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"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to changeDarwin"

Debt recovery during Covid-19



Introduction

The pandemic continues to present businesses with various difficulties. Consequently, cash flow must remain a top priority, with the recovery of any debts or outstanding payments an essential part of this. The advice to businesses is to therefore continue chasing any unpaid invoices owed by customers.

Payment arrangements

It is likely that some customers will be struggling and unable to repay their debts in full at the moment. Businesses will need to be mindful of this and ensure any chasing is done sensitively. For those that are struggling, businesses are encouraged to work with the customer in finding a viable solution. This might include offering terms such as payment breaks or accepting funds via instalments.

County court

Where customers are refusing to engage in resolving matters, legal action remains an option with county courts still open for money claims. Indeed, with several recent instructions we have found the threat alone has been enough to encourage customers into paying our clients.

If proceedings are to be issued, these can be done online and if the customer fails to respond, judgment will be awarded in the normal way. Where the case is defended and proceeds through to trial, the courts are increasingly making use of new technology in order to conduct the hearings via telephone or video conference.

Enforcement action

It is the enforcement of any judgments which are most affected by the current crisis. Bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers are not currently attending premises and the courts are not listing enforcement hearings. It means if a business is awarded judgment and the customer still refuses to pay, it may be some time before they can actually recover the money.

Insolvency

While not a form of debt recovery in itself, some businesses often do threaten delinquent customers with insolvency action, routinely issuing statutory demands against late payers. And whilst this continues to remain an option open to them, it is important to note that all insolvency hearings have been postponed for the time being and therefore will not take place or be concluded for some months now.

Summary

Although an exceptionally difficult time for many, businesses should not be discouraged from taking any action necessary to recover their unpaid invoices. Indeed, it may prove essential for some businesses to survive. Therefore, if your business has any unpaid invoices and you want to know more about our services or need any assistance with recovery, please email Wesley or call him on 01202 888 300.


Article Date: 22/05/2020

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