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Bad Debts - County court claims

mandycmandyc Just JoinedRegistered Posts: 2
Hi Everyone, advice needed pls. I work for a new company - been running for just under a year, and luckily things have been getting busier everyday. But I have had to start court proceedings against two customers for non payment for goods supplied.

We supplied goods to the first customer in March and April and after dozens of phone calls and emails, couldn't even get a payment promise from them. I've made a claim to our local county court and they have issued the claim, but the customer has not responded yet - I understand from the court that they are allowed 28 days to decide what to do. After checking them on creditsafe, they have had two ccj's against them in the last month.

Second customer is similar - goods supplied in April & May, couldn't get past the receptionist, emails ignored. Court claim issued but they have appointed a solicitor, who I have sent copies of all the purchase orders, our invoices and proof of deliveries too.

Both claims are over £10,000 each.

What would you do? Would you hand over to a solicitor?
If the 1st customer has other ccj's, can you find out who they owe the money to any why? Is there any way to force them to pay - NOW?
If the 2nd customer has a solicitor, i'm assuming they are going to dispute paying, but can't imagine why, can they pay at the last moment, and just giving me lots of worry?

The business link website is quite good, but i'd be grateful if anyone could recommend a course, book or website on avoiding future debts.

Many thanks. Mandyx

Comments

  • Rozzi RainbowRozzi Rainbow Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 465
    This is my recent experience of a County Court Claim - not quite the same scale as yours as it was an individual who owed us money and nowhere near the amounts you're taking about but it might give you some idea.

    We issued the claim against him and he had 14 days to reply. He could accept he owed us the money and pay straight away, or make an offer as to how much and when he would pay, which we could then refuse if we didn't think it was satisfactory. He could also defend the claim.

    We heard nothing from him so we requested judgement against him and the court ordered him to pay us. We could then enforce the judgement when he didn't pay us. This costs extra, and we could decide how to enforce judgement, e.g by seizure of assets, attachment of earnings etc.

    I found our local court really helpful, they can't give any legal advice but can tell you what all the various options are.
  • DcollinsDcollins Well-Known Registered Posts: 179
    Unfortunately the only way to avoid a bad debt is to get cash or cleared funds as or before you complete the sale. Credit checks are helpful, but don't provide a guarantee.

    www.payontime.co.uk has information on legal rights and credit management - don't know if that's much help because the website doesn't seem to be working at the moment.

    The Institute of Credit Management http://www.icm.org.uk/ has an advice section.

    You can insure against bad debts, there are several companies offering credit insurance, but obviously there's a cost involved, and excess and procedures to follow. They tend to have their own solicitors and can hand over to bailiffs etc., which is helpful.

    Given the size of the debts, the previous CCJs and the fact that they have solcitors, yes I would talk to solicitors, the cost could be added to the customers' debts. There are some that specialise in debt collection.
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