Debt Recovery Solicitors in Stafford & Rugeley

Nothing is more exasperating than doing a good job and then struggling to get paid for it. Cash flow is the lifeblood of any company and effective credit control has never been more critical to business success.

Unfortunately, outstanding debts and late payments are becoming increasingly common. If this is something you are facing, help is available from the dedicated debt recovery team at Pickering & Butters.

We have extensive experience in debt recovery cases,  working with businesses of all sizes across a range of industries and can help you to recover even the most challenging of outstanding payments. We can also advise you on ways to improve your internal credit control processes, helping to ensure more reliable cash flow in future.

Our Staffordshire debt recovery lawyers have an exceptional track record of success, offering a friendly but firm service that enables us to recover outstanding debts while preserving your key business relationships wherever possible.

Speak to one of our expert debt recovery lawyers in Stafford and Rugeley now by calling 01785 603060 or send us an email and we will get back to your promptly.

Our business debt recovery service in Staffordshire

It all starts with getting to know the circumstances surrounding your unpaid bill. This will allow us to ascertain whether you will benefit from our involvement in recovering the monies owned.

Each debt recovery claim is approached based on its individual merits, and we’ll always adopt the most cost-effective route to securing payment. If we believe that the chances of success are minimal, then we’ll be completely upfront with you.

Something positive to think about is that many debts are almost immediately resolved simply by the sending of a solicitor’s letter and that in a lot of cases there is no need to take the matter any further.

If however it does become necessary, then you can rely on our tenacious efforts and expertise in pursuing the debt all the way, and in dealing with enforcement should this become necessary.

Our debt recovery solicitors can advise you on the legal procedure for debt recovery and related issues including:

  • Letters before action
  • Issuing court proceedings
  • County Court Judgements (CCJs)
  • Late Payment of Commerical Debts interest and compensation
  • Enforcement action (including instructing bailiffs)
  • Attachment of Earnings Orders
  • Charging Orders on property
  • Winding-up petitions

Debt Recovery Solicitors Fees

At Pickering and Butters, we provide competitive price structures, ensuring that our fees match the first-class legal service we provide. The fees that we charge vary according to the legal matter you need help with, and according to the level of specialism required.

We can offer fixed fees for some matters, for instance drafting and sending a Letter of Action. Clients with more complex needs that involve several stages of support will be charged a reasonable hourly rate.

To discuss the fees for your particular case, please get in touch with our solicitors specialising in debt recovery.

Business debt recovery FAQs

Will getting solicitors involved cost me future business?

You may have been hesitating to engage outside assistance to pursue a debt because you are worried about how this could affect your future relationship with the person or business that owes you money.

This is a common concern and something we genuinely understand at Pickering & Butters. You can have complete peace of mind that your concerns will always be considered, and that we’ll aim to keep everything as amicable as possible.

We always start with a friendly, non-confrontational approach when appropriate and in most cases simply being contacted by a solicitor is enough to prompt payment of an outstanding debt. Our commercial debt recovery solicitors will only escalate matters with your consent and where strictly necessary to ensure your business is not left out of pocket.

Will I need to take someone to court to recover a debt?

In most cases, we can recover business debts without the need for court action. Many outstanding payments can be resolved with a simple solicitors letter as this demonstrates to the debtor that you are taking the matter seriously.

Where this is not enough to resolve the matter, our business debt recovery solicitors can issue court proceedings. However, in our experience the majority of people who owe a business money will arrange payment long before the matter reaches court.

In some cases it may be necessary to deal with the matter in court. We will then ensure you are effectively represented and that the appropriate action is taken. A court can take various actions, including issuing a County Court Judgement (CCJ) that can incentivise a debtor to pay what they owe you, as well as measures to enforce payment, such as instructing bailiffs to recover the debt directly.

How much does debt recovery cost?

We understand that when chasing a debt owed to your business, value for money is a key consideration. After all, there is no point spending £1,000 on legal fees over a £500 debt. We will therefore advise you from the outset of your various options and how much they are likely to cost you, so you can decide on a cost-effective course of action.

To learn more about debt recovery for business, please get in touch with our expert lawyers at Pickering & Butters.

How long does debt recovery take?

Exactly how long it will take to recover outstanding debt depends on the circumstances. In many cases an outstanding payment can be resolved in a matter of days, as many debtors will pay quickly once contacted by our debt recovery solicitors.

If court action is required, there are set time limits in place that should give an idea of how long the debt recover process will take.

Debtors will usually be given 14 days to respond to court proceedings. They will then either need to make payment or dispute the debt. If they dispute the debt, they will usually be given an additional 14 days to present their case.

According to debt recovery law, if the debtor does not respond or offers a response, but the court finds in your favour, they will likely be issued with a County Court Judgement (CCJ). This normally gives the debtor 28 days to make full payment or have the CCJ attached to their credit record for the next 6 years.

What is the debt recovery process?

The debt recovery process involves various stages. These include:

Sending a Letter Before Action: Before pursuing formal legal proceedings, your debt recovery solicitor will send a Letter Before Action to the individual or business that owes you money. The letter covers the amount owed, outlines the payment terms which the debtor has failed to adhere to, and attempts to recover payment.

