What is the process of recovering a debt? 

We understand that being owed money affects your cashflow, which can be stressful. We aim to make it simple, cost-effective and time-effecient for you to recover a debt. Don't worry if the process looks long or complex; we will guide you throughout, manage the paperwork and support you to make the best decisions for you. 
We work with Creditreform UK to offer a full debt recovery service. Creditreform will use pre-court avenues to pursue debts on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. If we believe Creditreform may be able to recover your debt without legal action, we will refer you to them, saving you money. 
If Creditreform are not able to recover your debt, they will refer the matter back to Spencer Shaw Solicitors to pursue legal avenues. Spencer Shaw Solicitors and Creditreform share access to our work, so that you will never pay for work to be repeated. 

Letter Before Action 

A formal letter informing the debtor that, if they do not settle the debt within a given time, you will begin court proceedings. This letter must comply with Civil Procedure Rules, or you may be penalised later in the process. 
In many cases, a Letter Before action is all that is needed to receive payment. 

Legal claim 

If your debtor still does not repay the debt, you may file an Acknowledgement of Service. This gives the debtor 14 days to 
Respond to the claim 
Admit the debt and offer payment in instalments. It is your choice whether you accept this offer. 
Defend the claim. You may choose to continue to trial or to settle out of court. 
The court will make a Court Order, which gives you the power to enforce collection of the debt. If you are happy to accept payment by instalments, the court will order the debt to be settled this way. 
The order is also recorded against the debtor's credit record. 


You may seek to enforce the debt as soon as you have received the Country Court Judgement. The method you use will depend upon the amount owed and the circumstances of the debt. 

Enforcing a debt 

The following options are available to discharge a Judgment debt: 
County Court Bailiff 
Available for debts up to £5,000. The County Court Bailiff will attend the debtors property to seize goods which will then be sold at auction. The Court fee of £55 is payable regardless of whether or not monies are recovered. If the Bailiff is successful, he will attempt to recover sufficient goods to cover his costs 
Attachment of Earnings 
An arrangement for the debtor’s employer to deduct an amount set by the Court from the debtor's earnings on a regular basis, usually monthly. Deductions are usually sent directly to the Court, then subsequently to the creditor. Sometimes a trace is required to confirm whether or not the debtor is currently employed. This method of enforcement is not available if the debtor is self-employed. 
Third Party Debt Order 
If you have the debtors bank details, an application can be made to recover monies directly from the debtor’s bank account. This type of application should only be made if you are aware the debtor has sufficient funds in his account to discharge the Judgment debt. If the account is in joint names, the Judgment debt can only be discharged from the debtor’s share of the funds. 
High Court Enforcement Officer 
Available for debts over £600, and compulsory if the debt is over £5,000. The High Court Enforcement Officers costs are deducted directly from monies recovered. Even if no monies are recovered, you will still be liable for costs of instruction and attempted enforcement. 
Charging Order 
The debt is secured against the debtor’s property. If the property is jointly owned, the charge will only be secured against the debtor's share of the property. The debt will only be discharged once the property has been sold. Debts are discharged in order of priority. If the property is repossessed and sold by the mortgage lender, your charge will be cancelled. 
Statutory Demand with a view to proceeding to Bankruptcy 
A statutory demand will be issued to discharge the debt. If no response is received within 21 days, bankruptcy proceedings can be issued. The bankruptcy threshold currently stands at £5,000 and the Court fee and Official Receivers deposit are in the sum of £1,270. 

Get in touch 

Do you have a legal matter you'd like to discuss with us? Whether you're an employer or employee we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch using the details below or use the form here and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your enquiry. 
Phone: 0121 452 5130 
Address: Spencer Shaw Solicitors Limited 
Vancouver House, 111 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 8LB 
Opening hours: 
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM 
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays - Closed 
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