Debt Recovery Guide To Legal Costs

DEBT RECOVERY

At VMD our Debt Recovery Charges are published in line and in accordance with the price transparency rules laid out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This page sets out the cost for engaging VMD Solicitors to recover debts.

These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice(s) which is not disputed, and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one-off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

STEP 1: Pre-Action Stage

Letter Before Action (LBA).

  • This is a simple letter sent to the debtor requesting payment
  • Requiring the debtor to pay within 3 -14 days
  • We charge a fee of £75.00 plus VAT

Fully Compliant Pre-Action Protocol Letter

  • This is a fully compliant Pre-Action Letter in accordance with CPR 1998
  • The debtor has 30 days minimum to respond and up to 90 days in complex cases
  • We charge a fee of £250.00 plus VAT

STEP 2: Commencing Legal Proceedings

We issue all debt recovery claims for Claimant(s) and Defendant(s) online up to £100,000 via the Money Claim Online. This online court service offers our client a cheaper way of paying court fees than issuing a claim at the County Court.

The pricing below shows MCOL fees and our fees which is recoverable if the debtor pays the claim without dispute. The cost includes us submitting the claim form and drafting of the particulars of claim.

The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.

STEP 3: Requesting Judgment

If the debtor does not respond to the claim on time, we will request that the courts makes an order for them to pay and enter a default judgment against the defendant. We will charge the following fees for this action.

STEP 4: Enforcing the judgment

If VMD is successfulin obtaining a judgment against the debtor, we will write to the debtor giving them an opportunity to settle the debit. If the debtor fails to settle the debt within the prescribed time period, we will instruct High Court Enforcement Officers (the HCEO) to enforce the judgment and recover payment.

Our fee to instruct HCEO Court fee for judgement to be transferred to High Court Total
£100 plus VAT £66 £166 + VAT for solicitors’ costs


Additional costs

You will be required to pay an abortive fee of £75.00 Plus VAT if the debtor is unable to pay the fee or the HCEO cannot enforce the judgment.

If the debtor is unable to pay the judgment and the HCEO cannot enforce, you will be required to pay the HCEO an abortive fee of £75 + VAT.

If VMD is required to correspond or liaise with the HCEO regarding the instructions, additional charges may apply which will be based on the hourly billable rate of the solicitor. Case Worker, Paralegal or Associate conducting your matter.

Timescale

Once the HCEO has been instructed, they will apply to transfer the judgment to the High Court. This can take 4-8 weeks subject to the court’s availability. The HCEO will then send a notice of enforcement to the debtor giving them seven days to pay. If the debtor fails to pay within this timeframe, an enforcement officer will be sent to attend their premises to try and make a recovery.

Additional services

(A) Statutory demand against companies or individuals

A statutory demand is not in itself a court process but is a formal demand for payment which must be taken seriously and can be used as a precursor to insolvency-based proceedings, such as a winding up petition against a company or bankruptcy proceedings against an individual / sole trader.

A statutory demand should only be used in circumstances where the underlying debt is not genuinely disputed, for example, if the debt is admitted or if there is a judgment for it.

Solicitors’ costs:

Solicitors’ costs for preparation of a fully bespoke statutory demand Process server’s fee (cost depends on location of debtor)
£500 plus VAT £100 – £150


Timescales

Statutory demands are normally served within 48 hours against companies and partnerships. They can take longer to serve against individuals as it can be harder to locate individuals. However, we act with trusted process servers who are very good at locating their subjects.

(B) Winding-up petition against companies

Provided the debt is not subject to a genuine dispute or can be extinguished by a valid cross-claim by the debtor, it may be appropriate to present a winding-up petition against the company owing the debt. Winding-up petitions can also be used where the debt is based on a court judgment which has not been set aside, appealed or based on an expired statutory demand.

Solicitors’ costs for drafting petition and  arranging for issuing and service Disbursements (mandatory costs)
£750 plus VAT Court fee £280
Official Receiver’s deposit* £1,600
Process Server’s fee £150

*If the debtor pays the debt and the petition is withdrawn or dismissed, the Insolvency Service will provide a refund of £1550 for this fee after a period of time.

Timescales

It typically takes us 1-2 days from the date of instruction to draft and issue a petition and send it out to a process server for service.

(C) Bankruptcy petition against individuals

If you have received a court judgment that has not been set aside or appealed; or if a statutory demand has been validly served and not set aside, a bankruptcy petition can be presented against an individual or sole trader debtor.

Solicitors’ costs for drafting and issuing bankruptcy petition Disbursements (mandatory costs)
£750 plus VAT Court fee £280
Official Receiver’s deposit £990
Process Server’s fee £150

In the event that a bankruptcy order is not made at the hearing (for example the debt is paid or the petition withdrawn), you will receive back £940 of the original deposit paid.

Timescales

It typically takes us 1-2 days from the date of instruction to draft and issue a petition and send it out to a process server for service.