Letter Before Action 

A Letter Before Action (LBA) is 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 follow Civil Procedure Rules. 
 
In many cases, a Letter Before Action is all that is needed to encourage payment. 

Do I need a solicitor to send an LBA? 

You may compose and send your own Letter Before Action, which will be legally valid so long as you meet all the requirements. However, you may find that an LBA drafted and sent by a solicitor is more effective. 
 
An LBA from a solicitor shows that you are serious about pursuing the debt, have invested in support and have a solicitor in place to pursue the next steps swiftly if needed. Often this will prompt payment of the debt without the need for court action, saving you time and money on court fees. In comparison, a home drafted LBA may seem like an empty threat – your debtor may assume that, as you have not invested in legal support, you will not invest in following through. 
 
If the matter goes to court, a good LBA that meets all requirements can help your case by showing that you have taken reasonable steps to avoid legal action. 
 
Get in touch for a professional LBA. 
A woman signing a Letter Before Action (LBA)

What must an LBA include? 

If you do not include information required by Civil Procedure Rules you may be penalised later in the process. The requirements for an LBA differ depending on who you are sending it to. 

All LBAs must include: 

your name and address. 
a summary of the situation and the amount you are owed. 
how you feel the situation should be resolved, and how you have calculated the amount you want paid. 
a deadline for reply and repayment. There are legal requirements about how much time you must give, depending on whether the debtor is a business or an individual. 
your intention to start court proceedings if the debtor does not reply. 

Where the debtor is an individual or a sole trader, you must also include: 

financial information including any interest or administrative charges included in the amount you are claiming. 
details about the original agreement that led to the debt, such as the date it was made, who signed it, and whether it was put in writing or not. You must give the debtor the choice to request a copy of the agreement. 
how the debt can be paid, and contact details to discuss payments. 
certain documents as specified by regulations, including a reply form. 
the date that the letter is sent. 
Although you are not legally obliged to include the information in the second column if the debtor is a business, it may be helpful to include it. Setting out all the information could save you time in back-and-forth correspondence with the debtor. If the debt is based on a misunderstanding, explaining the situation could even help to maintain your relationship with the debtor. 
 
You should also obtain proof of postage if you send a physical LBA, or a delivery and read receipt if sent by email. Make sure that you use the correct contact details and keep a record. This way debtors cannot claim not to have received your LBA. 

How we can help 

We can draft and send a legally compliant LBA to your debtor, tailored to your matter. Find out more about our fees for LBAs and contact us for a professional LBA. 
 
If you have already sent an LBA but your debtor still has not paid, we can help you to start court proceedings. Find out more about the next steps and get in touch

Get in touch 

Do you have a legal matter you'd like to discuss with us? 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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