Debt Recovery

Our specialist debt recovery solicitors combine debt collection with seamless legal enforcement and are a natural extension of your credit control team.

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Debt Recovery Solicitors

Full-service business debt recovery solicitors with competitive fixed fees

Late payments and unpaid invoice debts can severely disrupt your cash flow and ultimately the sustainability of your business.

Our all-in-one TW Collect service combines national debt collection with seamless legal enforcement and is a natural extension of your credit control team.

TW Collect operates on a national basis, recovering debts for clients of all sizes, from individuals or businesses with a single debt recovery requirement to large commercial organisations that need our support on a more regular basis.

No debt is too big, and our client list includes local authorities, utility companies and private businesses across all sectors. The comprehensive service extends from an initial letter of demand through to pre-action, legal action, court procedures and comprehensive debt enforcement to recover the money you are owed.

Based in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, TW Collect emerged from a deep understanding of business practices which comes from working closely with owners, directors, executives and managers at all levels and sectors in multiple fields of the law.

It is difficult for businesses to navigate the debt recovery procedure alone, given the ever-changing laws and court procedures. However, many outsourced debt recovery services are not legal experts and buy in the enforcement aspects from a third-party lawyer, adding to the cost.

We are different. As a full-service debt recovery service, TW Collect combines the latest technology with traditional tenacity and an exceptional ability to apply the full range of legal tools available.  We have an excellent track record in getting debt monies collected quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, and usually before formal legal action is required.

However, if enforcement is unavoidable the team swiftly reverts to the experienced debt recovery solicitors in our renowned national law firm. This seamless, joined-up transition is extremely successful, meaning that even debts you had given up on have a good chance of recovery.

TW Collect operates a competitive fixed fee structure that ensures true value for money, and we are so confident we can recover your invoice debts at a pre-legal stage that we offer a ‘no recovery – no fee’ service. If you get paid, so do we, which ensures our determination to succeed on your behalf.

Discover our debt recovery services

Our expert advice covers:

  • Letters of claim
  • County court and high court proceedings
  • Mediation
  • Statutory demands
  • Bankruptcy petitions
  • Winding up petitions
  • Charging orders and orders for sale
  • High court enforcement officer instruction
  • Third party debt orders

Contact us at our St Albans, Harpenden or Luton offices to discuss a tailored strategy that maximises the prospects of recovering your debts in the most efficient and cost-effective way.




Latest debt recovery insights

29 October 2019

Is it now more acceptable to use insolvency proceedings as a method of debt collection?

It is generally understood that as Insolvency proceedings (Winding Up Petitions or Bankruptcy Petitions) are summary processes. They are appropriate… read more


Answers to your questions about our debt recovery service

How will TW Collect work with my business?

TW Collect provides a cost-effective nationwide commercial debt recovery service, specialising in the recovery of undisputed invoice-based debt contracted in England or Wales and against debtors in the UK.

As a critical element of your debt recovery process, our specialist team will work closely with you to achieve high recovery rates and the best possible outcomes for you and your business.

Our online case management system allows you send us new instructions quickly and efficiently, whilst showing you how cases are progressing whenever you want.

We work hard to settle as many cases as possible without having to resort to formal legal action. But when we must, we will also issue court proceedings and advise you every step of the way.

How much does TW Collect cost?

Whether you need our help with pre-litigation or with formal legal proceedings our expert debt recovery solicitors offer cost-effective solutions, including ‘no recovery – no fee’.

The cost of recovery will depend on what actions are needed to get your debt paid. There are three main steps to debt recovery with TW Collect, which attract different costs:

  • Pre-action steps
  • Court proceedings
  • Enforcement

Where appropriate, we will add compensation and interest charges to late invoices to cover our fees and allow you to benefit from the full value of the debt. In our experience, most debts will be recovered during the pre-action steps.

What evidence will I need to recover money owed to my business?

Ideally, before providing goods or services you will have a signed contract, which defines what happens when a debt occurs. Other documentary evidence such as bank statements, purchase orders, e-mails etc. should be gathered to show you have fulfilled your side of the contract.

It is also important to keep a record of your attempts to encourage the debtor to pay or achieve a negotiated settlement. If any doubt exists, contact our experienced debt recovery team and we will advise your best next step.

Can I charge interest on overdue debts?

If you have a contract with your debtor this may provide a credit and confirm how interest will charged. If there is no written contract (or in addition to a written contract), the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 provides the basis upon which interest can be charged.

