Debt recovery is a specialised and resource-heavy process. It can be time-consuming and expensive, particularly without the latest equipment and processes. Our clients benefit from our experience, cutting edge technology and resources, partnering with us so that our highly trained experts become a seamless part of their internal function.
For many of our clients, partnering with us is an opportunity to be more agile and dynamic in relation to their collection function. We flex our support, providing increased capacity during busy periods, and allowing our clients to significantly reduce costs during quieter parts of the collection cycle.
LF Debt Solutions are challenging the status quo in debt recovery. As the specialist debt recovery arm of Lupton Fawcett LLP, one the UK’s top 150 commercial law firms, we are more than a traditional debt collection agency and more than standard debt recovery solicitors. We partner with our clients to make their businesses more efficient and more profitable.
If you want to discuss a new way of working, which means you can focus on growing and developing your business, contact us today.
In the short term, a traditional debt collection agency may appear to be cheaper, based on a low percentage fee or attention-grabbing fixed fees for basic services. We have no interest in competing with these providers. Our clients understand that, in the long run, the operational efficiencies we bring to their businesses, and the resulting increase in profitability, make us the most cost-effective option.
Our experience, skill and tenacity mean that you can get us involved at any stage, even some time after the debt falls due, and we will approach recovering your debt with confidence. Debts do become more difficult to collect as time passes, but our expertise and creativity mean that we achieve impressive levels of recovery, even on debts more than 365 days overdue.
Our preference is to work as a genuine partner with our clients, acting to prevent bad debts occurring in the first place by ensuring all processes and documentation are fit for purpose.
We are disrupting the way debt recovery is carried out. Unlike a traditional debt collection agency, we partner with our clients to become a seamless part of their business, streamlining their workflows with our creative approach and unrivalled resources.
Our highly trained experts ensure that all your documentation and processes are fit for purpose, minimising the risk of bad debts arising in the first place; we carry out detailed due diligence on your customers, so decisions are made based on accurate information; and we communicate professionally and effectively with your debtors to effect successful recovery.
At LF Debt Solutions, we are challenging the status quo in the debt recovery sector, including in relation to our charging structures. Unlike traditional debt recovery solicitors or agencies, we will tailor our pricing to the exact circumstances of the case, reflecting the genuine partnership we have with our clients.
What this means is that our clients enjoy potentially 100% free debt recovery services on successful collection.
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Our clients benefit from a free strategic ledger check, which determines the health of their debt portfolio. Decisions can then be made about any debts which are likely to cost more time and money than they are worth.
Some businesses choose to write off very small debts, although you should be wary of setting a precedent in cases like this. For larger debts, our expert investigators ensure that our clients have accurate and detailed information on their debtors. This means that you will know why your customer has not paid.
We take the lead in assessing the chances of successfully recovering your debts. We are tenacious and highly skilled in the collection process, and realistic and practical about providing the right solution for our clients.
No. We provide full-service solutions for our clients. We tailor our approach to the circumstances of each case whether you are looking to recover £10 or £10 million.
At LF Debt Solutions, we are challenging the normal way of doing business in debt recovery. We provide solutions to the issues you are facing, rather than imposing a formulaic set of procedures onto your business. As a result, we will manage your debt recovery in the most appropriate and effective manner for your business, whatever that looks like.
Every debt is different, so each solution needs to be tailored to the individual circumstances of the case. We provide our clients will a complete picture of their debt position, allowing strategic decisions to be made about the best approach.
If your customer is not able to repay, demanding immediate full repayment is likely to be fruitless. Formally rescheduling a debt can give your debtor time to organise their affairs and get their business running smoothly. In the long term, this can be the most profitable course of action and can strengthen relationships with your customers.
The debt recovery process is different depending on each set of individual circumstances. If you are looking to recover a significant sum from a customer you wish to retain, but which cannot pay, a long-term repayment plan might be the most appropriate solution. On the other hand, contact from our trained experts can be enough to immediately secure payment of a debt.
One certainty is that we will communicate regularly with you, so that you know precisely the state of the process at every stage.
The best solution, if you intend to charge interest on any unpaid invoices, is to clearly state that in your terms and conditions. Our clients have clear, unambiguous documentation which minimises the opportunity for disputes arising.
In the absence of a contractual term, you can charge interest under the terms of the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 (for business-to-business debt) and Section 69 of the County Court Act 1984 (for business to consumer debt). These provisions allow interest to be charged at 8% per annum above the Bank of England Base Rate.
Late payment compensation can be charged on each overdue invoice under the terms of the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. The amount which can be charged is based on the value of the invoice:
- Up to £999.99 = £40
- £1000 – £9,999.99 = £70
- Over £10,000 = £100
Any compensation costs added to the claim need to be proportionate in the circumstances of the case.
Our approach to debt recovery is based on our core principle of honest and direct communication. As your partner, our team is a seamless extension of your business, and we value your customer relationships as much as you do. Experience has shown us that most businesses respond well to clear and robust credit management processes from their suppliers.
We communicate professionally and diplomatically with your debtors, using the knowledge gained from the due diligence process to build a clear understanding of your customer’s circumstances. Each step in the recovery process is explained to the debtor and any problems are addressed swiftly and appropriately.
