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Vital Steps to Recover Late Payments

Post by Admin , May 31, 2018.
Legal Support

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Our expert Consultant Nicola Walker recently posted a blog post to Walker Thomas Solicitors, in regards to late payments. If your business is suffering from late payments, there are vital steps you need to take to help you recover your debt as quickly as possible. 
If your claim has been issued and served against the Defendant and they have not responded within the required time, the next step is to enter a Judgement against the Defendant. 

You can do this by completing an N225 form – Request for Judgement and reply to admission (specified amount). 

All you are required to do is complete the form by ticking the defendant has not filed an admission or defense to the claim and that the particulars of claim have been served on the defendant in accordance with rules.

The left-hand side of the form then allows you to choose how you wish for them to pay the amount, either immediately, via instalments or in full by a certain date. There is no fee to lodge the request for Judgement form.

IF THE DEFENDANT HAS FILED AN ADMISSION

In some cases, the Defendant responds to the claim by completing what is called an admission form.

If this is the case, how you enter Judgement will depend on what the Defendant has stated on their form. For example, although a Defendant offers to pay by installments, you can still obtain a Judgement against them, so the debt is secured. However, instead of the Judgement stating they have to pay in full, it will state the weekly or monthly installment amount and the court will advise the date for them to pay each month.

You do not always have to accept the Defendant’s offer – there is a section for this on the request for Judgment form. Also note that if you disagree with the response stated by the Defendant, you may have to go to a court hearing.

The next step is enforcement action. There is a variety of options available dependent on your circumstances, including:

  • Warrant of execution (County Court Bailiff) – this is for debts below £5,000. The County Court sends Bailiffs to the debtor’s address to try to obtain payment and/or remove goods that are of value that can be sold at auction – the sale of these goods is then used to pay off the debt.
  • High Court Enforcement Officers – Writ of Control– to apply for this method, the debt needs to be £600 or over. The Judgment obtained at the County Court is then transferred to the High Court for a Writ of Control or Writ of Possession. High Court Enforcement Officers attend the debtor’s address (similar to Warrant of Execution).
  • Attachment of Earnings Order – this is an order obtained by the court and served upon the debtor’s employer. An amount decided by the court is then deducted from the debtor’s wages and paid directly to the creditor/claimant. However, this is only applicable to debtors that are employed and not self-employed or receiving benefits. 
  • Charging Order - this secures the debt owed to you against the debtor’s property. If the property is then sold or re-mortgaged the debt will be paid if there is sufficient equity in the property.
  • Bankruptcy/Winding up Petition – this is considered to be the nuclear option. The threat of such action can be very effective and will definitely focus the debtor’s mind on paying what they owe. 
  • Third Party Debt Order - in this case, the court orders that money owed by a third party to the debtor, is paid directly to the creditor/claimant. This type of order can also be used against a bank account in the debtor’s name; this sometimes leads, from a practical perspective, to the bank account being frozen until the date of a hearing of the application. 

Our specialist debt recovery experts can advise you on the best route to maximise your recovery and guide you through each step. If you require assistance with regards any aspect of debt recovery please contact Walker Thomas Solicitors on 0207 842 1868 or email to info@walkerthomas.co.uk