Instructing the Commercial Debt Recovery Solicitors at Lane and Co
The team of commercial debt recovery solicitors at Lane and Co has collected £10s of millions of late payments of business debts for its clients and ranks as the UK’s longest established commercial debt recovery for. We always aim to act quickly and decisively, but our task is always helped if we are instructed accurately. This article looks at some tips that all businesses could benefit from before instructing us – getting things right saves time and money.
Know Your Customer
Before instructing us, it is vital that you know your customer – specifically the type of company/legal entity that they are. If you ae uncertain just ask for a letterhead, which should contain the information you need, or Google it – the information you need will normally be available through the Companies House website.
Different legal entities (the capacity in which they trade) have different rules /regulations under which they must be treated. We can only proceed on the information you send us, so it is important that it is correct.
When you confirm to us the trading style your customer trades under, we then identify the correct path for our debt recovery solicitors to follow when recovering your debt.
A quick guide to knowing your customer
These are the main trading styles
- Sole Trader – Usually Mr Bloggs T/a Bloggs machines
A sole trader is personally liable for the debts that he incurs. As a creditor this means that you are able to pursue the personal assets owed by the debtor which may not be connected to the business as long as they are owned by the debtor and are not subject to third party ownership or finance.
FROM 1ST OCTOBER 2017 THE NEW PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL APPLIES TO SOLE TRADER & INDIVIDUAL DEBTORS – Click here for further information.
In a partnership – (two or more individuals trading together as one entity) the partners are personally liable for the debts of the business. Again, personal assets can be taken into account if pursued by a creditor, subject to the same exceptions as a sole trader. The partners are jointly and severally liable in respect of the others’ acts and omissions.
- Limited Liability Partnership – (LLP)
This is a partnership in which some, or all, of the partners (depending on the jurisdiction) have limited liabilities. An LLP exhibits elements of partnerships and corporations. In an LLP one partner is not responsible or liable for another party’s misconduct or negligence.
- Private Limited Company – (LTD)
A Limited company is a separate legal entity and is run by Directors and owned by its shareholders. The Directors of the company are not personally liable for the debts of the business except where signed personal guarantees are provided to its creditors.
- Public Limited Company – (PLC)
A Public Limited Company is usually a large well-known business, its shares are traded on the stock exchange.
How Our Commercial Debt Recovery Solicitors Process the Information you Send to us
We act on the information provided by our Clients – if any of the information is not correct it results in lost time and money. The process we follow on receipt of your instructions is:
- If information is emailed or sent to us via our website – the instructions are printed.
- Instructions are then separated into DISPUTED / NON-DISPUTED
- All disputed claims and debts are passed to a Director prior to being processed
- What does the debt relate to?
- Overdue invoices – these can be processed
- Hire – Must be passed to a Director
- Rent – Must be passed to a Director
- Has the Client identified the customer as being…
- Limited Company (LTD) / Public Limited Company (PLC) / Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)?
- Sole Trader / Individual – these must now be passed to a Director for the new Pre-Action Protocol to commence
We now have 2 piles of Letters Before Action to process – the 7 day and 14 day variants.
Before generating the Letter before Action, we must:
- Conflict check the debtor to ensure we do not have any ongoing cases involving your customer
- Postcode check the debtor’s address
- Check the Companies House number provided matches the name given
- Check the invoices add up to the total amount of debt stated
- Check all relevant information has been completed by the Client
If any of the above information is either incorrect or missing, our business debt recovery solicitors must we refer back to the Client for clarification. This results in lost time and money.
Problems our Debt Recovery Solicitors Regularly Encounter
- Debtor identified as an incorrect legal entity (LTD / LLP/ Individual…)
- Is the debt disputed – has your customer highlighted any concern over the debt?
- The full amount of the debt does not add up to the invoices listed
- Identification of what the debt relates to
- Faxed or handwritten instructions can be very difficult to decipher – instructions received through the website are much easier to work with
- Missing information – Client telephone number / Debtor postcode / no outstanding amount
The smallest detail missing can have the greatest impact when it comes to our solicitors beginning the process of collecting your commercial debts. The best advice we can give is:
Please double check your instructions prior to sending
Please contact us or call us on 01922 700 730 for more information and a FREE initial discussion of your late payment problem.
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