment. If payment is still not received after this period then you can obtain a County Court Judgment in Default against the debtor.

If the debt is paid within 28 days of judgment being entered then there will be no permanent record of the County Court judgment. If payment is not made within that time, there will be a permanent and public record of the judgment against the debtor’s name.

Enforcement 

Once a claim has been issued and default judgment has been obtained, you can then seek to enforce it. Which of the various methods of enforcement made available will be case-specific and our team would be glad to advise further in this respect.

The various methods of enforcement which may be available include the following:

Enforcement agents: We can instruct High Court Enforcement officers to seize and, if necessary, sell goods, machinery, vehicles and other assets belonging to the debtor.

Third-Party Debt Orders: We can apply for an order that a third party, such as a Bank or Building Society, pay funds directly from the debtor’s account to you to clear the debt. 

Attachment of Earnings Order: We can apply for an order that the debtor’s employer deduct funds from the debtor’s salary which can then be paid to you towards the outstanding debt.

Charging Orders: Provided that the debtor has chargeable assets such as property, we can apply for an order that your debt is secured over this asset. 

Order to Attend Court for Questioning: We can apply for an order that the debtor attends court to answer questions about their financial circumstances. Although not technically a form of enforcement, this can be useful for finding out more information about a debtor so as to choose the most promising method of enforcement. 

The costs associated with each option will vary depending on the circumstances and can be discussed once judgment has been obtained.

So, how do I get started?

The first step is to gather all documents relevant to the debt. This may include, but is not limited to the following:-

  • Contract/Agreement
  • Invoices
  • Correspondence discussing the debt prior to providing
  • Correspondence requesting repayment of the debt
  • Correspondence/explanations as to why the debt has not been paid
  • Details of any part-payments or offers of repayment

Once you have collected these documents, or if you are not sure as to what we may need, then please contact us.  

If you are already a client of the firm and would like to know more about the matters set out above, please get in touch with your usual contact in the firm.

If you are new to Birkett Long, please allow us to demonstrate our commitment to providing you with a top-quality, cost-effective service. We believe that our flexibility of approach, our professionalism and expertise, combined with our ability to deliver results, will give you the solid foundation upon which to build your business. 

 

Contact Holly Smith on 01206 217377 or by email at holly.smith@birkettlong.co.uk

The debt collection system is set up for simple undefended invoice debts. If, however, the debtor files a defence, Birkett Long LLP has a large dispute resolution team to deal with these cases.

We can also advise you on how to make your own credit control procedures and systems more effective. 

We provide a personal, attentive service, offering good availability and speed of response. We are informal where appropriate, whilst always professional. We have great strength and depth in numbers, with a wide range of experience, enabling clients and their issues to be matched to the most appropriate lawyer. We have lawyers who are true specialists in their chosen fields. We offer flexible funding arrangements and we enjoy excellent relations with assorted leading barristers’ chambers, enabling us to secure the most appropriate counsel on the best possible terms for our clients.

If you wish to discuss any dispute you have, whether this be current, past or impending then we would urge you to get in touch.

 

 

We act for small and large commercial enterprises recovering their debts and we provide proactive advice on how to improve their credit control. The team has over 30 years’ experience of dealing with debts using the various collection tools, from letters before claim to representing clients at the County Court, High Court and insolvency proceedings.

What our clients say

  • Thank you for your work in recovering the significant sum of money owing. Several telephone requests at our end failed to produce the money, but one letter from you worked like magic!

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