Can't pay or won't pay a business debt ? | Bluestone ARM | Bluestone ARM


The best use of resources ?

Take this scenario – you are a creditor owed £10,000.00 by another business. You obviously want and need to get paid, and all attempts to obtain payment have fallen on deaf ears. You don’t know what to do, so consider going to see a solicitor, but you have doubts about this, as you’ve heard it will cost a lot of money.

In the above, all too common situation, what’s more important, finding out whether you have a watertight case and getting a solicitor to perhaps send a letter before action to the debtor, or to try and explore why the debtor may be ignoring the debt ? In other words, is it more important to try and establish the legal strength of your claim or perhaps whether the debtor has assets which mean it is worthwhile pursuing the matter further ?

This is not an easy question and of course, in an ideal world, you will want to opt for both of the above, and this does happen in many cases. But, if you need to choose priorities, surely it is more important to know if a debtor is worth pursuing before you consider pursuing them ? If you don’t do this, the almost inevitable result is that you will spend further time and possibly significant amounts of money chasing a debtor who isn’t going to pay, county court judgment or not.

The counter argument put forward on the above is often that there is no absolute way of legally finding out what assets a business or individual has. This is correct, but skillful and experienced investigators, using 100% legal methods, and at a cost proportionate to the amount owed, can very often obtain information which enables a creditor to make a more informed decision, rather than simply “stabbing in the dark”.

Many creditors also believe that if they obtain a  county court judgment (ccj), the court will then enforce it’s judgment in the same way as with a criminal matter. This is completely incorrect. The court, with a civil judgment for money, will do nothing. It is for the creditor to then use one or more of the available enforcement options, which cost more money and time, to try and enforce the judgment. Doing so without some idea of what assets and liabilities a debtor has is, without an asset trace, often guesswork which goes nowhere.

At Bluestone, we provide cost effective asset tracing and pre-sue reports which assist in the crucial determination of “can’t pay or won’t pay”. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help.


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