£10k Disputed Debt Recovered in 7 Days

There is nothing like the awkwardness of having goods removed from your site due to non-payment, as the creditor brazenly takes back control of their assets. That is exactly what happened when our client rocked up to an Ipswich building site to reclaim their diesel generators. In the world of plant and machinery hire, time really is money. If a unit is not on loan, it is not making money, and if that debtor is not paying, it needs to be matched to someone who will!

Quick Thinking

When the first hire payment was missed, our client hurried into action and was met by nonsensical disputes which were quickly dismissed. A lack of cooperation prompted Advocate’s instruction to recover the full £10,000 when the oldest invoice hit 20 days overdue. The following day our client received a direct payment of £600 from the debtor who claimed statutory charges should be removed on account they forgot to send the token amount sooner. Having been informed this was not a plausible excuse, the site manager turned to the remaining invoices.

Smart Thinking

A credit terms dispute was raised on £3,800 of invoices which were less than 30 days old. However, no statutory charges had been applied and the revocation of credit terms for this scenario is clearly outlined in the client’s terms and conditions. Advocate pushed back on this before being met with a dispute on the remaining £5,600, namely claiming the invoice had not been received. This, too, was repudiated with evidence showing it had been emailed, delivered, and read on the date issued. The final series of disputes were more akin to a scattergun approach, hoping that one lucky shot would sink the debt recovery. Using correspondence logs and delivery notes, our client proved the amount of diesel in the generators when delivered and the lack of diesel when taken back. Perhaps it was the awkwardness, but on collecting the generators there were several missing power cables. Once provided with a weblink proving our client was passing on the replacements at cost price, payment of the remaining sums was made on day 7 of our action. The debtor also paid the statutory late payment charges without contest.

This was our first case for this particular client, who up until last month had been on the receiving end of our action before paying promptly!