Debt Recovery & Collection Solicitors
Representation of Creditors and Debtors
At Rollingsons, we represent both creditors and debtors in debt collection matters. Our experience in advising parties on both sides of disputes means that we can anticipate our opponent's case and build the strongest possible arguments, whether bringing or defending a money claim.
Statutory Demand: The Beginning of the Debt Collection Process
A statutory demand is a formal, written demand for payment. It can be served on any debtor including individuals and companies. It can be far quicker and cheaper to claim money using this process, rather than via ordinary legal proceedings.
A statutory demand can be served as soon as the debt becomes due; the creditor does not need to obtain a judgment first.
Unless the debtor makes payment within 21 days, or applies to set aside the statutory demand, the creditor can present a bankruptcy petition (for individual debtors) or a winding-up petition (if the debtor is a company).
Accordingly, statutory demands are very powerful tools and often lead to immediate payment without the need for further action.
Statutory demands must be used appropriately. It may not be appropriate where the debtor has a proper dispute or defence to the debt. If the debtor applies to set aside the statutory demand, he only needs to prove that he has a genuinely arguable case and a reasonable prospect of defending the claim at trial. He does not need to prove conclusively that the debt is not due. If the debtor succeeds in his application, the court is likely to order the creditor to pay the debtor's costs.
If the creditor suspects that the debtor will raise a dispute, it may still be advisable to serve a statutory demand and await the response. If the debtor raises an arguable defence, the creditor can then withdraw the statutory demand and commence ordinary legal proceedings. We will advise you on whether a dispute or defence is arguable.
A statutory demand is a good way to "flush out" a debtor to see his ability to pay the debt and any defences that he may raise. It is often a useful and cost effective step before commencing proceedings. For example, the debtor may respond to a statutory demand by entering an insolvency process (e.g. bankruptcy/liquidation). It is better to know this at the outset before an outlay of costs in obtaining a potentially worthless judgment.
There may be other reasons why a statutory demand is inappropriate. For example, if the creditor wants to maintain a business relationship with the debtor. We can advise on both the legal and commercial considerations of debt collection.
If you are a debtor who has been served with a statutory demand (or any other form of legal proceedings) we can advise on your available defences and the potential grounds for applying to set aside the statutory demand. There are many technical and legal defences which may apply and your position may be much better than you think. We can negotiate with the creditor on your behalf with a view to reaching a settlement. If required, we can also assess your overall financial circumstances and give you insolvency advice, including presenting a voluntary arrangement to all your creditors.
Contact a London Debt Recovery Lawyer
The London debt collection solicitors at Rollingsons will provide you with honest, straightforward advice about debt collection, whether you are a creditor or debtor. In either case our goal is to find an effective, long-lasting solution that is economical for our client.
Whether you are a creditor seeking payment or a debtor who has been threatened with legal action, the experienced London solicitors at Rollingsons can help. To arrange a consultation, please call 020 7611 4848 or contact our law firm online.