Every business has its aged debtors. Debt recovery agencies can only go so far. For the most recalcitrant debtors you will generally need a lawyer to turn the screws. We know how to turn them.
If you speak with us about debt recovery, the first thing we will do is consider commerciality. What assets does the debtor have? What are the prospects of recovering the debt? What sort of further efforts can sensibly be justified having regard to these factors?
In some cases, for asset-poor debtors, our advice may be to take no further steps and write the debt off. However, there are several steps which can sensibly be taken at low cost and no risk, including:
Issuing a letter of demand:
- A letter of demand is simply a letter on legal letterhead setting out the nature of the demand and threatening court proceedings if the funds aren’t paid by a certain date.
- Often the issuance of such a letter is sufficient to spur a recalcitrant debtor into action.It demonstrates an upping of the ante, and the seriousness of the resolve of the creditor, to engage a lawyer to pursue the debt.
Issuing a statutory demand:
- A statutory demand is a document which provides a company with 21 days in which to pay a debt, provided that there is no genuine dispute over the existence or the amount of the debt.
- If the company fails to pay the debt within that timeframe, the company is deemed to have committed an act of insolvency and can be forcibly wound up.
- Usually, a statutory demand represents a sufficient threat to get you to the top of a debtor’s list of creditors, given the extent of the threat it represents.As such, it can be the perfect quick and cheap tool to gain a recalcitrant debtor’s attention.
If neither of these options is successful in prompting payment, then we can pursue other avenues including winding up the debtor company (if a statutory demand has expired), or simply commencing court proceedings to gain a judgment (which can then be enforced via various methods, including by garnishing the debtor’s bank accounts, selling their property, and making them bankrupt). Of course, the commerciality of such proceedings is paramount, so we would first undertake investigations to ensure that there would be money for you at the end of that process, and that you would recover your costs.