Debt Recovery

Forbes Collect is our unique commercial debt recovery process, supporting your business in the collection of unpaid invoices.



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Unpaid debts can cause huge problems for businesses. At the very least, chasing late payments can be frustrating and time-consuming, but a good cash flow system is also an essential factor to ensure success. When your business' cash flow is affected by unpaid debts it can potentially prevent work from being carried out, or staff from being paid, which may harm your business in the long run.

Forbes Collect is a unique commercial debt recovery process to aid you in the collection of your unpaid invoices. If payments are not being received on time, our expert debt collection team will assist you to recover any outstanding invoices in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

If you need assistance with recovering any outstanding debt, then contact our debt collection experts on 0800 689 4176.

Commercial debt recovery: Our Services

Forbes Collect is a unique commercial debt recovery service and our team can aid you in the collection of your unpaid invoices.

Our three-step Forbes Collect process involves:

  • Pre-litigation process
  • Issuing Country Court Proceedings
  • Enforcement of County Court Judgments

Forbes Collect is a debt collection service, pursuing several legal avenues in an attempt to get your late invoices paid. The first steps are called pre-litigation; this includes issuing a letter and chaser attempts. If payment is still not received after the pre-litigation steps, you can choose to issue a County Court Claim, a statutory demand, or instruct bailiffs to enforce County Court Judgments. Throughout this whole process, we will work closely with you, advising of the best course of action whilst keeping you informed with any necessary updates.

As a solicitor led business debt recovery service, Forbes Collect has the experience and resources to offer an efficient commercial debt recovery service for small businesses, consultants and freelancers, as well as medium and large businesses from across the country. The Forbes Collect team provides straightforward and practical advice that reflects the needs of your business. We work on a fixed fee basis and to stay as efficient as possible and to keep our clients in the loop, we use the latest cutting-edge, cloud-based technology.

If you are looking for debt recovery from an overseas company, then our debt collection team from our Dispute Resolution department will be happy to assist you.

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Get in touch to see how our experts could help you.

Call0800 689 4176

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Contacting Us

Monday to Friday:
09:00 to 17:00

Saturday and Sunday:

Business debt collection FAQs

If you are looking for a business to business debt collection, then we can help. Our expert debt recovery team work with businesses, large and small, to recover any outstanding debt on a fixed fee basis. Contact our debt team today on 0800 689 4176 and we'll help you to get those unpaid invoices paid.

What is business debt?

A business debt is quite simply a debt that a business owes to another business. It is normal for a business to have debt, but there are times when a debt becomes a problem and can impede cash flow. Businesses can have bad debts which is when the amount owed is unlikely to be paid and the creditor is unwilling to collect due to several reasons.

How to collect a debt?

If a customer or client has not paid up within the period stated within the terms and conditions of payment, then you can implement the following steps:

  • The first step is to send a polite but firm reminder followed up with a phone call
  • If payment is still not forthcoming it may then be worth contacting a solicitor led debt recovery service such as Forbes Collect
  • Before contacting a debt solicitor, you will need the following documents:
    • Any terms and conditions agreed by the customer
    • Invoices/statements
    • Any other communications regarding the debt
    • Other relevant information that you think we may need to be aware of.
  • Once instructed, a letter before action will be sent to the customer/client, followed by chase attempts usually by phone, email or text message. This part is called pre-litigation, and in the vast majority of cases, the outstanding invoices are paid at this stage
  • A Statutory Demand can be sent if there has been no payment or communication
  • If payment is still not forthcoming, then it may mean issuing a County Court Claim. This will be done on your behalf by the Forbes Collect team
  • If the customer/client disputes the debt, then the case may go to Court. This action will fall out of Forbes Collect's remit and the case will be passed on to our experienced Dispute Resolution team
  • Successfully securing a County Court Judgment against a debtor enables you to use enforcement methods, should payment not be forthcoming.

Using Forbes Collect brings expertise, efficiency and legal weight behind your attempt to chase your outstanding debts. It also takes the pressure off you and leaves you free to continue running your business. At Forbes Collect, we add interest in addition to the outstanding debt, which is currently set at 8% above the Bank of England base rate for companies and a flat 8% for individuals/sole traders.

Contact Forbes Collect today on 0800 689 4176.

How much does debt collection cost?

At Forbes Collect, we work on a fixed fee basis. Our fee structure is transparent and easy to understand; for a full break down of how much our debt collection service costs click here.

What are the differences between Forbes Collect and standard debt recovery agencies?

A debt collection agency is a company that pursues unpaid invoices or outstanding debts on behalf of the creditor. Whilst not being a debt collection agency, Forbes Collect is a unique, solicitor-led service that will aid you in the collection of your unpaid invoices.

Debt recovery agencies will put a large amount of pressure on debtors from the start as they are not able to issue County Court Proceedings on your behalf, subsequently damaging commercial relationship's in some instances.

