Debt Collection and Recovery
How can we help with your debt recovery?
SGM Legal has a wealth of knowledge and experience in recovering outstanding debts from customers or debtors. If someone owes you money, or hasn’t paid their bill, we can step you through the process and ensure you receive the money you are owed as quickly and efficiently as possible. We focus on the most cost-effective option and will not advise you to go to court if it is not necessary to do so.
How Do you Recover Debt?
The first step in trying to get your money back is to check the bills or invoices you issued. Once the amount of the debt has been verified, usually the next step is to send the person who owes you money a Letter of Demand. This is a formal request stating the amount owed to you, and a firm deadline as to when they need to pay you.
If they still do not pay, the next step is to issue proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court to get a court order, ordering the other person to pay the money. At this point, the person who owes you money (the debtor) will have an opportunity to provide a reason or justification for not paying you the money they owe you. This is known as their ‘defence’.
If the debtor does not file a defence, then the court will order them to pay you the money they owe you. If they still do not pay you the money, we can then enforce the court order through a number of different avenues, such as notifying the sheriff or other debt collectors. Depending on how much money you are owed, the court may order an arbitration in an attempt to resolve the matter. This is similar to a mediation, but the matter must be decided upon.
The more common course of events is that the matter will be referred to the court registrar for a mediation. Throughout this process, it is quite common for the lawyers on both sides to send letters to each other in an attempt to resolve the issue. Sometimes, it may be advisable to make an offer, known as a Calderbank Offer, to the other side saying you are willing to accept a slightly lesser sum than the amount owed to you, with the view of this resolving the matter. If the person who owes you the money rejects your offer, then the matter proceeds through the court, with eventually the court deciding on the matter.
Settling outstanding invoices with delinquent debtors can be a challenge. If all options have been explored and have produced little or no progress in reclaiming debt, our lawyers can assist with drafting and serving an effective letter of demand, and prepare court documents to ensure that the debtor is either forced to pay, made bankrupt or liquidators are appointed.
If you or your company are having financial difficulties, SGM Legal can also assist with:
- Voluntary administration
Of course, if all else fails, court may be the only option. Our lawyers have significant experience in litigation from beginning to end.
In addition to these matters, SGM Legal can also advise you on the purchase or sale of your business, various contract disputes, Deeds of Company Agreements, Solicitor’s Certificates, reviews of leases, voluntary administration, and insolvency or bankruptcy.