Debt Collection in the United Kingdom
- Debt collection in the UK, that is conducted locally.
- Risk-free. Pay only upon success.
- 9,5 % in commission.
Recover debts throughout the UK!
Do you have invoices that have not yet been paid by your customers in the UK? We can help you with debt collection in the United Kingdom. Read on to find out how.
Debt collection in the UK in three easy steps.
Upload your unpaid invoice against your customer in the UK to our debt collection platform.
Why should you use Oddcoll for debt collection in the United Kingdom
A UK debt collection expert.
Specialists in UK regulations and business culture.
Extensive experience in dealing with UK debtors.
How Oddcoll can help you with debt collection in the UK.
Trying to get a customer in another country to pay an unpaid invoice that has passed its due date can be very time-consuming. As a creditor in a country other than your debtor, you have no influence over your debtor when payment is not made. To solve this problem, Oddcoll has created a debt collection service for international companies. For companies that are located in one country, but have sales in more countries than their own. We have gathered the best national debt collection agencies and law firms around the world on our debt collection platform. This means that when you upload an unpaid invoice to Oddcoll against a UK debtor, our UK debt collection agency will start the collection process directly on site in the UK. And the actions to get your customer to pay is taken directly where your customer is.
Our debt collection agency in the UK.
In the UK, Oddcoll works with the British debt collection company Safe Collections Ltd. A debt collection company on the British market since 1984, with many years of experience in how to best handle claims against debtors in the UK.
Our UK debt collection agency can assist with
- debt collection in England,
- debt collection in Scotland,
- debt collection in Wales and
- debt collection in Northern Ireland.
Simply set up an account on our platform and upload your unpaid invoice to quickly put our UK debt collection agency to work.
– Introduce your company in a few sentences?
Incorporated in 1984, Safe Collections Ltd is one of the oldest independently owned and operated Debt Collection firms operating in the UK today. Number one for Debt Recovery in the UK on Trustpilot, our service is free from any advance charges or “set up” fees and all collections carry our no collection = no commission guarantee.
-What is the name that is (normally) handling your cases and talking to your Oddcoll clients?
As a bespoke, highly specialised commercial collection company our collections team is built of experienced commercial credit managers and debt recovery specialists who manage each case led by our MD Adam Home. With claim updates via the Oddcoll system being handled by our admin and support team led by James Fitzgerald.
-Describe the debt collection process (out of court). What do you do in order to get a debtor to pay, step by step?
Honed over 40 years, our simple but effective escalatory approach to debt recovery relies on a combination of professional correspondence and constant telephone contact to ensure your overdue invoice is never far from your debtor’s mind.
What is meant by debt collection in the UK.
Debt collection as a whole is defined as a past-due obligation or delinquent amount from a second party (consumer or “debtor”) on behalf of a first party (original lender or “creditor”). UK debt collection is categorized as the whole debt recovery process on the territory of United Kingdom. DCAs (Debt Collecting Agencies), are licensed and work with different national acts. DCAs are strictly regulated by various institutes, their working methods are both legal and ethical.
The debt recovery in the UK can be divided into two phases. The first one is extrajudicial phase. The debt collection agency contacts the debtor on creditors behalf. In this phase no legal action is taken nor judiciary is involved. Firstly, a written demand letter is sent to the debtor followed by a phone call, requesting that they pay your claim within a few days, along with interest and costs. If the debtor still refuses to pay in the extrajudicial phase then the matter is taken to the court for legal proceedings.
“Judicial” debt collection in the UK.
The UK has three legal systems, so the legal process looks slightly different depending on where in the UK your debtor is located. This is because the UK was created through a political union of formerly independent countries. Article 19 of the Treaty of Union, which came into force in 1707, guaranteed that Scotland would continue to have a separate legal system. In 1800, when Ireland was united with Great Britain, the principle of separate courts was maintained in Ireland, as it remains in Northern Ireland today.
England and Wales have a unified court system based on common law principles, which originated in medieval England. The Northern Ireland court system is very similar to that of England and Wales, while the Scottish court system is a model that combines elements of both the common law and civil law systems.
