Small Claims procedure in the UK
When initiating legal proceedings against your debtor, the Small Claims procedure in the UK is a highly cost-effective solution for claims up to £10,000. This procedure is applicable for undisputed claims and can be initiated once you have exhausted all recourses during the pre-legal debt collection phase. If your debtor still refuses to pay, then our debt collection specialists and lawyers can help you retrieve your payment by applying for the Small Claims procedure on your behalf.
Small Claims procedure explained
Before initiating legal proceedings, you must ensure that you have undertaken all pre-legal actions. From calling your debtor to sending demand letters, as well as mediation, you will have to provide evidence that you have thoroughly considered these options.
Step 1: Applying for the Small Claims procedure in the UK can be done also online through gov.uk. You will be asked to fill out the form, including your debtor’s details, the amount to be claimed, the invoices and receipts and evidence of previous communication that has taken place.
Step 2: Your debtor can either file a defence to reject the claim or accept your claim in full or in part. If your debtor fails to respond, then you can request a court order.
Step 3: Following the receipt of a defence, a court official will normally send out a notice of proposed allocation together with a questionnaire used to determine how complex your case is, and the duration of the court hearing.
Step 4: You may be asked if you would like to make use of the court’s small claims mediation service to reach an agreement with the defendant. If the case progresses, you might have to attend a court hearing.
Step 5: The court will make a judgment on your debt collection case. If you win, the judge will state how long the defendant has to pay the sum owed to you. This amount can include expenses such as your court fees, reasonable travelling expenses, etc.
Before initiating the Small Claims procedure in the UK, you must ensure that you act within the applicable limitation period. Other fees may also need to be incurred, based on where your debtor is located. For instance, Small Claims in England and Wales have a maximum amount of £10,000, while Scotland has an amount of £5,000 and Northern Ireland of £3,000.
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How long does the Small Claims procedure in the UK take?
Debtors are requested to respond to the Small Claims procedure within 14 days. They must either agree to the claim or dispute it. Regular cases on average could last up to two weeks, with another two weeks to retrieve your payment. If the claim is disputed, then other legal actions may be necessary which would take considerably longer.
Small Claims Procedure court fees
The fees for the Small Claims procedure in the UK can be found on gov.uk. You will have to pay the additional court fees. However, it is also important to consider that these fees do not include the legal charges for solicitors. For legal advice from our debt collection lawyers, an additional hourly rate will be included. For more information you can contact our team.
Have you exhausted all possible resources for your debt collection? Then you may consider initiating the Small Claims procedure. If your debtor still refuses to pay, then our debt collection specialists and lawyers can help you retrieve your payment. With knowledge and experience with the debt collection laws in the UK, our specialist can strengthen your position and retrieve the payment you are entitled to.