Believe it or not but there are debt collection firms who rely solely on a poker face to recover payment, knowing full well they haven’t got the means to Call whilst sitting at the table. The good news is Advocate is great at poker and we have the means to follow through with court action should the debt remain unpaid. In this case study, our debtor was playing the game and not the player. Our client ultimately received the £3.3K they would have written off had Advocate not been recommended to them for the final table.
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Our client is a family-run energy consultancy business with both father and son on the board of directors. They take on jobs from the small day half day certifications to the longer-term audit and overhaul projects. Their customer and subject of our action projects themselves as a home energy consultant specialising in high efficiency environmentally conscious products – or in short, a heating engineer! Like most firms in the industry, they sell the latest energy-efficient boilers. Our client was contracted to provide £3.3K of consultancy services with an eye on regulatory compliance. This was successfully completed and improved the debtor’s marketable credentials to consumers and regulator alike. Once the invoices became overdue, the debtor sought to avoid all contact. Shortly before Advocate’s instruction, they claimed to have ceased trading.
Know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run!
With £3.3K of invoices 20-50 days overdue, the client got in touch with Advocate. On reviewing the case notes and researching the target, it became clear the debtor was still trading having been incorporated 18 months ago. They had recently been added to a larger group of companies through a recent change in shareholding. The debtor’s credit file also indicated recent credit checks by existing or new suppliers. In response to the Notice of Court Proceedings, the debtor again claimed they had ceased trading, and copied in their solicitors (on retainer) who were to outline a dispute. The debtor and their solicitors were aware our action would continue unless they were able to provide substance to the alleged dispute. Advocate are wise to such moves which are normally an attempt to buy time. The dispute and solicitors’ letter were of course not received. A Final Demand was issued on day 7 of Advocate’s instruction. In response to the additional statutory charges being incurred, full payment was made. Seeing they were out of aces and to soften the fold, the debtor prefaced the payment by stating they’d had no benefit from the client’s services! The debtor was clearly unaware the client had previously evidenced to us how their consultancy transformed a barely compliant heating business into one of full regulatory adherence. The subtle references to Kenny Roger’s song The Gambler finish here!
As a result of this case, the client instructed Advocate with several more seemingly unrecoverable debts which also resulted in full payment. We’ve now converted a further £10K of potential write-offs into successful recoveries for the client, with more cases in the pipeline.