Debt Recovery

There is more to debt recovery than simply filing a short form pleading!

Most debt collectors/debt collection law firms follow a very simple and regimented process. The aim is obvious, duplicate the generic process to keep costs to a minimum. That means their costs, not yours!

Their system works for the most part where no resistance is encountered. Letter of demand is sent, debtor pays, or, Statement of Claim is filed and served (most often by post), time for filing a Defence expires and Default Judgment is entered. Then the enforcement process begins.

The problem with this system is that generic pleadings don’t adequately identify the case against the defendant. What does this mean if you are a creditor and the defendant files a Defence or Notice to Plead Facts? Well put simply, filing the generic Statement of Claim was a complete was of time. You will need to re-plead your case (file an Amended Statement of Claim) at additional cost to you! What does it mean if you are the the savvy debtor? Well, you basically get further time (in the form of an adjournment) to consider and file your Amended Defence (commonly six to eight weeks), because you are entitled to be able to identify the case against you.

How does this benefit either creditor or debtor? Put simply, doesn’t. Time passes by and costs accrue.

Debt recovery is not a science but to be effective it does require precision in the pleadings.

There are a number of things you should do before commencing debt recovery action, collate copies of all Agreements, correspondence, amongst other things evidence of the correct names and contact details of the parties, terms of the agreement (if oral), invoices, details of part payment, details of delivery and acceptance of goods.

Depending on the type of matter there may be many more things.

There are also many other strategic factors to consider when considering debt recovery action; some are – who is the debtor? What is their background/payment history (likely recovery even with a judgment)? Is there any likelihood they will dispute the account? Filing and service costs, legal costs, recovery costs (writs, Bankruptcy and Wind up applications all cost money), costs to your time, cost in lost employee’s time.

If you correctly plead your case (and no valid Defence exists) you should obtain a Judgment from the Court. Ben has substantial experience in debt recovery matters in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Essentially the process is the same in each State. Once you have a Judgment you then need to enforce it. This can be a tricky and time consuming task. Even if the debtor is declared bankrupt or the company is wound up you may need to deal with liquidators and other parties to negotiate a return.

Benjamin J Horne has a wealth of experience in debt recovery matters. He has acted for both creditors and debtors over a number of years and has a superior knowledge of collections procedures, consumer law, debt sale agreements (assignments), commercial settlement ranges, and generally the finance, insolvency and debt negotiation industries.

One major point of difference between Benjamin J Horne Lawyer and his competitors is that Ben personally drafts each pleading. This means that the pleading is specific to the case and not a pre-populated pro forma printed off by a paralegal or junior staff member.

If you, or somebody you know are thinking of pursuing debts owed to you, or are not happy with the performance of your current debt collection/recovery team then contact Ben for a confidential and obligation free discussion. Conversely if you are a debtor or defendant to a debt recovery action who wants to discuss your options we also invite you to contact Ben and his team.