TAK will endeavour to collect your outstanding debt without the use of litigation if at all possible. Often debtors will agree to a payment schedule which can be preferable to commencement of legal process. We never issue proceedings without discussing a strategy for recovery of your debt with you first. Gathering information before taking the decision to sue is an essential part of the process of formulating that strategy. It ensures that your debt is recovered cost effectively. Where the costs and the risk of litigation outweigh the potential benefit, we will not hesitate to advise you to consider writing off the debt if it is appropriate to do so. Our advice is always commercially driven. TAK can manage the legal process on your behalf using our legal partners specialising in debt recovery litigation. Any legal fees must be paid in advance but should be added to the debt should the litigation be successful. Proceedings are commenced by issuing a claim form. If the debtor pays the debt when they receive the Claim Form, they must also pay your legal costs. If the debtor files a defence with the Court, you will have to pay a further Court fee (currently Â?80.00) and the case will then proceed to a Court hearing. If we advise you that the defence is very unlikely to succeed, we may suggest that you apply for summary judgment. This avoids the need for your attendance at Court. The Court can grant judgment based on documentary evidence alone if there is no triable defence. If a Claim is defended, we will undertake all the necessary preparation for a Court hearing or negotiate a settlement as appropriate.
If you have sued in the Court and obtained judgment, you will have a range of options open to you to enforce your judgment. (These options will have been discussed with you by us before proceedings commenced).
In appropriate cases, we may advise that winding up or bankruptcy proceedings are the most appropriate method of recovering the debt. While the costs are higher, the potential for early payment in often greater. The threat of being put out of business altogether is often more effective than simply suing in the Courts. A debtor who is in financial difficulties may well cease trading in a matter of days or weeks. The use of insolvency procedures may result in your company being paid while other creditors are left to write off their debts. If the debtor is an individual, it is necessary to serve a Statutory Demand first and allow 21 days for payment. In the case of limited companies, a letter giving a few working days notice is sufficient if you have already demanded payment in writing. Proceedings are commenced by presenting a Petition. The case is listed for hearing and the Petition is then served on the debtor. In the case of limited companies, the Petition has to be advertised in the London Gazette after allowing a minimum of 7 working days from the date of service. The effect of advertisement in the London Gazette is usually to freeze the bank accounts of the debtor thereby making it difficult for them to continue trading.
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