Debt Recovery

MKB Law provides a range of dedicated services within the area of debt recovery, specifically: solicitors’ letters before action, telephone collections, asset recovery, recovery of arrears and legal proceedings (Small Claims Arbitration Court, County and High Courts). Our goal is to recover your debt efficiently and in a manner which is cost effective for you. Our specialist team provides volume debt recovery for a range of clients throughout the UK, notably finance houses, commercial clients and private clients.

Liquidation and Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy against an individual or applying to liquidate or wind a company up, may be required where an individual or company is unable or unwilling to pay. Following the expiration of a Statutory Demand, a Winding-up Petition or Petition for Bankruptcy is drafted and served. In some circumstances it may be possible to proceed straight to a Winding-up Petition without a Statutory Demand. Similarly, if you are in a position whereby this has been served on you and you wish to dispute this, we can discuss the options available to you.

Insolvency and Debt Advice

We provide a range of dedicated services across many insolvency and debt areas, including individual or company voluntary arrangements (IVA or CVAs), administration, company voluntary liquidations (CVLs), and self-adjudication in bankruptcy. Our solicitors also advise and act for Insolvency practitioners on matters relating to all aspects of the above such as transfers at undervalue or preferences and Supervisor’s Petitions. For debtors we offer advice on insolvency options, review personal guarantees and negotiate compromise agreements with creditors, including many vulture funds and banks.

Judgment Enforcement

Unlike other jurisdictions, Northern Ireland does not have bailiffs. Instead, a judgment can be enforced via an array of methods through the Enforcement of Judgments Office. These include putting a charge over property that the debtor owns, applying for a percentage of their wages to be paid directly to you, and issuing a warrant of arrest. MKB Law can handle the enforcement of the judgment on your behalf.

Recovery of Assets and Property

We have experience of working for finance companies and commercial clients to repossess property, advising also on retention of title clauses. We work closely with Property Management Companies and Landlords collecting commercial rent arrears and issuing forfeiture proceedings. Insolvency practitioners frequently instruct us to issue possession proceedings, recover property and to negotiate settlements.

We offer a range of dedicated services within the area of debt recovery, specifically: solicitors’ letters before action, telephone collections, asset recovery, recovery of arrears and ejectment proceedings on behalf of landlords. Types of debt action we provide are:

Letter Before Action/Seven Day Letter – this is the standard route to resolve disputes and is sent prior to commencing legal action. An Enforcement of Judgments Office search may also be used to ascertain any judgment lodged within the last 6 years.

Legal Proceedings – Small Claims Arbitration Court (debts up to £3,000), County Court (debts up to £30,000) and High Court (all levels of debt) and European Enforcement Orders. With lawyers qualified in England & Wales, Republic of Ireland and Spain we may also be able to obtain judgements against debtors in other jurisdictions.

Judgment – an application for default judgment is effective where the debtor has failed to either pay or to dispute/defend the action. Such application must be accompanied by a statement of truth (Small Claims) or a sworn affidavit (County or High Court actions). If the matter is defended a judgment will be obtained through contested legal proceedings.

After Judgment – the EJO may issue orders to attach earnings, direct instalment repayments, charge land, seize goods and appoint receivers on thirds parties who may owe monies to the debtor.

A contract can be set up orally or it can be implied. Whilst it is useful to have a contract which will cement what terms the business relationship will be bound by; it is rare that the lack of a physical contract will mean that you will not be able to recover debt.

Often a debtor will have to be served (either personally by agents or by post) so a creditor will want to keep their information up to date where possible. If the creditor does not have up to date information a trace can be performed on the debtor to gather information which may lead to effective service. MKB instruct agents who operate on a no successful trace – no fee basis.

MKB Law can set up a process in which we will recover your debts in a methodical way which will be tailored for your business. We understand some businesses may prefer to give minimal input and utilise their time elsewhere whilst others want to discuss each step. MKB operate via the avenue which suits you depending on your individual needs and either way will keep you updated as your case progresses.

Managing cashflow is a priority of all businesses and it is important to remember the debt recovery process forms a crucial part of credit control procedures. One thing that businesses will want to ensure is that they have claimed everything that they are entitled to, not just the principal debt.

