Coronavirus Blog Series:
Can I still recover debts in Northern Ireland?
Published 9 October 2020
Following the latest Covid-19 Guidance for the Masters’ Courts on 1 October 2020, it was confirmed that the Bankruptcy Master will be now be dealing with those Winding Up Petitions and Bankruptcy Petitions that were previously adjourned from lockdown in March 2020 until the end of July 2020.
Whilst this is positive news for creditors, the guidance also informed that until the backlog is cleared no new Creditor’s Bankruptcy or Winding Up Petitions will be accepted until the Court has capacity to accommodate these. Given the inevitable delay and general restrictions caused by Covid-19, creditors must look to other options at least in the short term.
Another option is to proceed via the Civil Courts whereby creditors can obtain a Judgement or Court Order and then seek to proceed via the Enforcement of Judgements Office. Should the restrictions in the Bankruptcy Court be lifted or eased then the position can be re-evaluated as the case evolves. There are different tiers of courts presently dealing with and processing debt cases and whilst there is flexibility between courts in general terms these are:
Small Claims Court – Up to £3,000
County Court – Between £3,000 – £30,000
High Court – Above £30,000
MKB Law will advise on each individual debt to ensure that the most practical method of recovery is used for the particular debt. We also provide up-front information on what outlays and fees will be required to recover your debt.
Even at the best of times, debt recovery forms a crucial aspect in successful businesses but as David McAlinden discusses in his blog ‘Debt Recovery – Another Lockdown‘, debt recovery is more essential than ever in protecting cashflow.
In uncertain times, the commencement of legal proceedings can be the best way for obtaining security of your debt and significantly improving your chances of recovery.
This article is for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional legal advice.