I have received a debt recovery letter from you
I have received a letter. What should I do next?
The first step to take is to talk to our helpful Litigation Customer Consultants. We can discuss the best way forward for you and tailor a solution to help your situation. Simply Get In Touch.
I have received a Letter before Claim — what shall I do?
A Letter before Claim is a letter warning you that court proceedings will be issued in the absence of a response.
If you have received a Letter before Claim, then please contact us, to tell us about your financial circumstances and let us know if you are able to make an offer of payment, based on what you can afford to pay.
If you are experiencing difficulties, or don’t think that you can pay anything towards the debt, then please do still contact us, so that we can understand your position and help you get free money advice.
If you do not contact us, then court proceedings will be issued against you, to ask the court to grant a County Court Judgment for the outstanding debt together with court fees and fixed solicitors’ costs.
What is a County Court Judgment?
A County Court Judgment is a court order requiring you to pay the debt.
Once a creditor has obtained a County Court Judgment, the debt becomes a Judgment debt and will usually include costs and court fees.
A County Court Judgment may affect a person’s credit rating as the information appears on their credit file. This may make it difficult for them to obtain further credit.
Court proceedings have been issued against me — what shall I do?
The court will have sent you a response pack explaining how you can respond to the claim, and the timelines involved.
You should read this carefully. You can ask the court to allow you to pay the debt by instalments over a period of time, which would, if agreed by the court, result in a Judgment by instalments. You can defend the claim or part of it.
If you do not respond to the claim, we will ask the court to grant a County Court Judgment against you.
If you are unsure how to complete the response pack, you should seek independent advice. A guide to completing the forms can be found here: https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/ccj/court-claim-form-process.aspx
Can I stop a Judgment appearing on my credit record?
If you pay the Judgment debt within one month of the date of the Judgment, then you can avoid the Judgment showing on your credit file.
If you want to do this, you should contact us to discuss payment.
How can a County Court Judgment be enforced?
Once a County Court Judgment has been obtained by a creditor, further court action can be brought to enforce the judgment debt. The enforcement action could include an application for:
An Attachment of Earnings Order: the court considers a customer’s income and expenditure information and orders that a regular amount should be taken directly from the customer’s wages to pay towards the judgment debt. This means that the employer is informed of the debt, and is responsible for ensuring that the correct sum is sent to the court each month.
A Charging Order: the creditor asks the court to make an order that the Judgment debt is secured against the customer’s property. This means that when the property is sold or remortgaged, the debt should be paid directly from the proceeds of the sale.
A Warrant of Control: a County Court bailiff is instructed to attend the customer’s property to establish contact with them, and in the absence of a reasonable repayment arrangement, may seize goods to be auctioned to pay towards the judgment debt. We want to avoid enforcement action.
Please contact us to discuss your circumstances, so that we can work with you to achieve the right solution.
If you are in any doubt as to your legal position you should obtain independent legal advice.
What are the costs and fees that could be added to the debt?
Our clients would much rather resolve matters with you without going to court. But if court action becomes necessary, our clients will seek to recover costs and fees from you. When a claim is issued at court, a court fee is payable. Our clients will usually ask you to pay this court fee. The amount of the court fee will vary depending on the balance. Our clients will also usually include a claim for fixed solicitors’ costs. The amount of these costs will vary depending on the balance.
The court fees and fixed costs which relate to the issue of claim and obtaining a County Court Judgment (“CCJ”) are set out below. There are also costs and fees relating to applications to enforce Judgments.
The right to claim court fees and solicitors’ costs is contained in the Civil Procedure Rules.
|CLAIM ISSUE:COURT FEE ADDED TO BALANCE|
|Claim amount||Court Fee|
|Up to £300||£35|
|£300.01 to £500||£50|
|£500.01 to £1,000||£70|
|£1,000.01 to £1,500||£80|
|£1,500.01 to £3,000||£115|
|£3,000.01 to £5,000||£205|
|£5,000.01 to £10,000||£455|
|£10,000.01 to £100,000*||5% of the claim|
|SOLICITORS' FIXED COSTS ADDED TO BALANCE|
|Claim amount||Issue stage||Enter CCJ stage|
|£25 to £500||£50||£22|
|£500 to £1,000||£70||£22|
|£1,000 to £5,000||£80||£22|
Will interest be added to the debt?
Some of our clients may include a claim for statutory interest at 8% when court proceedings are issued. This interest is claimed under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984. If you contact us before proceedings are issued, you could avoid a court claim and so avoid statutory interest being added to your debt.