Taking a debt collection case to court:
England / Wales.
Limitation periods for bringing actions before the courts:
In order to bring an English or Welsh debt collection case to court, no more than six years must have passed since the claim arose.
Which court to turn to:
A dispute between two civil parties is usually brought in either the County Court or the High Court, depending on the amount in dispute and the complexity of the case. Claims of less than £100,000 are dealt with in a County Court, while claims over £100,000 are dealt with in the High Court.
A summons to a County Court for the collection of a monetary claim in England or Wales is now made online and is handled centrally. Thereafter, the main rule is that the case is transferred to the County Court where the debtor is located. That is, where the debtor lives if it is a natural person, or carries on business if it is a company. However, both parties can make requests as to where a case should be handled, but ultimately the court has the final say.
Summonses relating to monetary claims are divided into different procedural “tracks” within the court, in order to streamline and facilitate legal proceedings. Claims from £0 to £10,000 are distributed to the “small claims track”. A claim from £10,000 to £25,000 to the “fast track” and other claims to the “multi track”.
English is the language used for legal debt collection in the UK when the debtor are English or from Wales. It is also possible for Welsh speakers to litigate in Welsh.
Do I have to pay court fees?
Taking your English or Welsh claim to court involves certain costs.
The cost of the court process depends on various factors such as the size of your UK debt collection claim and whether or not the case is contested. In many cases, costs incurred can be added to the amount of the claim if you win in court.
Judgment by default.
In England and Wales there is no specific procedural procedure for payment orders. Instead, there is a system whereby a creditor can obtain a default judgment in certain situations. This is an integral part of the civil procedures in England and Wales.
A debtor has 14 days to respond to the creditor’s demands made in the summons. If the debtor does not respond (i.e. does not answer the court), then the creditor has the option of asking the court to issue a default judgment (i.e. ordering the debtor to pay the amount claimed in the absence of a response).
A defendant has the possibility to file a statement of defence to the claim, even after the 14 days have passed, until the creditor files a request for a default judgment. A creditor needs to request a default judgment within 6 months of the expiry of the debtor’s time limit for filing a statement of defence.
A default judgment can be granted in almost any type of case in civil courts in England and Wales and there is no upper limit on the amount of the claim.
To apply for a default judgment, the creditor should apply to the court where the claim was heard. That court can then check that the defendant has not lodged a statement of defence and that the time limit for lodging these documents has expired.
The small claims procedure (known as the small claims track).
As mentioned earlier, there are different “tracks” into which UK cases in English or Welsh courts are divided. Most relevant to UK debt collection cases would be the small claims track for claims between £0 and £10,000. The type of complexity also plays a role in a judge’s decision as to whether or not a case should be processed under the small claims track. This means that claims over £10,000 may also be considered for the claims track but claims under £10,000 may also be considered for the ordinary civil claims track if the complexity of the case is high.
The process for the small claims track is simplified and adapted to allow parties to easily represent themselves and at the same time to easily understand the process. The procedure is relatively informal compared to other procedures. The court is not bound by so many procedural rules but can direct the court proceedings quite freely.
In some cases, the judge may consider that a written hearing is sufficient and that the parties do not need to meet in person. However, both parties have the possibility to request a physical hearing anyway.
There are two main courts for civil court cases in Scotland. The “Sheriff courts” and the “Court of Session”.
Most commonly, for debt collection in the UK, when the debtor is in Scotland, the Sheriff Court, in the area where the debtor is domiciled, has jurisdiction to hear the case.
Taking a UK debt collection case to court in Scotland involves some costs. These costs vary depending on the nature of the case. Usually the losing party is ordered to pay these costs.
In some cases of judicial debt collection in the UK, where the debtor is Scottish, there are simplified court procedures. This means that unless the debtor disputes his or her obligation to pay to the court, a creditor can apply for an order/judgment to be issued, proving that the debt exists. This can then be used in enforcement proceedings in Scotland. Such a possibility exists for the creditor in legal proceedings in both the Sheriff Court and the Court of Session.
