The first stage in any action taken is to send a letter of claim, to the debtor, in accordance with the relevant Pre-Action Protocol.
This letter will give the debtor a time period (14 days for businesses, 30 days for individuals) in which to both acknowledge and respond to the letter, or to pay the debt owed. If the debtor does not respond to the letter, or pay the debt, the next stage is to issue a claim in the County Court.
The letter of claim is an important part of the pre-action steps to be taken within the debt recovery process and it is, therefore, vital that this letter is sent to the debtor, prior to any claim being issued. If a letter of claim is not sent to the debtor prior to a claim being issued, you may face cost sanctions imposed by the court, later on down the line.
In October 2017, the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims was implemented, introducing strict rules to be followed and information that is required to be included in the letter of claim. It is, therefore, important to ensure that the letter of claim is fully compliant with the Protocol. This Protocol is applicable where the debtor is an individual, or a sole trader. The Protocol, therefore, will not apply where the debtor is a business. Where the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims does not apply, the Practice Directions Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols (“PDPACP”) would apply, which is the Protocol to be followed in the absence of a specific Pre-Action Protocol.
The benefit of having a firm of solicitors send the letter of claim is that the debtor is more likely to respond to the demand for payment, as opposed to a letter coming from the creditor themselves. Experience has shown that a letter from a firm of solicitors will often prompt a response from the debtor. A specialist legal representative will also ensure that all the required information is correctly given to the debtor within the letter of claim, inline with the relevant Pre-Action Protocol.
We will ensure that all the correct procedures are followed in order to satisfy the courts strict requirements.
Our fee for issuing the letter of claim is just £50.00 plus VAT.