While every debt collection agency in the UK is subject to the same legislation and regulations, each one will have their own set of procedures that they will follow, within that framework. Forbes Collect is a solicitor led debt collection service, so are well placed to take legal action against a debtor, if needs be.

We are experts in debt recovery and bring the following added benefits:

  1. We provide straightforward, practical legal advice that is adapted to the needs of your business
  2. We can progress your claim by issuing Court Proceedings should the circumstances require it, something that debt recovery agents cannot do
  3. If the claim is defended, we have a team of solicitors who can advise on next steps and ensure that the best course of action is taken whilst ensuring costs are kept to a minimum
  4. We pride ourselves in delivering the highest standard of client care and service, ensuring that our client's come first and that their requirements are central to everything we do:
    • Efficient and streamlined collections makes debt recovery as easy and cost-effective as possible for our clients
  5. We have a straight-forward and transparent pricing structure, ultimately allowing our process to be as easy as possible to follow
  6. Many alternative ways of enforcing a County Court Judgment

The Forbes Collect service is designed to guide you through the whole process, from the initial letter stage to enforcement stages. We can give you pragmatic advice and support you throughout.

How old can debt be to collect?

In England and Wales, in accordance with the Limitation Act 1980, you have six years to pursue an unpaid debt. This period runs from the date payment falls due.

After this timeframe has elapsed the debt becomes Statute Barred. This means that if you pursue the debt and issue a County Court Claim after the six years have expired, the debtor has a complete Defence to the claim. This means that the debtor could use the expiry of the limitation period as a reason for not paying the debt. The burden would then be on you to prove that the time frame hasn't expired.

However, if you have been in contact with the debtor but believe the time frame to have lapsed it is always worth checking with our Forbes Collect team. The debtor may well have acknowledged the debt and so you may be entitled to pursue the unpaid invoices in any event.

What impact does a County Court Judgment have?

Once we have issued a County Court Claim on your behalf and have been successful in gaining a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against the debtor; it means the Court has ordered the Debtor to pay a sum of money over to you. This will be the amount of the claim, plus interest from the date of issue of the claim to the date of the Judgment. The order will either provide for payment forthwith, which means immediately, or will provide a deadline for payment.

The CCJ will be registered on the register of Judgments and, unless the Judgment is paid in full within 30 days of the deadline, it will have a detrimental impact on the debtor's credit rating. This will affect their ability to get credit. If the debt is paid after the 30-day deadline, the Judgment will not be removed from the register, rather it will only be marked as satisfied.

However, a judgment does not in itself guarantee payment of the debt. Our team may have to take further enforcement action should the debtor not be forthcoming with payment.

What is the process for Insolvency Proceedings?

If you are trying to collect a debt and do not wish to issue County Court proceedings one alternative way is to commence insolvency proceedings. The first step in insolvency proceedings is to serve a statutory demand, which is a formal demand for the payment of a debt. This demand gives the debtor 21 days to make payment of the debt in full. The debtor is subsequently warned that failure to make payment will mean that a bankruptcy or winding-up petition will be presented.

If the debtor is an individual - the debt has to be over £5000 to take insolvency action. A Statutory Demand would be sent followed by the presentation of a Bankruptcy Petition.

If the debtor is a company - the debt has to be over £750 to take insolvency action. A Statutory Demand would be sent , again, followed by the presentation of a Winding-up Petition.


  • The threat of bankruptcy or winding-up proceedings can be a powerful incentive for a debtor to pay given the serious nature of insolvency proceedings.
  • The preparation and service of a Statutory Demand is quicker and cheaper, resulting in payment or the presentation of any disputes the debtor might have.


  • It is seen as an aggressive step and may have a negative impact on any ongoing business relationships
  • It may not result in payment and the next steps would be issuing a County Court Claim or proceeding with the threat and presenting a Bankruptcy or Winding-Up Petition - this is very costly
  • If a debtor can raise an arguable defence to the obligation to pay, then the demand may be set aside, and you would have to proceed by way of County Court proceedings. This step should particularly be considered if the debtor is a company and you know that they are in a position to pay their debts & financially doing well.
Can you still act if the Debtor is based in either Scotland or Northern Ireland?

If you are pursuing debt from a company in Scotland or Northern Ireland, this is considered out of jurisdiction and thus a different fee structure applies. Please contact our Forbes Collect team for more information if your debt is out of jurisdiction and we would be more than happy to advise you of your best possible action in recovering the outstanding debt.

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Get in touch to see how our experts could help you.

Call0800 689 4176

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Our Reviews

Forbes Collect - Play video

Video length: 1m 21s

Forbes Collect is a unique debt recovery process to aid you in the collection of your unpaid invoices. This video highlights the benefits of using Forbes Collect for your business.

Our dedicated Forbes Collect team

Sadie Butler

Sadie Butler

Head of Forbes Collect

Forbes Collect

PinCentral Lancashire

Call0333 207 9388

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Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 17:00
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