Commercial Debt Recovery

Forbes Solicitors' commercial debt recovery solicitors provides professional and effective debt recovery solutions for businesses.

More about Commercial Debt Recovery

Our commercial debt recovery lawyers can assist with all aspects of the commercial debt recovery process, including letter before action, court proceedings, and enforcement. Our commercial debt collection team understand the importance of cash flow for businesses and work to achieve the best possible outcome in a timely and cost-effective manner.The commercial debt recovery process follows a number of steps in order to give the opportunity for resolution before legal action is required. This can help ensure you are paid what is owed quickly and minimise the risk of irreparably damaging business relationships.

Our process involves pre-litigation activity first. If this is not successful, then we can start the process of issuing County Court proceedings. Once awarded a successful judgement, we can help you with the enforcement action required to cover the money owed to you.

We work on a fixed fee basis and depending on the amount of debt outstanding, we have transparent debt collection legal fees, which are competitive and reasonable



Pre-litigation is the first step in any debt collection legal process, and we aim to resolve as many cases as possible during this stage. Once we have been instructed to collect your outstanding debt, we will send an initial letter that gives the debtor 14 days to make payment. We will also follow this up via phone and text message. If this does not yield results, we will then, with your permission, issue a County Court Claim.

Debt collection Court process

Debt collection Court process

If your demands for payment during the pre-litigation process went unanswered, the next stage in the debt collection legal process is to issue a County Court Claim. A Judgment is an official document setting out how much a claimant believes they are owed. The debtor then has a choice to either admit the claim by filling out an admission form or defend the claim. If the County Court Claim is ignored, then the Court could issue a Judgment by default.

Issuing County Court proceedings

If you need to issue a County Court Claim, we can do so on your behalf. If you do have to go to Court, you will be able to claim for the following:

  • Invoice amount

  • Interest and any compensation due

  • Court fees

Solicitor's costs (Please note these are fixed by statute and there is a limit on the amount that we can claim for, but it will go some way to covering our costs.) If the Debtor disputes the claim, this will fall outside of our fixed fees and you will be referred to our Dispute Resolution department.

Enforcement of County Court Judgments

Enforcement of County Court Judgments

Once you have been awarded a successful Judgment, you then have a number of enforcement options you can choose from to recover your debt. The Forbes Collect team will be on hand to advise you of the best way to enforce your Judgment, options could include the seizure of goods to sell at auction or insolvency. Using a solicitor led recovery service has many benefits:

  • From the start, you will have legal expertise and experience behind you;

  • Straightforward practical advice, tailored to your business;

  • We work on a no win, no fee basis. So, if we don't recover your debt you won't have to pay us a penny;

  • Alternative ways of enforcing a CCJ;

  • The use of a cutting-edge, secure, cloud-based technology.

Debt collection process for small businesses

Debt collection process for small businesses

The debt collection process for a small business is just the same as larger business. Small businesses are entitled to add interest and compensation fees (where applicable) onto late invoices and the process will follow the same as above.

Small businesses can benefit hugely from instructing a debt recovery solicitor, improving cash flow and the presence of unwanted debts. Chasing late payments is time consuming, stressful and takes you away from running your business.

Also, many small businesses don't always have the resources to keep on top of those who pay late, or they may be worried how their customers will react if they are too persistent in chasing payments. Therefore, handing over responsibility to a debt solicitor can take away the personal element from chasing debt yourself and may result in more prompt payments in future.

Bad debt collection process

Bad debt is defined as accounts receivable that are unlikely to be paid, and as thus is treated as a loss and may be written off. However, it may be possible to recover bad debt in some cases. At Forbes Collect, our expert solicitor led service can help you recover bad debt or help you to receive payment before the outstanding sum turns into bad debt.

A late invoice will turn into an aged debt and could potentially become a bad debt as time goes by. If a debt has to eventually be written off, it could hurt your balance sheet and create cash flow problems for some businesses.

Using a solicitor led debt recovery service can help to speed up the process of payment. This is because the vast majority of businesses do not want to get into legal trouble as it can be costly and damage their reputation. This is why the vast majority of our 'bad' debt recovery happens during the pre-litigation stage.

Before we send out any correspondence to the debtor, we will undertake a Companies House search or an insolvency check on the debtor. If they are an individual or sole trader, we have a number of tools to trace an individual in the hope of gaining an up to date address. As part of our service, we will add statutory interest and compensation, where applicable.

The best way of dealing with the bad debt is by having steps in place to avoid it whenever possible. Having clear and enforceable payment terms can help to reduce future potential bad debt. If you are worried about damaging your relationship with your customers, you can always state that it is a condition of your insurance that you have to chase late payment promptly or escalate to solicitors where necessary.

