There are two reasons to proceed down this route, sometimes, when you have tried your absolute best in trying to settle a debt out of court, there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and start the procedure of Litigation. The other is when a debt is disputed, the only way forward is to start Litigation. If successful, litigation will result in a judgement in your favour, ordering your debtor to pay your debt. To view mere about disputed debts please visit our Litigation - Disputed Debts page.
The general process will consist of:
- Pre Action Protocol
- The issue of a Claim Form including particulars of claim and evidence of claim
- Notice of Issue
- Acknowledge of Service
- Defence and Counterclaim
- Request For Judgment in default if the claim is not disputed by the debtor
Once the Claim has been served
Once the Claim Form has been submitted, the defendant has the opportunity to wrap the whole thing up fairly swiftly if they want to, especially if the debt is undisputed.
The defendant will have the opportunity to pay the debt in an out of court settlement to prevent his Credit Rating from being damaged severely once a County Court Judgment has been obtained. It is likely, if there is no dispute, the Defendant will complete the Admission that he receives in the Response Pack from the court (See Notice of Issue page for more info). The defendant will have to also stipulate how they intend to pay the debt, whether it is by instalments or in one lump sum. Once the defendant has submitted this then the court will award a Judgment in the Claimants favour.
If the defendant has opted to pay the debt in one lump sum then they will have 14 days to pay the debt, the Judgment then is not registered on their credit file, however, be it even a day late, you can Enforce the Judgment and the County Court Judgment will be on the defendants Credit File for 6 Years! To see more on Enforcement please click here.
If they opt for instalments then the Judgment will be registered on the defendants credit file and will stay on there for 6 years regardless. Again, if they default on this then you need to jump to our Enforcement Section to look at how else you can obtain your funds!
If the Defendant does not pay
If the claim is defended or a counter claim has been issued, then the Litigation starts getting more involved and more time consuming. However if your documentation is in order then there is no reason for it to be a long, drawn out argument. Please see our Litigation - Disputed Debts page to see more information on the general procedures.