If you are in business, dealing with individuals who sometimes don’t pay, you may be thinking about “going legal“. The County Court rules relating to debt claims are due to change in October 2017 and you must be aware of the new protocol to follow or the Court will impose sanctions.
The main changes are the work that has to be done and the longer timescales before you can safely issue a court claim. You have to allow the debtor a lot more time, pre-action, providing more details of the debt itself and also listening more to any proposals for settlement. This may sound frustrating when you’ve done the work and expect to be paid, but there has been a trend for some time now for the Courts to require the parties to try to settle without using the Court’s time and resources, which are constantly under pressure – as are those who haven’t been paid, one might argue!
In particular, note that “individuals” now includes “sole traders” – so this not only relates to private debts but also could take in some commercial work.
The significant point is to make sure that you have all the details you need before you start chasing the debt so that you can keep up the pressure within the Court’s timeframe. The lesson to learn from all this is that it is more important than ever to keep accurate records, emails, evidence of communications etc when you’re in business and expect to be paid for the work you’ve done.
If you need any help with this, contact the Dispute Resolution team at Curwens – Rose Albay – 0208 363 4444.
How would you face up to the financial realities of splitting up? Sadly, the future can look grim because suddenly the truth may be dawning – after divorce, one partner has to face all the bills alone and often with a family to provide for.
Often the partner without the care of the children is not prepared to face up to the reality of paying maintenance for what they cost – clothes, trainers, school trips etc. We would always advise clients to focus as soon as possible on the realities of their financial future and the budget that will be needed.
We would always advise our clients to protect themselves at a very early stage by closing bank accounts to avoid becoming jointly and severally liable for debts they haven’t incurred, in case they have a vindictive or spendthrift partner. Getting involved in debts and CCJs, could severely affect your credit profile and damage your chances of getting a mortgage in the future.
All our clients in this position are strongly advised to review their wills. Divorce affects a will provision in any event because a divorce decree absolute means that the ex-spouse is “deemed” to have pre-deceased. A new will should therefore always be made, as well as a full review of your financial position going forward including life cover, pensions, investments and so on.