More on Commercial Debt Recovery

How long is the debt review process?

How long the debt review process will take depends on how quickly the debtor pays their debt and what steps need to be taken in order for this to happen. During the pre-litigation stage, an individual/sole trader is given 30 days (minimum) to respond to our Letter Before Action, this is due to a new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Recovery Claims introduced in October 2017, whereas we allow companies 14 days to respond as they do not fall under the protocol.

If a County Court Claim needs to be filed this may take a few weeks and it may take even longer if they the debtor disputes the claim. Should you be successful in obtaining a Judgment and payment is still not forthcoming, you may have to start enforcement proceedings which, again, may take some time.

At Forbes Collect, our debt recovery solicitors have a high recovery rate obtaining monies owed to you during the pre-litigation stage and a small portion require us to issue Country Court claims and deal with enforcement proceedings.

Why choose our commercial debt recovery solicitors?

If you need the services of a commercial debt recovery solicitor our team are dedicated to providing efficient and effective debt recovery solutions for businesses of all sizes. With years of experience in the industry, we have a proven track record of successfully recovering outstanding debts for our clients. We understand the importance of maintaining positive relationships with your customers, which is why we approach debt recovery with a professional and diplomatic manner. Our team is committed to providing transparent and cost-effective services, ensuring that you receive the best possible outcome for your business. Choose us for reliable and results-driven debt recovery solutions.

Who do our commercial debt recovery solicitors help?

Our commercial debt recovery solicitors help businesses and individuals who are owed money by other businesses or individuals.How can our commercial debt recovery lawyers help?Our commercial debt recovery lawyers can help by providing legal advice and representation to businesses seeking to recover outstanding debts. We can assist with drafting demand letters, negotiating payment plans, and pursuing legal action if necessary. Our lawyers have extensive experience in debt recovery and can provide tailored solutions to meet the specific needs of your business. We work efficiently and effectively to recover your debts and minimise the impact on your business operations.

Get in touch with our experts today to access our team's vast experience in providing proficient legal services for commercial debt recovery processes to clients all over the UK.

Debt Collection Process FAQs

How do you recover business debt?

To recover business debt, start by reaching out to the debtor and attempting to negotiate a payment plan. If that doesn't work, consider hiring commercial debt recovery service or taking legal action. Be sure to document all communication and keep accurate records of the debt and any attempts to collect.

How does commercial debt collection work?

Commercial debt collection involves a third-party agency or law firm collecting unpaid debts owed by businesses to other businesses. The agency or firm contacts the debtor to request payment and may use legal action if necessary. The creditor pays a fee or percentage of the amount collected to the collection agency or law firm.

How do you enforce a commercial debt?

To enforce a commercial debt, you can start by sending a demand letter to the debtor, followed by legal action such as filing a lawsuit or obtaining a court judgment. Other options include working with a debt collection agency or negotiating a payment plan with the debtor.

What types of commercial debts can be collected?

Commercial debts that can be collected include:

  1. Unpaid invoices

  2. Overdue rent payments

  3. Unpaid loans or credit lines

  4. Unpaid bills for goods or services

  5. Unpaid taxes or fines

  6. Unpaid lease payments

  7. Unpaid salaries or wages

  8. Unpaid utility bills

  9. Unpaid insurance premiums

  10. Unpaid legal fees or judgments.

What are the benefits of using a commercial debt collection service?

Using a commercial debt collection service can provide several benefits, including increased chances of recovering unpaid debts, reduced stress and time spent on chasing debts, and improved cash flow for the business. Debt collection services must comply with the Financial Conduct Authority's regulations, which ensure fair treatment of debtors and adherence to ethical practices.

What happens if the debtor refuses to pay?

If the debtor refuses to pay, the creditor can take legal action against them. This may involve obtaining a court order for payment, or using debt collection agencies to recover the debt. In some cases, the creditor may also be able to seize assets or property belonging to the debtor to cover the debt. Failure to pay a debt can also have a negative impact on the debtor's credit rating and ability to obtain credit in the future.

How long is the debt review process?

The debt review process can vary in length depending on the individual's circumstances and the complexity of their debts. It typically takes between 3-6 months to complete, but can take longer if there are disputes or legal proceedings involved.

Our dedicated Forbes Collect team

Chris Bowers.jpg

Partner and Head of Department, Insolvency

Chris Bowers

Jack Tasker.jpg

Paralegal, Forbes Collect

Jack Tasker


Paralegal, Insolvency

Harry Silverman

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