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Debt Recovery

Debt recovery is part of a business that all owners hope to avoid. Unfortunately, its sometimes necessary if a person or company is late paying for a service or product they have used.

If your business is owed money Attwells Solicitors can help you recover your debt. We can do this with chasing letters known as a Letter Before Action (LBA) and warn against further legal action.

It is reported that a Letter Before Action sent from a solicitor can be between 80% to 94% successful in receiving a full payment. This enables you to recover your debt without spending money on Court action.

Attwells Solicitors can also help you take court action if required by issuing court claims, obtaining a CCJ (County Court Judgement) and enforcing it. This includes insolvency proceedings if required.

How much do Letters Before Action cost?

Letters Before Action cost £50.00 plus VAT per letter. These will be sent via Record Delivery to ensure the recipient receives the letter. Where an email address has been provided your solicitor will also email the recipient via our CASE Management system at no extra cost.

As per the pre-action debt protocol rules set out by the Courts the debtor must respond within 30 days. Once we have a response, we can offer you advice on the next step. The next step very much depends on their response but can range from payment to starting proceedings.

What happens if the debtor doesn’t pay?

This is rare but where the debtor has failed to make a payment or agree a settlement or payment plan, we can act on your behalf to issue a county court claim.

If no defence to the claim is received within 14 days, we can enter default Judgment (CCJ). We can then advise on how to enforce the CCJ against the debtor and their assets.

How much does applying and enforcing a CCJ cost?

Applying and enforcing a CCJ is a fixed fee averaging between £250.00 - £750.00 plus VAT depending on the size of the debt. You will also incur court fees; these are outlined on the Government website


From sending a letter of Claim to entering default Judgment is likely to take between 6 to 8 weeks but often the debtor pays after receiving the Letter of Claim.

The stages involved in recovering debt:

  1. Letter of Claim sent by email and post
  2. Response from Debtor within 30 days.
  3. We will advise you on the Debtor’s response and advise on what action to take.
  4. If no response received within 30 days, we can issue proceedings on your behalf.
  5. If no Defence to claim received within 14 days we can enter default Judgment.
  6. We can then advise on how to enforce the judgment against the debtor and their assets.

What happens if the debt is disputed?

If your debt is over £10,000, we would invite you to submit your evidence.

Supporting evidence would include:

  • A copy of your terms and conditions or contract
  • Any letters e-mails or other communication with the debtor

Our solicitors will ask you to do this as it could well be that if the debtor has signed a contract with you, they may well be in breach of contract. This would offer you a strong case when defending the dispute.

A disputed legal matter is typically regarded as litigation as it has moved beyond the debt recovery stage due to the debt being disputed. 

How much does debt litigation cost?

If your debt is disputed Attwells Solicitors can still help. We offer fixed fees and will support you from start to finish.

Typically, a disputed debt costs between £1,000 to £5,000* plus VAT.

This fee may include:

  • Review of documentation in advance of drafting letter of advice (subject to reasonable number of documents)
  • Letter of advice setting the legal position, our advice and an assessment of prospects of success for any potential claims
  • Applying to the court
  • Attempts to settle including mediation

Can the debtor also pay my Court costs?

For debt over £10,000 yes, potentially the debtor would pay your legal bill, but only if they disputed the debt and therefore caused you to take legal action.

If you do not win your case however you will still need to pay your legal bill. Therefore, for debt under £10,000 we suggest you seek advice from CAB and attempt to resolve the issue via the small claims court. This is to protect our clients from spending more on legal fees and court costs then the debt is worth.

Why choose Attwells Solicitors for your debt recovery?

Attwells Debt Recovery Team is run by a specialist team of lawyers led by an experienced debt recovery Partner, Will Oakes. Our Debt Recovery Team deal with debt recovery matters on a regular basis and have experience in all forms of court proceedings.

Who will do my work?

Your matter will be undertaken by our Team located left or at the bottom of this page.

For more information on debt recovery please call Edward Powell on 01206 239755.