If a business is late paying for goods or a service you can charge ‘statutory interest’, which is currently 8% above the Bank of England base rate for business-to-business transactions. However, if the contract contains a different rate (and the terms are incorporated) you cannot claim statutory interest.

Your contract with your customer is likely to also define your right to recover any costs associated with collecting debts. For commercial debts the Late Payment Act of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 allows specified amounts for ‘reasonable debt recovery costs’.

Does winning my debt recovery case in court guarantee me getting paid? 

Unfortunately, the short answer is no. Winning your debt recovery case in court does not necessarily mean you are going to be paid. Having been awarded a judgment, if the debtor still will not clear the debt by the date determined by the court, or misses payments, the next step is for you to enforce the judgment via the courts.

TW Collect will advise you on the best and most cost-effective way to enforce your judgment, having first ascertained the debtor’s financial situation and if they are an individual or a company.

If it appears the debtor has goods or assets that can be sold, we can pursue them using bailiffs or high court enforcement officers to collect the money you are owed or to seize goods to be sold at auction to raise the value of the money you are owed.

If we discover your debtor is owed money by a third-party, we can ask the court to order them to pay the money direct to you instead of the debtor. This is a third-party debt order and can also be used if the debtor has money in the bank. The order will freeze the amount of your claim and the debtor will be offered a court hearing before you are paid.

We can also seek an attachment of earnings order (AEO) should the debtor be in gainful employment. This court order would ensure their employer deducts a regular sum from the debtor’s pay and directs it to you until the judgment is cleared.

A charging order registers a charge against the debtor’s land, property or other valuable assets and will prevent the debtor from selling or mortgaging the asset without first clearing your debt.

Is my debt worth pursuing?

If there is a reasonable chance of recovering the debt owed to you and the cost of recovery is less than the debt, then the answer is likely to be yes. Not pursuing small debts might seem the easy option but you risk setting a dangerous precedent and emboldening other small debtors to not pay.

Before pursuing larger debts, you must understand why the debtor has not paid you. If they have concerns about the goods or services provided and are disputing the payment, typically the issue will need to be resolved before looking at recovering the debt.

If you know your debtor is suffering cash flow difficulties you could negotiate a reduced lump sum payment or arrange a payment plan, particularly if you hope to maintain a relationship.

When the debtor has become insolvent you are unlikely to be able to recover any significant amount, but if your contract includes a valid retention of title clause you could recover the goods.

Also, it may not be worth pursuing a debtor with a debt relief order (DRO) as this means the total value of their assets is less than £300 and you cannot enforce your rights for a year while they try to address their problems.

What is the legal process for recovering business debts?

When your own methods have failed you can rely on TW Collect to recover your debts through a comprehensive, cost-effective service that covers the main steps to recovery in England and Wales.

Letters before action (LBA): The first step in recovering your debt will be for us to issue an LBA, also known as a letter of claim, which requests payment and warns that without payment a court claim will be issued. The LBA details what is owed by the debtor and provides a set period in which to pay (typically 7-14 days).

This is a critical step in the debt recovery process as failing to issue an LBA before commencing any formal legal proceedings means costs may be forfeited. In our experience, the majority of debtors will respond to the LBA and clear their debt to you.

However, if your debtor is a sole trader (or individual) you must now adhere to the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims which prevents you from sending a standard LBA.

Claims and judgments – in cases when the LBA does not elicit a positive response from your debtor, the next stage is to issue legal proceedings through the county court. The debtor will be sent a court form requiring them to pay the debt plus interest and costs within 14 days.

TW Collect operates a highly efficient claims process, driven by the experience of our specialist debt recovery lawyers who check every claim carefully to ensure we are providing the best advice. This action offers the best outcome and ensures that you are suing the right person.

County court judgment (CCJ) – A CCJ is issued when the debtor has defaulted on payment, and it allows you to start enforcement action to collect the debt. A CCJ will also be recorded against the debtor’s credit record and will affect their ability to obtain credit in future.

Can my solicitor fees be added to the debts being collected?

Typically, when debts are below £10,000 the courts do not allow for the addition of legal costs to the recovered debt, even if your claim is successful, which means the recovery might not be commercially viable for you.

However, ensuring that the terms and conditions of your commercial contracts carefully detail what will be charged to recover bad debts can save you having to write off small amounts. When the debt claim is above £10,000 a successful party is more likely to be able to recover its legal costs.

Will I need to go to court to recover debts?

No. In cases dealing with uncontested debt recovery claims, the courts will not require you to attend the hearing, except in highly exceptional cases. If you choose to issue court proceedings after receiving our advice, the process will be handled in its entirety by our experienced debt recovery team on your behalf.


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