Every business at one time or another will have a customer that will not, cannot or dispute the payment of their debts. Having an effective debt recovery system for your business is essential. Peacockes Solicitors are experienced debt recovery lawyers who can add their expertise to your debt recovery system. Steps to take are as follows:
- Have a friendly payment reminder system- send invoices quickly and consist- ently to your customers, include due date for payment and payment options. If an invoice remains unpaid contact the person owing the money with a re- minder letter, also phone them. If still no payment or response send the customer a final notice.
- If not successful then send the debtor a ‘letter of demand’ which demands pay- ment or commencement of legal action.
- If the debtor fails to respond legal action is commenced with the court by filing of a ‘statement of claim’ which is served on the debtor. The amount of the debt will determine which court has jurisdiction for example debts under $10,000 are heard by the Small Claims Division of the Local Court, larger debts are heard by higher courts.
- The Debtor (defendant) has 28 days to file a defence. At this point the debt may be paid or an agreement negotiated. If no defence is filed, the Creditor (Plain- tiff) can seek a default judgment against the Defendant. If a defence is filed the court will adjudicate.
Debt recovery can be complex, if you have a debt that is difficult to recoup contact Peacockes.