Debt Recovery and Enforcement
It can be incredibly frustrating when people owe you money for goods or services but just will not pay. There are a number of ways we can assist. Bolt Burdon’s litigation team will always take detailed instructions, thoroughly review the papers and apply tactics appropriate for your individual case. Sometimes, the case can be resolved by sending strong correspondence setting out details of your claim or by arranging a meeting with the other side. In other cases, a different approach may be needed.
If the debt is not disputed, we may suggest serving a statutory demand on the individual or company. This warns the debtor that unless they pay the sum owing within 21 days, you will petition for their bankruptcy or issue winding up proceedings against the company. The threat of this often has the effect of making the debtor pay.
Alternatively, claims for money can be issued in the county court and once a judgment has been obtained (whether it is because the debtor ignored the proceedings or you were successful at a hearing), there are a number of ways that we can enforce this on your behalf.
Attachment of Earnings Orders
We can apply for an attachment of earnings order, which is a court order entitling you to money from the debtor’s wages on a monthly basis. This money is paid to you by their employer directly. The debtor is left with enough money to live on each month and the rest is paid to you until the debt is satisfied.
Third Party Debt Orders
If the debtor is owed money by a third party, we can apply to court for a third party debt order requesting that this money be paid directly to you. Most commonly, these orders are sent to banks or building societies where the debtor has accounts. The debtor is temporarily prevented from accessing their money and if there is enough money in the account, your debt is paid from these funds in full.
Seizure of goods – Bailiffs/ High Court Enforcement Officers
Bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers are authorised to collect debts on behalf of a creditor and they do this by removing and selling a debtor’s possessions from their home or business premises until enough has been raised to repay the debt. We can take care of the necessary paperwork and instruct the relevant officers to seize possessions on your behalf.
If the debtor owns a property, we can apply for a court order placing a charge over this asset. The amount of the charge will be the sum you are owed. You may not recover your money immediately with this approach (unless we apply for an order for the sale of the property) but it will safeguard your money for the future.
If the debtor owns stocks or shares, we can apply for a charge on these in much the same way as on property.
Bankruptcy/ Winding up Petitions
A bankruptcy or winding up petition can be presented where you have a judgment against a debtor or, as mentioned above, you are owed a debt that is not disputed and a statutory demand has been served.
Where the debtor is an individual, the appropriate procedure is bankruptcy proceedings and where the debtor is a company, we would proceed by way of a winding up petition.
We also act for individuals seeking to contest bankruptcy petitions or annul bankruptcy orders made against them personally and companies challenging winding up petitions.
Order to Obtain Information
If you do not know enough detail about the assets of the debtor, we can apply for an order that they attend court for questioning. They will be questioned on oath about their income, details of any property owned (including cars) and how much they have in any bank or building society accounts.
This helps you to find out which of the available enforcement methods are most likely to get you your money (and more than one of the above options can be taken at any time).
We offer a full range of funding options in respect of claims for money. Please see our Litigation Funding page for further details.