Unpaid invoices and fees from your clients and partners can throw your business seriously off track. The role of a creditor is far from a pleasant one: in addition to hampering your regular business operations, non-payments and delays in payment can quite dampen your professional enthusiasm. On top of it all, trying to collect money from your debtors is a very time-consuming and unpleasant undertaking. Luckily, a legal professional specializing in debt recovery law can create strategies aimed to get you your money back.
Step #1 – the DIY approach
Before resorting to any legal course of action, you should contact your debtor personally and in a polite, civilized manner. Your debtor is most likely under serious financial and professional strain, and hard as it might be for you, try to have understanding towards him or her. He or she will be much more likely to cooperate and pay you back sooner if any signs of hostility from both sides are left at bay.
Step #2 – pulling out the legal guns
If your personal attempts to collect your money didn’t fall on fertile ground, it’s time to hire the services of a debt recovery lawyer. Having a competent and seasoned lawyer represent you in front of your debtors will show you’re serious about claiming back your money – especially if your prior efforts weren’t all that successful.
What does a debt collection lawyer do, and how can he/she help you?
Put briefly, a debt collection lawyer is a legal representative that specializes in fair debt collection and deals with default payment issues. Their role is, firstly, to negotiate with subjects of debt. If these efforts come to no avail, with your approval he or she can take the case to court and start a litigation action in order to recover the debt. Unlike a debt collector, a lawyer will immediately start off with the legal process and advise the creditor (that is, you)
of the available options before taking any course of action.
A brief breakdown of the debt recovery process
A debt collection lawyer starts the process of debt recovery by writing a juridical letter of demand to the debtor, with of course taking into consideration all due legal considerations. The purpose of this action is to indicate the gravity of the situation to the debtor.
The next step is for your lawyer to then pay a personal visit to the debtor, and suggest they pay back what they owe through a payment plan that’s going to work for both parties. Sometimes, if your debtors are going through a rough patch (and chances are that this is the case), they may offer to pay you back a lesser amount in order to settle the debt sooner. This is an option which you should thoroughly discuss with your lawyer, as their expertise and legal prowess should be able to help you reach the best decision.
If not even negotiations and a face-to-face encounter with the debtor didn’t result in getting your money back, your lawyer has it within her or his rights to forcefully seize a part of the debtor’s property. Understandably enough, your debtor may put in a lot of resistance at this point, so the only remaining solution is to go to small claims court.
In order to start the formal court process, your lawyer will have to file a summons with a thorough account of how the claim arose, as well as the amount of money that you’re claiming. From this point, you can resort to something called “the administrative wage garnishment” which means that court gives you as the creditor the right to withhold a percentage from your debtor’s monthly salary. Once the court grants the garnishment, a copy of the order has to be sent to the debtor’s employer. The best practice is to send a formal letter to the company, explaining to the employer what is required of them.
“Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”
– Ogden Nash, American poet
Has this article been of any help to you? If you have found yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to claim your money back, don’t fret. We gather some of the finest legal professionals in the UK, and can match you with just the right debt recovery lawyer to cater to your specific needs. Contact us today for a free quote.