Caven blog

What is the process for recovering money owed to me?

If you are owed money and have been unsuccessful in your attempts to have it returned the next step is to write a letter. A solicitor can write this letter for a reasonable fee. This should outline the debt and set a time limit in which the debtor should respond. The letter should also include a preferred repayment schedule. You should inform them that the failure to respond will result in a claim being issued against them in the County Court. This may encourage the debtor to repay the money, as they do not wish to become involved with a court action. A letter from a solicitor can be highly effective.

The County Court handles ‘small claims’ for money of less than £5,000. This Court also deals with claims for goods not supplied, faulty workmanship, and damage to property. A solicitor can help you make your application to the court and also deal with any dispute that may arise from the person you are taking to court.

Before making a claim in the County Court it is important to consider the reason why you have not received the money that is owed to you. For example, if the debtor has been declared bankrupt, is unemployed, or does not have any assets, it will be unlikely that you will receive the money owed to you even if the court finds in your favour. You should still obtain legal advice from a solicitor if you think it may still be possible to recover the money you are owed.

You must consider the cost of court proceedings and should consider taking legal advice before you decide to pursue your claim through the court. A solicitor can outline the potential costs you might have to meet. It is important for court proceedings to be the last resort, and you should have attempted alternative methods of dispute resolution, for example mediation, in order to recover the debt.

In order to start a claim in the small claims court you must fill out a claim form. This form will ask for details of the parties involved and how much the claim is for. The details of the claim can be included on the claim form or, if necessary, contained in a separate document called the particulars of claim. If you are unsure of how to complete this form, the court or a solicitor can help.

The claimant must pay a fee to the court in order to begin the claim. The court then sends a copy of the claim form to the defendant with a response pack. How the claim proceeds from that point on depends on how the defendant responds. They could settle the debt immediately or they could issue a counter claim against you. If the defendant ignores the claim, the court may issue a judgement in default against them in your favour. Any claim that is defended should be handed to a solicitor for their advice. The solicitor can assess the counterclaim and outline your options.

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