Late payments are a common problem for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which can create cash flow problems, stifle business growth, and be the difference between insolvency and profitability. You can make a money claim online if you think a person or organization owes you money and will not pay you back.
a) Writing a Letter before Claim
Before you start your money claim it is a good idea to write a formal letter to the person or business you disagree with, (they are called the ‘defendant’). This is called a ‘letter before claim’ or a ‘letter before action’. You will need to do this even if you have already written to them to complain and if the amount claimed is high or the matter complex such that they can have a counterclaim it is advisable to use legal help. If the letter before the claim does not resolve the problem, you can start your claim by filling in a form.
Write ‘Letter before claim’ at the start of your letter to show this is a formal letter. Your letter should include-
• Your name and address
• A summary of what has happened
• What you want the person or business to do about it
• How much money you want and how you have calculated that amount
• A deadline for the reply, which could be usually 14 days
• That you will start court proceedings if you do not get a reply
b) Filing the Money Claim
You can either fill in the claim form online or download and print it. There is a small fee to file a claim and the amount depends on the amount of money you are owed and therefore claiming for. The fees start at £25. You can only file a money claim if-
• You are claiming less than £10,000 as this is called a small claim.
• You are over 18 and your claim is against someone who is over 18.
• You have an address in the UK.
• You are not making a claim under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
• You are not making a claim for personal injury.
• You are not making a claim for a tenancy deposit.
• You do not need help with court fees.
• You are not making a claim against a government department or agency, for example, HMRC or DVLA.
• You are not making a claim to get compensation for an accident or injury.
• You are not making a claim to get your tenancy deposit back from your landlord.
c) What happens next?
What happens next depends on whether the debtor agrees to pay the amount or decides to defend the claim and/or counterclaim. The debtor has 14 days to respond, after which time if there is no response you may decide to issue a County Court judgment (CCJ). Many individuals and businesses do not want a CCJ against their name as all CCJs are on the public record and can affect any credit search made against the debtor’s name and future credit. But if the debtor does defend the claim, then it is likely that the case will get a hearing in court. If you get it wrong the defendant may counterclaim and you may lose more so its important to have a strong case with evidence and proof of loss.
For expert assistance regarding filing a money claim, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp us on 07583452230 and we can connect you to the right professional. Visit www.bizlawuk.co.uk to find out more about how we can help you with our other services. If you find this information useful, please follow our social media platforms, like and share it.