County Court Proceedings
If we have been unsuccessful in recovering payment and you decide to issue a claim in Court, we would transfer our file to our appointed solicitors who would issue the claim on your behalf. In addition to the due debt the claim form will include a claim for late payment interest, Advocate’s recovery fee, the Court fee paid and solicitors issue fee.
The debtor has 14 days to respond from the date the claim is issued at Court. They may respond by:
- Acknowledging the debt, in which case an additional 14 days is allowed to file a Defence
- Admitting the debt and offering payment in full
- Admitting the debt and offering to pay in instalments
- Admitting part of the debt and offering part payment
- Filing a Defence to the whole claim
- Filing a Defence to part of the claim
In our experience it is unlikely that a debtor will file a defence at this stage. Our pre-litigation recovery processes have already provided a number of opportunities to raise a valid dispute if one existed.
If no response is received from the Defendant after 14 days you are entitled to request a County Court Judgment (CCJ). A default judgment request is lodged at the Court that the debtor failed to respond to in the claim issued against them. The Court will enter Judgment for the total amount to be paid including any interest since the claim date, third party costs accrued in attempting recovery of the debt, solicitors costs and Court fees paid.
The Judgment will state that the full amount is forthwith payable and allows the debtor one month to make full payment. If the debtor fails to make payment this will be recorded on their credit record and subsequently will affect their credit rating.
County Court action is a two stage process, securing a Judgment does not guarantee that you will be paid and enforcement is often required. Whilst a successful Judgment is a step closer to recovering a debt, an informed decision is necessary to take the most appropriate enforcement action to secure payment. Enforcement options include:
- A Warrant of Execution to instruct a County Court Bailiff or Sheriff’s Officer
- A Writ of Fieri Facias (Latin) to instruct a High Court Enforcement Officer
- A Charging Order over an asset owned by the debtor
- Obtaining a Third Party Debt Order by freezing a debtor’s bank account