Late Payments for SME’s
Late payments are an issue for almost all small businesses, with debts slowly rising across all sectors, and knowing your options before the situation becomes critical can be an essential tool for your organisation’s survival.
The most important thing to do is to communicate clearly with your debtor, with a clear audit trail that could be presented to a Judge (if necessary) in the future. Set a clear deadline for payment, including any additional interest terms, and what your course of action will be if they still refuse to pay.
Options for Debt Recovery
If your debt is still not paid then you can apply for a judgment at the county court, or alternatively you can apply online on Money Claim Online (www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome). The debtor will have a set amount of time to respond to your claim, and failing to do so will see you win a judgment by default.
Once you have a County Court Judgment you have two options available to you, depending on the value of the Judgment:
- If the Judgment is less than £600, then it can only be enforced by the County Court Bailiffs.
- If the Judgment is greater than £600, but less than £5000, then it can enforced by the County Court Bailiffs or be transferred to the High Court and therefore enforced by High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs).
- Judgments over £5000 will be awarded in the High Court only and therefore can only be enforced by HCEOs.
If you have a Judgment that needs enforcing, or are owed money and are not sure what to do next, then give The Sheriffs Office a ring on 0333 001 5100 or visit us online at thesheriffsoffice.com