The timely collection of debts is of critical importance to businesses of all sizes, particularly in the challenging economic times we face. We offer a full debt collection service to clients. We have included a brief summary of the debt collection procedure.
Upon receipt of your initial instructions, we will send a demand letter to the debtor requesting payment within seven days. This initial letter is an important step in successfully recovering debts and will make it clear to the debtor that failure to pay will lead to proceedings being immediately issued against them.
If there is no response to our demand letter, we will revert to you for further instructions before issuing proceedings. Once proceedings are served the debtor has a limited period of time to defend the proceedings (the time allowed is in accordance with the Court Rules). If the Debtor does not defend the proceedings or enter into an acceptable repayment schedule within the time allowed, we will forward an Affidavit of Debt to you for swearing which will ground our application for Judgment.
Applying for Judgment
Once the Affidavit of Debt is sworn by you and returned to this office, we will draft our Judgment papers and send them to the relevant court office for signing.
Enforcing the Judgment
When the Judgment is obtained, we will write to the Debtor advising of the Judgment and will seek your instructions in relation to enforcing the Judgment. There are a number of options open to you at this stage including the following:
Publication of the Judgment
The Judgment can be registered in the Central Office of the High Court. This will lead to the publication of the Judgment in the trade gazettes including Stubbs Gazette
Execution order to Sheriff
The Judgment can be sent to the Sheriff for seizure of the debtor’s assets to the value of the debt, if it is not discharged.
If the debtor is an individual, as opposed to a company, proceedings can be brought in the local District Court to have the debtor’s means examined before the Judge. An Order will then be made requiring the debtor to pay weekly or monthly installments until the debt is discharged. If the debtor defaults on the terms of the Installment Order, he is in contempt of court and an application may be made for his committal.
If the debtor owns property, a Judgment Mortgage can be registered over that property. This means that if the property is sold within twelve years of the Judgment Mortgage being placed on it, the debt must be discharged from the proceeds. Once the Judgment Mortgage is in place, an application can be made to Court to force the sale of the property. The Judgment may be discharged from the proceeds of the sale.
Where the debtor is an individual (sole trader), bankruptcy proceedings can be instituted to seize all of his assets. While it can be a very effective process, in the end assets may have to be shared with other creditors. Each case needs to be fully considered on its own merits.
Where the debtor is a Company, liquidation may be an option in certain circumstances.