It can be very difficult to ask for outstanding money owed to you, particularly if the money is owed to you by a family member or friend. However, if a substantial sum is outstanding, you may have to take further action. Here is a guide to help you through the process:
Is it a good idea to negotiate first?
As it can be an expensive and stressful process to go through the Court system, it is a good idea to see if a solution can be reached with the person owing the money before considering litigation. Compromise could involve receiving payments by instalments or agreeing to a smaller amount in full and final settlement of the outstanding sum.
Should I get a solicitor to send a letter?
Should negotiations fail, this is the next step. For a charge which is reasonable, you can instruct a solicitor to write to the debtor requesting that they pay the outstanding sum, and detailing what the outstanding sum is, the action already taken to recover the amount and the deadline for settlement of the debt. The letter will also set out the next steps to be taken should they fail to pay within the specified timeframe. In Manchester solicitors are available to give further information on this.
Should an agency for debt recovery be used?
It is worth taking into account that not all debt recovery agencies employ staff at the legally trained level. Many law firms contain a specialised department relating to debt recovery matters and their charges are reasonable. It may therefore be better to use a firm that has staff with legal qualifications. For those looking for Manchester solicitors, there are plenty available to give further advice. Further information regarding debt recovery can be found at https://www.gov.uk/browse/tax/court-claims-debt-bankruptcy.
Can I claim through the Court?
It is possible to make a claim through the Court and obtain a County Court Judgment ordering repayment of the outstanding sum. In order for judgment to be given, Courts will send a claim form to the debtor who will have fourteen days to respond. If the debtor responds with an offer and the Court accepts this, they will grant a judgment detailing when and how the amount should be paid. If an offer is not accepted, a judgment will be sent showing the sums to be paid.