Legal Proceedings

Claims and Judgments

If you send a Letter Before Action to your debtor but you do not receive a satisfactory response then the next stage in the legal process is to issue legal proceedings through the County Court. This is a formal process where the debtor will be sent a court form requiring them to pay the debt, plus interest and costs within 14 days. If the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 applies, compensation of £40 - £100 per invoice will also be added to the value of the claim.

Issuing a Claim

Lovetts are members of the County Court Bulk Centre (CCBC). This means we are permitted to issue claims electronically through a centralised Court Service interface which guarantees claims are issued within 48 hours of being sent to the CCBC. It also provides a discount on the usual court fees, which we pass on to our clients.

At Lovetts we don't just blindly process claims in an automated fashion. Every claim is checked by a senior member of our Legal Department before being sent to the Court, to ensure you are suing the right person in the right way and that we are giving you the very best service possible.

What if the debtor doesn't pay?

If the debtor does not either pay within the time period or lodge a defence to the claim then you can apply to enter Judgment against the debtor. This has two effects :

1. Judgments are a matter of public record for six years after the judgment date and thus will negatively affect the debtor's credit rating for that period unless the debtor pays the entire sum owed within one month of the judgment having been entered, or subsequently obtains your consent to certify that the debt is satisfied.

2. Once judgment has been entered against a debtor a range of enforcement methods are then open to the creditor to secure payment of the debt. Your Lovetts Paralegal can tell you the strengths and weaknesses of each type of enforcement and advise on the most appropriate solution for your specific circumstances. Read more about Enforcement.

Getting Judgment

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a Court Order that confirms that the debtor has defaulted on payment. The CCJ is the final decision by the Court which gives you the power to take enforcement action in order to collect the debt. The CCJ is also recorded against the debtor’s credit record affecting their ability to obtain credit.

We also enter most of our judgments through the CCBC. There is an exception when there are more than two defendants. In this scenario, Lovetts will issue a claim through the County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC) and the CCJ will subsequently be obtained through that Court for you.

What if the debtor doesn't pay after Judgment?