Step 3: Legal proceedings

Updated: Sep 25



With the best will in the world not every collection process is going to deliver you a 100 percent result. But if you know somebody that does, then stick with them.


In our experience there is always going to be some intransigent debtor/customer who uses the system to avoid paying until the very last moment, so legal proceedings have to be taken as a step towards judgment, and ultimately to the knock on the door from the enforcement agent.


You can issue legal proceedings yourself by setting up an account with Money Claim Online and the website address is (https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk). You pay for your court fees as you go along, and really unless the case becomes defended (or there is a counterclaim), then it’s a very straight forward way of issuing a legal claim, entering judgment and getting you ready to enforce that judgment. You don’t need to be a solicitor or be legally trained.


If you need help on how to use Money Claim Online, then again Shergroup would be pleased to help you. Our reason for that is simply because we would be ready to help to enforce any judgments that you obtain though the Money Claim Online system.


The debtor has 14 days in which to pay you once the money claim has been issued, and a further 14 if they decide they are considering defending the claim.


If your credit control and collections procedures are strong, then you should be aware if a potential defense is coming, and in those situations it’s always best to try and negotiate and achieve a settlement rather litigating.


But thousands of claims are issued every year in England and Wales, and it’s a very straight forward process; indeed we think it’s one of the best in Europe.


Just as a point, if you have debtors in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland or elsewhere in Europe, and they have an address for service in England and Wales (or outside of England and Wales you know their address) then always issue proceedings in England and Wales.


What you can then do if you don’t get paid is transfer that judgment to the country in which your debtor is residing or carrying on its business. We do not encourage issuing proceedings elsewhere outside of the jurisdiction of England and Wales wherever possible, because the systems for legal and enforcement procedures are more complex and more costly.


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