07 Apr Does Someone Owe You Money?
An important part of every business is making sure that your clients pay you for the work you’ve done, or the services you have provided for them. If a client doesn’t pay this can be very detrimental to your business’s ability to operate and grow. So what can you do if someone owes you money and isn’t paying?
When faced with a situation where you are owed money by a debtor (defendant), there are two paths you can go down to resolve the situation. The first path, and by far the most preferable option, is to attempt to negotiate with the debtor to resolve the situation. By contacting the other party you may resolve the situation quickly and efficiently, as the debtor may have some exceptional circumstances that have forced them to be late on their payment. By contacting the debtor you can negotiate with them to resolve the issue in a favourable manner for both parties. By contacting the debtor you could resolve the issue by arranging for payment on a certain date, or arranging for the debt to be satisfied by a payment plan. You can negotiate with the debtor yourself, or you can contact the experienced solicitors at Steiner Legal and ask them to negotiate for you.
If you are unwilling to negotiate, or negotiations have failed, you can commence legal proceedings to recover the debt. The first step we take in looking to recover a debt is the sending of a letter of demand to the debtor. This letter informs the debtor of their debt obligation, and warns the debtor of potential formal court proceedings if the debt is not satisfied by a certain date (usually 7 days from the date of the letter). If the debt is not satisfied by the notice date, we then begin formal court proceedings to the recover the debt by filing a statement of claim.
A statement of claim is a formal court document which asserts that the debtor owes a debt to the claimant (plaintiff). Following the filing of a statement of claim, the debtor has 28 days to either pay the debt, make arrangements with the claimant regarding the settlement of the debt or to file a defence. If a defence to the statement of claim is filed the matter will proceed to a hearing. At the hearing, the evidence of the case is laid out before a judge who will then decide, based on the evidence, whether to rule in favour of the debtor or the claimant.
If however, the debt has not been paid, and no defence has been filed, we will then file for default judgement in your favour. A default judgement is a court order stating that the debtor owes the amount claimed by the claimant. Once we receive a default judgement we can then commence enforcement proceedings to recover the debt. These proceedings include filing for a writ to take possession of the debtor’s property, or taking money from the debtor’s bank account to settle the debt.
If you require assistance with recovering a debt owed to you please contact Steiner Legal and our experienced team will be able to provide you with advice and representation.