Making a Legal Claim: If the Letter Before Action fails to encourage payment, or an appropriate response, the next step is to pursue legal proceedings in Court. The debtor will receive a Court form which requests payment within a 14-day period, with added interest.

County Court Judgment: A CCJ refers to a type of Court Order, it is used to state that the debtor has failed to make the payment. Once the County Court Claim has expired, the individual who is owed payment can immediately obtain a CCJ. Once the CCJ is granted, enforcement action can be taken to recover the debt.

Enforcement: After obtaining a County Court Judgment, it is possible to proceed to the enforcement stage. There are various enforcement options to recover a debt including a writ of control, third-party debt order, charging orders, or insolvency proceedings.

Our business debt recovery solicitors at Pickering and Butters can support individuals and companies throughout all of these stages. We have much experience assisting a diverse range of clients, including those with complex circumstances.

When is it worth pursuing an overdue debt?

Interestingly, choosing whether or not to pursue an overdue debt is not always a straight forward decision. Pursuing certain debts may not be worth your money and time. Regardless, it may be unwise to get into the habit of not chasing debts, this may send out the wrong message to clients.

Pickering and Butters can provide honest and practical advice about whether or not it’s practical to chase a debt, and what viable options you have to do so. Much of the time, our solicitors can provide a cost-effective service to engage debtors in discussing a settlement.

Where we find that the debtor will not negotiate, or make payment, our solicitors can offer advice on beginning legal proceedings. We will provide clear information on fees, helping you to decide on how best to proceed.

How can my company recover unpaid debts?

Our solicitors can provide information on various debt recovery solutions, whether these are negotiation processes, or litigation. Our business debt recovery services support clients with options to include:

Early Settlement Discussions: The first step to recover a debt is to engage in settlement discussions with the debtor. These early discussions are informal by nature. Your solicitor will attempt to resolve the problem, whilst preserving the professional relationship where possible.

Letter Before Action: Where informal discussions cannot remedy the issue, the next step is to send a Letter Before Action, stating the terms that have been broken, and requesting a payment.

County Court Processes: If the debt remains unpaid the next step is to escalate the claim to the County Court. The process is more straightforward if the debtor fails to respond, or admits that they are liable. If the debtor disputes liability, your solicitor can offer further legal advice and options.

Enforcement action: If a County Court Judgement is granted there are various enforcement options which can be used to recover the debt, these include:

  • Charging Order:  Referring to a Court Order that demands payment, this may be by regular payments, or by a set date. A Charging Order may also be used to secure a debt against an asset, for example, the debtors’ property.
  • Third Party Debt Orders: This order allows the individual or business to access what they are owed by a third-party, for example, securing regular payments directly from the debtor’s bank account.
  • Insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings: Where debts are undisputed, and the debtor cannot pay, it is an option to begin insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings against them. Such proceedings have serious consequences for the debtor, and are generally only called on as a last resort.
  • Attachment on earnings order: The County Court will calculate a regular amount to be paid and take this directly from the debtors’ wages each month, over a period of time until the debt is repaid.

For more information about enforcement options, please contact our commercial debt recovery solicitors, to discuss your case.

What are the time limits for pursuing a debt?

The time limit to pursue unsecured debts is 6 years from the date that the debt occurred, or when the debtor most recently acknowledged the debt.

The time limit to pursue a secured debt is 12 years from the date that the debt occurred, or when the debtor last acknowledged the debt.

Once these timeframes have passed you may still have an option to pursue the debt, providing that the Court gives you permission. If you are attempting to recover debt outside of these timeframes our commercial debt recovery solicitors can offer support.

What is the difference between secured debt and unsecured debt?

Unsecured debt does not have collateral backing or security, if the debtor cannot pay, the individual or business lender will need to take legal action to recover the debt.

Secured debts refer to debts which do have some form of collateral backing and security. If the debtor defaults, the individual or business can recover the funds using the asset that the debt was secured against.

Can a business charge interest on debts that are overdue?

Yes, a business can apply a rate of interest providing that the rate was outlined as part of the initial payment terms. If the debt is owed by a company, there may be the option to claim statutory interest.

Why choose Pickering & Butters’ debt recovery solicitors for your business?

Pickering & Butters is one of Staffordshire’s longest established law firms, with our history stretching back over more than a century. However, we are also one of the most forward-looking law firms in the region, committed to using the latest innovations and modern technology to provide a truly modern legal service.

We work with clients from a wide range of businesses across a variety of sectors, helping them to recover business debts, as well as advising on various other aspects of commercial law. Our debt recovery solicitors have a reputation for providing a fast, cost-effective service, allowing you to unlock vital capital while freeing you up to focus on the day-to-day running of your business.

We have been Lexcel accredited by the Law Society, recognising our high standards of practice management and client care, and we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), offering reassurance that we continue to meet the highest legal and professional standards at all times.

Get in touch with our debt recovery solicitors in Stafford and Rugeley

Need help chasing money owed to your business, or general information on debt recovery law? Or looking for advice on improving your internal credit control procedures? Contact our debt recovery solicitors in Stafford & Rugeley now by calling 01785 603060 or sending us an email.