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/ 20 Jan 2023

Debt Recovery in 2023: what are my options

Following the Christmas break, January is often a difficult time financially for both individuals and businesses alike. You may find yourself in the position whereby you are owed money by a third party, under the terms of a contract. This can be particularly troubling when cash flow is low.

Solicitor Jack Glover discusses the practical and commercial matters to consider when seeking to recover an unpaid debt, together with a brief outline of the options available outside court proceedings.

Practical Considerations

As a practical measure, you should assess the nature of the debt. For example, how much is the debt for? Is it from a long standing client/ business which you have a good working relationship with? Are they likely to pay the debt if you are successfully with your claim? All of these are pertinent questions that are worth considering. Indeed, practical and commercial considerations need to be carefully considered alongside legal matters, before deciding what course of action to take.

In the case where the debt is owed by a long standing client or by an entity which you have a strong business relationship with, you need to carefully consider whether the benefits of engaging solicitors and commencing legal proceedings would be worth running the risk of permanently ending a long standing business relationship. In all likelihood, once you start legal proceedings, your relationship will. Therefore, early advice from a solicitor is imperative. That way, you will have a clear understanding of your possible options and the implications of pursuing any of the same.

You can find out more on how a solicitor can help you with debt recovery in our previous article.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

As discussed in our previous article on compulsory mediation, the courts in recent years (and likely in the years to come) are doubling down on their efforts to encourage parties to settle disputes outside of courts. Therefore, careful consideration must be given to the possibility of mediating, or using another form of ADR.

Not only may this save you the time, expense and stress of pursuing a matter through the courts, it may also be a way to maintain an long standing business relationship, if an amicable settlement can be reached.

In addition, there is greater freedom when it comes to deciding the terms of the settlement, as compared to the courts, which are limited as to the orders they can make, in respect of breach of contract/ debt recovery matters. For example, as part of any settlement agreement, it may be possible to agree an instalment plan for repayment that protects both the financial health of the debtor and creditor, which it would not be possible for a judge to order as part of any judgment.

How can our debt recovery lawyers help

At Hanne & Co, we have extensive experience in advising clients on breach of contract and debt recovery matters. Regardless of the nature of the debt, it is best to get an early advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. We can advise you in detail your legal position, together with the practical and commercial matters you need to consider. That way, you will have an early indication as to whether a debt is worth pursuing and if so, how best to go about recovering this. In the long term, this will save you time, money and expense.

In addition to our litigation department who can advise you on your legal position, we are also able to offer an independent mediation service. The above constitutes a general overview and is in no way to be taken as legal advice. If you seek assistance on the above matters, please do get in touch and we will be happy to assist.

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