Our experience is that our clients benefit from improved customer relationships once we are part of their operation. Complete clarity in relation to the terms and conditions on which you are transacting, efficient and consistent processes, and professional, ethical collection procedures, all mean that debt recovery is as smooth as possible. Our enhanced due diligence capacity also means that our clients know their customers better than their competitors, further improving relationships.
Every debt is different, so each case must be considered on its individual circumstances. We provide full-service solutions for our clients, recovering business-to-business debts from large, multi-national PLCs, SMEs, and sole traders, as well as collecting unpaid monies from individual consumers.
The solutions we provide are tailored to the specific situation, including the type of debtor involved. Each set of solutions we employ is unique, but there are some typical features of different types of debtor which are worth considering:
- Individuals and very small businesses are more likely to face temporary cash flow issues and are more likely to be unable to pay following legal action.
- Public sector debtors are worth pursuing as they are backed by the government.
- Sole traders can be pursued in a personal capacity if their business is unable to repay. Company directors, in most circumstances, cannot be held personally liable.
- Larger companies may try to use their greater financial muscle to delay payment and engage in lengthy dispute resolution proceedings. Often these disputes are resolved quickly once communication with the right person at the debtor is established. Our clients know exactly who to contact at their customers to get results.
Our clients enjoy strong negotiating positions because we ensure that their documentation is clear and unambiguous. Unclear terms and conditions are often at the centre of disputes about monies owed. A “retention of title” clause in terms covering the supply of goods strengthens this position further, as you own the property until payment is received in full.
Negotiating positions also depend on the relationship you have with your customer, particularly the on-going relationship you wish to have with them. We understand the nature of our clients’ customer relationships, as well as the prevailing market conditions which can determine the shape of the medium and long-term landscape in their sector. These considerations are all factors in assessing the strength of your claim for repayment.
Legal action is usually the last resort in the debt recovery process. Before going to court, we employ the most appropriate pre-legal solutions for the individual circumstances of the case. Direct, professional, and unambiguous communication with the debtor throughout the process is vital.
A better understanding of their customers also means that, if there is a dispute, our clients know about it early, meaning that, in most cases, issues can be resolved, and payment arranged swiftly and amicably.
Having said that, the chances of recovering a debt decrease significantly over time, and we understand that it is important to move quickly and decisively. Our experience and proactive approach deliver the right solution for our clients whatever the circumstances.
The first step to taking legal action is a formal letter demanding payment. The letter must clearly state the terms under which you are requiring payment, the amount to be paid and the date by which payment must be made. It should also be made clear that legal action will follow if you do not receive the money.
We ensure that our clients have processes and documentation which are fit for purpose and make clear that an obligation to pay has arisen. This makes any necessary legal action much more straightforward.
For cases in the “small claims” track, a solicitor is not normally required, and only very limited legal costs can be included in your claim. For larger claims, you are not required to use a solicitor, but it is advisable.
The most time-consuming part of a legal claim is usually collecting the evidence you require and completing the necessary court forms ahead of the hearing. We take the lead on this for our clients, meaning the resources that need to be allocated to preparation are minimal. There may also be a significant wait for a hearing date – three to six months is typical, although it can be as much as two years before a more complex, multi-track case is heard.
The fee payable for commencing legal proceedings is determined by the size of the debt you are seeking to recover. This fee ranges from £25 for an online claim for up to £300, to a £10,000 fee for a claim over £200,000. You will need to meet these costs as you move through the process, although your debtor will usually be ordered to pay your court fees if you win the case. You may also claim some other, limited, costs and expenses from your debtor.
Once judgement is obtained, you may still face costs and delays in enforcing the ruling. Our experience and tenacious approach ensure that enforcement is conducted as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Communication is always key when dealing with a dispute. The best response if your debtor claims that the quality of the goods or service provided was inadequate, or that you did not provide them on time, is to resolve the dispute swiftly and amicably. Clear, consistent processes, unambiguous documentation, and our professional, proactive approach mean that our clients are generally able to settle disputes of this nature quickly.
If the dispute cannot be settled, the fact that you negotiated in good faith and attempted to resolve the dispute without legal action will be taken into consideration by the court and will put you in a stronger position.
As the specialist debt recovery arm of Lupton Fawcett LLP, we can draw on the full weight of one of the UK’s top 150 commercial law firms, with some of the best litigation and alternative dispute resolution lawyers in the country. We are ready to deal with any disputed debts which arise, confident in our ability to deliver a successful result.
No. If the debtor has no assets or income, it will be impossible to recover the money owed to you, and the judgement you receive will have no value. Our due diligence expertise ensures that our clients know the financial status of their customers, so that sensible, informed decisions can be made about recovering debts.
There are several enforcement options available once a legal judgement has been obtained. The best solution will be determined by the exact circumstances of the case.
Possible enforcement options are:
- Warrant of control – for low value debts.
- Writ of control – for larger debts.
- Information Order.
- Charging Order.
- Attachment of earnings.
- Third-Party Debt Order.
- Insolvency proceedings.
Read more about enforcement options here [link to Enforcement page].