Tracing Debtors For Payment: How to Get Your Money Back
If someone owes you money, you are entitled to fight to get them to pay. But sometimes that fight isn’t worth it. Depending on the amount of the debt is that is owed to you and the financial situation of the debtor, tracing them and pursuing the debt collection process may not be worth your time or the money.
Decide whether it is Worth Chasing a Debtor
If you have a debt that needs to be paid, but you’re not sure whether your debtor will be able to pay up, check out these steps for tracking down your debtor and deciding whether they are worth pursuing.
Tracing a Debtor
Before you can start to decide whether it is worth chasing a debtor, you’ll need to find them. If you’ve fallen out of touch with the debtor, it’s a good idea to start by trying to contact them via any phone numbers, addresses, or email addresses that you have for them. If they’ve moved or are avoiding you, you may have to go to greater lengths to trace them.
Social media can be a great way to trace a debtor, though not everyone is registered or registered under their real name. If you can’t find the debtor online or via other communications, it may be necessary to seek professional help via a tracing agent. A professional tracing service can help you track down your debtor, even if they no longer reside in the UK.
Determining Whether Your Debtor is Able to Pay
After you find your debtor, it’s time to determine whether or not they will be able to pay their debt. Start by running a search for the individual or company that owes you money on the government bankruptcy and insolvency register. This search will tell you whether the individual or company has ever filed for bankruptcy, or whether they have been involved in any insolvency cases.
Unfortunately, this search may not provide a full financial picture of your debtor. After three months, insolvency cases are usually removed from the database. The next step that you can pursue if your debtor is a corporation is to call the Companies Court to see if there are any outstanding cases against that corporation. Other actions that you can take when dealing with a company or an individual include:
- Hire an enquiry agent to look into an individual or companies public financial records.
- Search the County Court Judgments database to see if there are any outstanding cases against your debtor.
- Search the Land Registry to see who owns the address that you debtor resides at, or which the company operates from. If your debtor owns the property, you may be able to take your debtor to court and apply to secure the property as payment if they are otherwise unable to pay.
Serving a Statutory Demand
Once you’ve located your debtor and determined that you do want to try to get your debt paid, you’ll need to serve a statutory demand. You can attempt to send the demand to the debtor yourself. However, if they ignore it, or if you do not have a current address for them, you’ll need professional help.
A process server can help you ensure that your demand is served properly, and in a timely fashion so that you do not get your case dismissed by a judge. A statutory demand can only be filed if the debt was incurred less than six years prior to filing the demand and if the debt is £5,000 or more.
If you’ve loaned someone money or provided a product or service and not received payment, you are entitled to seek legal action to help you get the money that you deserve. While you can certainly try to chase a debtor on your own, the help of a professional tracing service and a process server can go a long way towards saving you time, money and stress!