Debt Collection United Kingdom
Does your company have to deal with debt collection because your customer in the UK has not paid your invoice? Our UK debt collection specialists and lawyers will be happy to help you. We ensure that your outstanding invoices are paid quickly. Read here what we can do for you when you want to engage with a collection agency and recover debt from the UK.
"Debt collection in the UK differs from collection in other European countries. Following Brexit, it remains unclear as to what impact this will have on trade between European countries and the UK. The collection of outstanding invoices will also change, however, this will not have any effect until 2021″.
International debt collection in the UK
When doing business with a trading partner in the UK, you are confronted with different trading traditions and customs than those you are used to. In addition, different legislation applies in the UK than in your country. This often makes debt collection in the UK complicated and time-consuming. That is why you should call in our British specialists. They have the means to get your debtor to pay.
Payment behaviour of British companies
- Most companies have a payment term of 30 days
- The payment behaviour in the UK is relatively good
- A payment term of 14 days is customary in the case of reminders
Debt collection in the UK
Most companies in the UK pay within 30 days. Approximately 1/3rd of companies do not pay their invoices on time. Only 2.5% of companies in the UK pay after 90 days. In most cases small businesses are better payers than multinationals. Furthermore, debtors in the UK are more likely to pay when a debt collection lawyer is involved than a collection agency. When your client is approached by a lawyer, they will feel pressurised to pay, which will increases the chances of payment considerably. Our debt recovery lawyers in the UK will do everything in their power to ensure that you retrieve what you are entitled to.
Advantages of debt collection in the UK
- British collection lawyers in your country
- English-speaking lawyers
- Highest success rates
- Collection throughout the UK
- Always a single point of contact
- 24/7 online access to our portal
- No Cure No Pay debt collection
British lawyer in your country
It is best to contact a British lawyer or collection specialist to collect your invoice against a British debtor. You don't need to go to the UK for this, you can simply contact our specialists at Bierens. They have extensive knowledge and experience with the laws and regulations in the UK. This way we can make your debtor pay quickly.
Debt collection procedure in the UK
The collection process in the UK can be divided into two phases. In the extrajudicial phase, we collect without the intervention of the court, in the judicial phase we do involve the court to get your UK debtor to pay. Because we are a law firm, we can assist you in both phases.
Written demand letters and phone calls
We send the debtor a written demand letter and contact them by telephone, requesting that they pay your claim within a few days, together with interest and costs. In specific cases, we may also talk to your debtor face to face.
Reaching a settlement
Our lawyers will use their knowledge on the local business culture and regulations to reach a settlement with your debtor. Reaching a settlement is a very popular means of getting your client to pay in the UK. It can also be used during or after legal proceedings.
Announcing legal proceedings
Often, the announcement of legal proceedings, we will convince your UK debtor to pay. This can be done by, for example, announcing a bankruptcy petition. However, filing for bankruptcy in the UK is not very fast or cheap. In England and Wales it takes at least three weeks and it can easily last several months. We therefore only recommend this means of collection for specific cases.
If your debtor refuses to pay in the extrajudicial phase, we can go to court in consultation with you. We will perform a credit check and analyse your debtor's financial situation. This enables us to better assess your debtor's finances and determine whether legal proceedings are worthwhile. In addition, we will always let you know in advance what the possible costs are, and we will only start working after receiving your permission.
Would you like to start legal collection proceedings against your British debtor? If so, the first question is in which country should you litigate, the your country or in the UK? This depends on the competent court, i.e. the court that is competent to rule on your debt collection case.
In your general terms and conditions, you can make agreements about the competent court in the event of a (payment) conflict. This is also called choice of forum. Have no agreements been made? Then the main rule is that the court in the country of the defendant has jurisdiction. In this case the British court. You then must go to the UK to follow legal proceedings there.
Furthermore, the main rule is that the law of the country of the seller or service provider applies. In this case, the law of your country applies. We then get this difficult situation where the court in the UK must judge the case based on the law of your country. A legal system he is unfamiliar with. This is not a desirable situation, which is why our advice is to make agreements about this in your general terms and conditions. In addition, you can also agree that you can litigate in your own country in the case of a conflict.
Debt collection laws in the UK
When we take legal action against your UK debtor, there are a number of UK debt collection laws that we can deploy. The best debt collection procedure varies per situation. Our lawyers always look for the best option for your collection case. Below you will find the most important legal procedures of the legal system of England and Wales:
Small claims track
In England and Wales, claims below £10,000.00 are processed in the small claims track. The court acts quickly in these proceedings and the deadlines are very tight. Also, on average the duration of a court hearing is less time consuming than those for other procedures. However, the costs of these proceedings are almost never fully imposed on the losing party.
These proceedings deal with higher value non-complex claims. Although these proceedings often take more time than the 'small claims track', the costs in these proceedings are often (partly) passed on to the losing party. This is decided by the court.
