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A guide to recovering debt from an individual or company

By z4027672030, Dec 11 2015 12:21PM

If an individual or a company owes you money but is not willing to pay it, there are options that you can take which will help you to recover your debt. The steps you’re able to take will depend, however, on the size of your debt and if you can prove that you are owed the money.

Speak to your debtor

Simply speaking to the person in a calm manner may lead to an informal agreement as to how your money will be repaid.

Write the debtor a letter

Speaking to the debtor may not work, so making it formal and putting it in writing by writing them a letter asking for the money back may help. You should include how much money is owed, what the money is owed for, and any steps you’ve taken before to claim back the money. Keep the letter as formal as possible, and also include the details of the parties involved, when payment is expected, and steps you plan to take if payment is not received. If possible, you should also send them dated copies of any paperwork related to the debt as well.


Mediation may be the answer if you struggle to reach a solution by either talking to or sending a letter to the debtor. With mediation, the two sides both air their views on the matter, with a mediator helping the two sides come to a solution. It is much cheaper and quicker than going to court, and if it doesn’t work out, there is still always the option of going to court afterwards.

Enlist the help of a solicitor

If mediation doesn’t work out, it could help to discuss your case with a solicitor that specialises in debt recovery to find out about the next steps you can take. For a fee, they can write a letter to the debtor which will also warn them of potential legal action that may be taken – this often works in many debt recovery cases. If you’ve reached this stage and are seeking the help of debt recovery solicitors, North Devon firm Taylors Solicitors are here to help.

Take your case to court

If you’ve exhausted all other options, then making a claim in court is usually your only other option, though it is always best to seek legal advice before taking this step. Taking a case to court can be a lengthy and costly process, however, and there is no guarantee that you will win, so make sure you have taken any other steps possible before pursuing a court case. Even if you do win, you may not necessarily get the money back straight away, and you may need help in enforcing the court’s judgment from bodies such as the High Court Enforcement Officers.

Image: 401k, available under Creative Commons

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