For business-to-business debts under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 & 2002 Regulations, businesses may be entitled to claim interest at a rate of 8% above the Bank of England base rate and in addition to that compensation of between £40 and £100 per invoice. One mistake which many businesses often make is not realising that this late payment compensation may be added to each invoice outstanding.

Businesses have up to 6 years to recover the debt or it may be statute barred although there can be exceptions to this in limited circumstances. Particularly for the more historic debts within this time limit the interest can be substantial. Since 16 March 2013 additional fees can be claimed for costs if the compensation amount does not exceed the “reasonable costs of the supplier in recovering the debt”. It is important to make sure you do not lose out on monies you are legally entitled to.

MKB Law provide specialist assistance in this area and works with clients to ensure prompt Insolvency action.

Statutory Demands are the first stage of the insolvency process. The liquidated debt limit must exceed £5,000 for individuals and £750 for company liabilities. Statutory demands can be issued against individuals, companies or partnerships.

The statutory demand is drafted by the creditor’s solicitor and served upon the debtor, usually by personal service. It may also be subject to advertising in the local press. The debtor has 21 days to pay, secure or compound for payment of the liability, and 18 days upon which to apply to the Court for the demand to be set aside or seek an injunction.

Following the expiration of a Statutory Demand, a Winding up Petition or Petition for Bankruptcy is drafted by the creditor’s solicitor and must be served personally or by Order of the Court by some other means. In the case of a registered company the Petition must also be advertised. It is considered to be a class action, and in the event of failure to pay, secure or compound, must be processed to conclusion with the debtor’s adjudication in bankruptcy or company liquidation.

Insolvency is a quick and efficient method to obtain an early insolvency hearing and it imposes pressure on a debtor to prioritise payment or to compound with the creditor. The creditor may revert to the judgment route if no payment is derived from the Statutory Demand. The process may open prior fraudulent transactions and the commencement of misfeasance proceedings against debtors. Any subsequent Petition is a matter of public record and may be advertised.

It is important to seek specialist legal advice on how to best handle this. If you are opposing the statutory demand issued against you personally or your company, you will need to apply to set it aside or seek an injunction within 18 days. If the debt is fully accepted, the debtor has 21 days to pay, secure or compound payment of the liability.

Our Commercial Litigation solicitors will assist you in your specific matter, allowing you to concentrate on what you do best, namely developing and promoting your businesses. Our team is well versed in matters pertaining to the Commercial Court and Hub, including an in-depth knowledge of the Court Directions. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or Mediation is a common occurrence in appropriate cases. We can help with issues relating to banking, debt and insolvency disputes.

Early dialogue is encouraged, as are alternative means of finding solutions in which the client at all times retains control of cost and outcomes. Where circumstance dictate, however, that litigation is required clients can rest assured that we will use our extensive experience and knowledge of the systems and procedures of the Commercial, Chancery, Bankruptcy and other Courts to achieve the desired outcome.

David McAlinden
Director
dmca@mkblaw.co.uk
028 9099 3116

Ruairi Maguire
Solicitor
rma@mkblaw.co.uk
028 9099 3145

Niamh Murphy
Trainee Solicitor
nmm@mkblaw.co.uk
028 9024 2450

David McAlinden and the Debt Recovery team at MKB Law have been looking after both our business and personal affairs for over ten years now. The personal service they provide is second to none! I trust the experts at MKB Law and would highly recommend their services.”

Gordon Chambers – W& J Chambers – Dec 2020

“We have worked with MKB Law for many years and find them to be professional, diligent, helpful and honest in relation to the valuable work that they do. Debt recovery often requires to be left to the professionals, and I can think of no better team than MKB to assist in this process.”

Ray Morgan – Truesearch Ltd – Jan 2020

Experienced

Our experience and expertise allow our team to provide an unrivalled service to all clients.

Personal

Our personal understanding ensures our clients are at the forefront of our services.

Flexible

Our team provides clear legal guidance to complement your business structure.

Specialised

Our clients span all industries, from technology to agriculture and hospitality to renewables.

Or please call us on 028 9024 2450 or email info@mkblaw.co.uk

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