For complex or disputed claims above £10,000.00 the multi track procedure should be followed. On average, these procedures take longer than the small claims and fast track procedures. In this procedure, the judge can also decide that the losing party must pay all legal costs.
International collection laws
In addition to British collection laws, there are also a few European measures that can be used if your UK customer refuses to pay. It is important for the European Union that trade between European countries is stimulated. Therefore, complicated procedures are unwanted. That is why, in addition to the normal procedures, there are two alternative procedures that can be used for foreign claims between two EU countries: the European Payment Order Procedure and the Small Claims Procedure.
Both procedures are relatively fast and inexpensive. A standard form must be filled in, which is then sent to the competent court. If you have not agreed on anything, this is usually the British court. The court then deals with the collection case and makes a judgement.
The small claims procedure is only suitable for small claims up to €5,000. The European Payment Order only applies to undisputed claims.
Because the concrete consequences of Brexit are not yet known, it is unclear whether these European laws will remain valid in the United Kingdom. Our lawyers will be happy to tell you more about the possibilities as they change.
Litigation in your own country
Have you agreed in the general terms and conditions that the court in your country has jurisdiction? Then legal proceedings can also be started in your country. Depending on your specific situation, our lawyers will look at what is most beneficial for your organisation. If we start legal proceedings in your country against your British debtor, we can start ordinary civil proceedings. Both parties will be heard, after which the court will make a judgment.
If a verdict has been obtained in your country against a British debtor, it has yet to be executed in the UK. Within the EU, it is established that all verdicts obtained in the EU member states are also recognised in other EU countries. Now that the UK has left the EU, it is unclear what this means for the execution of foreign judgments. Please contact us for the most up to date information on this subject.
In England and Wales, business claims are generally subject to a limitation period of 6 years. This period starts from the moment the claim arises. The invoice date is not relevant here, but the date on which you became aware of the claim.
Imagine you are building a structure for a customer. The building was completed and delivered on 1 February. The limitation period is then 1 February. If you subsequently send an invoice on 1 March with an end date of 31 March, this does not affect the limitation period. The limitation period starts on 1 February and not on 31 March, as is the case in many European countries.
Exceptions to the limitation period
The limitation period of 6 years applies to normal claims. Please note that the limitation period is different for some claims. For example, in the case of personal injury there is a limitation period of 3 years and for some property claims a limitation period of up to 12 years applies.
Preventing the statute of limitations
You can avoid your invoice becoming time-barred by interrupting the limitation period. By interruption, the limitation period is stopped and starts to run again. In the United Kingdom the limitation period can be interrupted when a standstill agreement is concluded between the two parties. In addition, a payment or acknowledgement of the debt by the debtor can cause the limitation period to be reinstated. It is important that this acknowledgement is in writing and signed by the responsible party.
Once the limitation period has expired, you can no longer take action. It is therefore worth keeping a close eye on the limitation period and interruption before it expires.
Legal areas for debt collection in the UK
Our UK debt collection agency has been active for several years. During this time, we have helped many companies all over the world with their debt collection business in the UK with all kinds of debt collection cases in various jurisdictions:
- Buying and Selling
- Construction law
- Rental and leasing
- Agency and distribution agreements
- Damages and unlawful acts
“Bierens is a highly effective and professional partner. Not only do they have a good debt collection procedure, they also give solid advice.”
Manuel Maas, Eneco
Is your debtor in London, Glasgow or Birmingham? For our specialists it doesn't matter where your customer is located. We can assist you throughout the United Kingdom. You don't need a UK debt collection agency or solicitor to successfully collect your case. You can simply transfer your case online. Our UK debt collection specialists will then get straight to work.
More than a debt collection agency
If you are looking for a debt collection agency, you are actually better off with a debt collection lawyer. Our British collection lawyers have more resources than a collection agency. Moreover, they work faster and are also more successful. This is beneficial for your organisation as you will quickly receive your payment.
No Win No Fee debt collection
During the extrajudicial phase, we work based on the No Win, No Fee principle. If we do not collect, then you pay no legal fee. You only pay €150 for administrative costs. After all, an unpaid invoice causes enough frustration. We think it would be unfair if you were to be faced with all sorts of additional fees.
You only pay a fee if we can collect the claim. We try to recover this fee from the debtor as much as possible. Therefore, a successful collection case will cost you almost nothing! That is what we call justice, as you will receive what you are entitled to.
If the collection is successful, we try to recover the collection costs from the debtor as much as possible. In that case, your British customer will pay the outstanding invoice and the collection costs. This way, you will pay little to no collection fees to our organisation.
Do you have an outstanding invoice with a British customer? Or do you have another conflict with your client? Our collection specialists and lawyers will be happy to help you solve your payment conflict. Please feel free to contact us for more information. Are you tired of waiting for your payment? Then hand over your invoice immediately. Our specialists will then get straight to work for you.