Déjà vu Debt Recoveries

Here at Advocate, some clients refer debts every week, and others wait until year-end approaches before submitting a flurry of cases. Our Scottish-based double-glazing client falls into the latter and refers between two and ten cases a day during the last fortnight of their financial year. Amongst the latest submissions were three cases with similar issues, resolved in a very similar amount of time before year-end.


The first case was against a Kirkcaldy-based company, primarily installing bathrooms but branching out into UPVC windows and doors. Having delivered £1.7K of custom fit doors ten months ago, the debtor had evaded payment ever since. For reasons unknown, the doors were despatched on 30-day terms instead of under the debtor’s pro-forma agreement. This lapse was immediately noted by the debtor upon Advocate making first contact to end the stalemate. Sensing they may be able to evade payment, the debtor claimed no doors had been delivered. PODs and order form in hand, the next tactic was to claim the doors were the incorrect dimensions. Spec sheet in hand, and we proved the doors were correct. We also showed emails indicating the client modified the doors free of charge despite the debtor getting their measurements wrong. Having realised, they were defending the indefensible, full payment was received on day seven of our action.


A Lanarkshire-based joinery firm enjoyed 18 months of interest-free credit before Advocate’s intervention, having gone to ground shortly after receiving £2K of bi-fold doors. When the company resurfaced, our client resumed their pursuit of payment. Similar to the Kirkcaldy case, the debtor initially denied the doors had been delivered before claiming the dimensions were incorrect. Anticipating this, Advocate already had the POD and spec sheet in hand. The statement and allocations were next on the joinery firm’s bucket list of disputes. Only once in possession of their own remittance advice was the debtor ready to concede and made full payment on day five of our action. There was no contest over the statutory late payment charges, including interest standing at over £250!


The third debt recovery was for an Edinburgh-based outdoor room architect, or in other words, a luxury shed designer. The cost of aesthetically pleasing colour-matching window frames came in at £2.8K which were dispatched in error before a pre-payment could be sought. Similar to the Lanarkshire case, the debtor recently resurfaced after going to ground. Having presented what was now our usual repertoire of PODs, order forms and spec sheets, full payment was received on day three of our action. This case was resolved quicker than the rest because we anticipated what the debtor might do to delay payment based on the other two cases.

In all three cases, payment was received without contest of the statutory late payment charges. Next year when the client submits instructions from this same ledger code, they will also be arming us with PODs and spec sheets in anticipation of more of the same!