Issuing a Claim – the issue of court process – against one of your customers is usually a last resort, by this stage you should not only have exhausted your credit control procedures but also sent a Letter before Action.
It is important to remember that your chances of recovering your debt diminishes with time so prompt action yields the best results.
Where will my Claim be issued?
The majority of Claims are issued through the County Court Business Centre (CCBC) in Northampton via a Secure Data Transfer.
The benefit to you of using this system is that the Court Fees are discounted, and the electronic process is fast and secure.
What happens if my Claim cannot be issued through the CCBC?
In some instances a Claim has to be issued in paper format through the County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC), this process is slightly slower and the Court fees are slightly higher.
Examples of Claims that need to be issued via the County Court Money Claims Centre include:-
- Claims over £100,000
- When the Debtor lives in Scotland or Northern Ireland
- If there are 2 or more Defendants
- If separate Particulars need to be sent with the Claim
How quickly can proceedings be issued?
As long as we receive your instructions before 4.00pm (CCBC) or 3.30pm (CCMCC) Monday-Friday we will process the Claim that day.
- With CCBC Claims the Court will issue the Claim at 10.00pm that evening
- With CCMCC Claims the Court will issue the Claim within 7 working days
What happens when the Claim has been issued?
The Claim Form is served by the Court on the Registered Office or Trading Address of the Debtor Company.
The Debtor has 14 days from the date of service to respond to the Claim.
Their response can be one of the following:-
- Pay the full amount outstanding
- File an Acknowledgment of Service (this provides the Debtor with an extra 14 days to respond)
- File a Defence
- File a Full Admission
- File a Part Admission
If the Debtor does not respond what happens next?
If the Defendant fails to take any steps you are entitled to enter Judgment by Default and the Enforcement Process can commence upon instruction.
When Judgment has been obtained what happens next?
Enforcement of the Judgment is the next stage in recovering your debt.
What does a ‘Judgment’ mean to a Debtor?
From the date of Judgment (County Court Judgment or CCJ) the Debtor has 30 days to make a payment in full for it to be removed from the Registry of Trust record.
If the Judgment is paid after this time it will be recorded as ‘Satisfied’ but will remain on record for 6 years.
Having a CCJ on record will adversely affect Credit ratings and can have significant impact on both the Debtor and their business.