The standard fees for taking debt recovery action to court have risen substantially in recent months, by several hundred percent for some debts.
As a result, the cost of going to court can now be some thousands of pounds per case, which obviously raises the question – is it worth it?
You might not be surprised to hear that there’s no straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to that question, but it depends on a case by case basis, and not solely on the size of the debt.
For instance, as with any court action, you should weigh up your chances of winning – can you prove the debt is owed, the size of it, and the payment terms you agreed upfront? Can you even prove that you ever delivered the goods or services that were ordered?
Also look for alternative forms of action, such as; taking on the services of a professional debt collection agency or petitioning for insolvency.
Don’t be afraid to take action against a company or individual that owes you money, and is refusing to pay – you are legally in the right to use the appropriate methods to get what you are owed.
As for court action itself, think about how much you expect to gain, compared with how much it will cost you – and whether you can afford to pay the fee if you lose.
Under modern debt recovery legislation, you can add reasonable recovery costs to the amount you claim from the debtor. This might mean you can make them pay the court fees too, but again you shouldn’t take this as a given.
Instead, look to amicable resolutions in which you simply negotiate with the debtor for them to pay you on mutually agreeable terms, even if it stings a little to give them more time to do so, or to waive a percentage of what they owe.
Mediation might be another route to resolution, if your own feelings on the issue are too strong to deal directly with the debtor.
And of course, prevention is better than cure, so consider investing in outsourced credit control or an in-house team to make sure future invoices are given the best possible chance of being paid in full and on time, so you don’t have to consider court action at all.
If you would like to talk to a member of our team please don’t hesitate to call 0808 149 9167.