Debt Collection Process

Our Clients will usually instruct us to commence legal proceedings as a last resort. Our letters will seek your voluntary repayment of the debt. Our Client may be prepared to accept lump sum settlements or instalment offers after careful consideration of several key factors. (See FAQ)

The flowchart below sets these out and identifies the things that we will do on behalf of our Client as well as the things you could consider doing which may help avoid legal action. At any stage of the process it is recommended that you seek independent legal (and/or financial) advice.

Next steps - the Debt Collection process

Solicitorís letter / Letter of claim / Telephone Call / SMS Text Message We will
  • Contact you to advise you that our Client has instructed us to help recover an outstanding debt
  • Write to you and formally demand repayment. We will advise that our Client has instructed us to commence legal action should no repayment be received within the timeframe set out in our letter.
You could
  • Contact Eversheds Sutherland to discuss ways to clear your liability. This can be done at any stage of the process (the earlier, the better)
  • Provide us with the proposals to clear the debt in full straight away, or over a reasonable period of time
  • Complete and return the reply form and standard financial statement provided within 30 days from the date of our letter (individuals & sole traders only.
Claim form We will
  • Issue a 'Claim form' for the debt value together with additional court and solicitor costs with a claim for interest
  • Depending on your response to the claim form we will progress the claim to obtain either a Judgment 'in Default' or 'after admission' or 'after determination'
  • If our Client's claim is defended the matter is moved out of the debt collection process and sent to our Solicitor Team to deal with. You will be provided with further directions by the court and have to attend a hearing
You could
  • Admit the claim
  • Acknowledge the Claim
  • Defend the Claim
  • Make a formal instalment offer
  • If you ignore the claim the Court will grant us judgment against you by default which will enable us to move to the enforcement stage

If no arrangement has been made our Client will have the following enforcement options available to them post judgment:

Order For Questioning We will
  • Ask the court to grant an order compelling you to attend court and disclose your financial circumstances. The Court will ask you to explain why the debt remains outstanding
  • Arrange service of the court order advising you of the time and location of the questioning session
  • Ask the court to put several questions to you regarding your personal financial circumstances
You must
  • Attend the hearing once you have been advised of the time and date of the questioning. You are entitled to request your reasonable travel expenses to attend
You could
  • Make an offer of repayment via the courts
High Court Enforcement We will
  • Request the issue of a 'Writ of Control' from the High Court
  • Forward the Writ to High Court Enforcement officers who will be empowered to visit your property and seize goods to the value of the warrant
You could
  • Make repayment proposals directly to the High Court Enforcement Officers (note that at this stage all offers must be made to the Officers)
Charging Order We will
  • Apply to the Court for an interim charging order which secures the debt against your property
  • Forward the order to the Land Registry which notes our Client's charge
  • Attend a Court hearing and ask the court to make the order final
You should
  • Consider making an offer of repayment. Even after the debt is secured you can make instalment payments. (Unless advised otherwise) interest on the secured debt will continue to accrue which over time will decrease the equity in your property
Attachment of Earnings We will
  • Apply to the Court for an order which compells your employer to pay a proportion of your monthly wage directly to our Client
  • The Court will either make a full attachment which refers to the above or a suspended attachment which allows you to pay our client directly, without your employer becoming involved
  • If a suspended order is made, any default in payments will then trigger a full attachment order
You should
  • Complete the Court forms sent to you
Bankruptcy We will
  • Issue a statutory demand for the whole debt. This will either be served upon you or posted through your letter box
  • If after 21 days no response is received, our client is entitled to present a bankruptcy petition. This will also be served upon you confirming the date, time and location of the bankruptcy hearing
  • Note that if you wish to repay at the Bankruptcy Petition stage, all of our client’s costs associated with the bankruptcy will be added to the debt
You should
  • Respond to the demand within 21 days of it being served on you
  • Apply to your local Court to set aside the demand if you dispute the demand within 18 days of it being served upon you