How to collect a debt from someone

If you are trying to collect a debt from someone 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 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 and then a Bankruptcy Petition presented.

If the debtor is a company - the debt has to be over £750 to take insolvency action. A Statutory Demand would be sent and then a Winding-up Petition presented.


  • 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
  • Preparing a statutory demand is included in our 'No Recovery, No Fee service' - you are only required to pay the disbursements (i.e. court fees) for instructing a process server in advance
  • The preparation and service of a Statutory Demand are quick and inexpensive
  • Can either result in prompt payment of a debt or be useful to highlight any disputes over the debt


  • It is seen as an aggressive step and may have a negative impact on ongoing business relationships
  • It may not result in payment and the next steps would be issuing a County Court Claim or proceedings 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.

Our Forbes Collect team can advise you whether a County Court Claim or Insolvency action would be most effective in your particular circumstances contact Forbes Collect on 0800 689 4176 or email us on


Get in touch

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

0800 689 4176

13 Dec 2017

Forbes Collect


Who pays the price for commercial debt recovery claims?

If you are faced with the situation where you have to take one of your clients to Court to recover your unpaid…

Read the article

On behalf of everyone here at EvolveU we just wanted to say a massive thanks for all of your help and assistance with the Traffic Engineering and Management Services Limited


More clients

We are delighted with the Professional manner in which Forbes Solicitors deal with all our legal requirements and would not hesitate to recommend this Company.

Trident Fire & Security Group Ltd

More clients

We asked Forbes Solicitors to help when a client would not pay his bill. I sent an email to Katy, received a reply straight away, we were advised of the action that would be taken

Abby Welding Ltd

More clients

I contacted Alison at Forbes Solicitors regarding an outstanding debt which we were having problems getting paid for I would just like to say what a very quick and professional service she provided

Natalie Fairclough
Thermal Hire Ltd

More clients

The Woodscape Group have been relying on Forbes Solicitors for over thirty years and the work carried out by Alison Nelson and the team over the last few years has only strengthened

Richard Nelson
Managing Director
Woodscape Ltd

More clients

DPFOC relies on Forbes for all legal advice. We find the service to be professional, well-informed and affordable.

Eddie O' Driscoll

More clients

I was owed money for plumbing services provided and despite several conversations with the debtor to request payment, he was dishonestly claiming that he had paid despite their being no evidence

Martyn Whalley
Back on Tap Plumbing

More clients

Alison and her team have worked with us on a number of occasions now - so much so that we see them as an extension of our business!

Lucy Hyde
Managing Director
Higher Access Limited

More clients

Forbes have helped me immensely with bad debt recovery over the past few years.

Olwen Hope
Credit Control
Able 2 Ltd

More clients

I have used Alison Nelson for a number of years for debt collection. I would strongly recommend her for similar work.

Mr Fahmi
Consultant Plastic Surgeon

More clients

The professional and speedy way that Forbes dealt with this resulted in a very quick settlement of the matter. I can assure you that I will recommend Forbes for matters such as this in the future.

Morgan Rothwell
D&M Creative Limited

More clients

We have used Alison's services on a number of occasions and have always received the desired results!

Stephen Gibson
Operations Director

More clients

Make an enquiry