For legal debt collection in Great Britain, when the debtor is located in Northern Ireland, it is mainly the County Court or the High Court of Northern Ireland that handles the disputes. The County Court deals with claims under £30,000.
As with legal proceedings in England, Wales or Scotland, in Northern Ireland there is also the possibility of seeking a default judgment where the debtor does not contest the claim.
For UK debt collection cases in Northern Ireland where the amount of the claim is less than £3,000, there is a special simplified process which is intended to be a little more informal and easier for debtors to participate in.
Enforcement proceedings in the UK.
Enforcement is a measure taken by a court to force a debtor to comply with a court order. It is used by a creditor in the process of debt collection in the UK, when the creditor has gone through the legal process, received a judgment/decision that the debtor owes money, but then the debtor continues to not pay. The creditor can then take the judgment to the authorities who will help transfer assets from the debtor to the creditor.
England and Wales.
Such as the legal system in England and Wales is structured, the creditor is free to choose which enforcement measure they wish to use to obtain payment from the debtor. The court is obliged to follow the creditor’s wishes and use the enforcement method of the creditor’s choice. And it is not for the court to determine which is the most effective method in a particular case.
Enforcement actions that can be taken in England and Wales are:
Sending bailiffs to the debtor: one measure is to ask the court to send bailiffs to the debtor. They will then give the debtor 7 days to submit payment. If not, the bailiffs will be sent to the debtor’s home (or business) to see if there are any assets of value that they can sell to cover the debt.
Deduction from the debtor’s salary: if the debtor is a private individual, the court can be instructed to make a deduction from the insured person’s salary. The court then sends a request to the debtor’s employer to make a deduction from the salary on an ongoing basis.
Freeze assets or money in an account: you can ask the court to freeze money in the debtor’s accounts. The court will then assess whether the account can be used to pay the debt.
Charging the debtor’s land or property: you can ask the court to levy a “charge” on the debtor’s land or property. If the debtor sells the land or property, this charge must be paid before the debtor gets his or her share.
Applying for enforcement is not a guarantee of getting paid in judicial debt collection in the UK. In some cases, there are no assets that can be accessed. An assessment must be made in each individual situation, and based on the financial situation of the debtor, as to whether it is worth applying for enforcement. There are costs associated with the application which cannot be recovered if the debtor does not pay.
In Scotland, the approach to Enforcement is that it is the “Sheriff Officers” and “Messengers-at-Arms” who are responsible for carrying out Enforcement actions on the application of a creditor. They are not employed by the State, but act as independent contractors, but under the control of the court. A variety of enforcement measures are at their disposal.
Northern Ireland has a slightly different organization for Enforcement than the other countries in Great Britain. The “Enforcement of Judgments Office” is the central authority responsible for the process in Northern Ireland.
Before commencing enforcement, a creditor needs to send a final demand for payment to the debtors, reminding them that enforcement will be sought if payment is not made. The debtor then has 10 days to pay.
The first step is then for officials at the authority to investigate the debtor’s financial situation. Senior officials then decide on the basis of that investigation how the case should proceed and what action may be taken.
Insolvency proceedings in the UK.
Insolvency proceedings refer to those occasions in the UK when a UK debtor is financially unable to repay its debts. Proceedings may then be initiated with the intention of either trying to rescue the company or the person with payment difficulties. This may involve restructuring. In cases where there is no possibility of rescuing the debtor, bankruptcy proceedings may be initiated. The basic idea is that a third party (insolvency administrator) takes over the disposal of the debtor’s assets in order to divide the assets as fairly as possible between the creditors who have a claim. Insolvency proceedings can, on the basis of the above description, be seen as a separate leg of the process of debt collection in the UK.
We can help you with debt recovery in the UK. Contact us if you have any questions or start a case by creating an account and uploading your unpaid UK claim.
See how easy it is to get started with your case!
Oddcoll is a service for international debt collection.
We make it easy for companies to get paid from their customers abroad.