Signing Up

How can I get my customer to pay their overdue invoice?

You need to act quickly and firmly to recover your money as soon as possible. Sign up to become a Lovetts Solicitors client and we will send your debtor a letter today.

Do I have to pay to sign up?

No, it is completely free to become a Lovetts client. You will only pay if you instruct us to provide a specific service. 

Can I speak to somebody before I decide to sign up?

Absolutely. You can fill out this form and a member of our sales team will respond, or you can call us on 01483 457500 during normal office hours.

How long does it take to sign up?

After registering, a member of our team will be in contact with you within one working day to discuss with you the situation you would like our assistance with. Once we have spoken to you, we can have you registered within about an hour and you can start instructing your paralegal right away.

What happens after I sign up?

When you sign up we will complete the necessary checks on your company and then contact you to discuss your situation further. 

You will then receive a welcome email containing the contact details of your paralegal, our terms of service and price list, and you will be able to start managing your cases straight away. This is mainly through our bespoke online portal CaseManager, for which you will be provided login details for in your welcome email.

What checks do you do on my company before I can become a client?

Every company we take on as a client has to pass a credit check. When you sign up you provide us with authorisation to carry out this verification on your company.

Do I need to visit your office at all?

You are more than welcome to, but the vast majority of clients have no need. Our online system allows us to share all necessary documents online so we can provide excellent service for you regardless of your location in the world.
 

Does the profile of my debt fit with the type of clients you serve?

We work on behalf of companies, partnerships, proprietors and individuals to collect primarily business and commercial debts. 

I have an old ledger of debt that I would like to collect – is this something you can assist with?

Definitely. We are set up to handle a large volume of accounts at varying stages of collection, so if you work with us you will receive an extremely thorough and efficient service. Contact us today with any debts that are up to six years old.

How do you handle conflicts of interest?

As a law firm we have to carry out a conflict check to ensure that we do not act for both parties. When, infrequently, we find we do have a conflict, we will refer you to an alternative solicitor who would be able to pursue the debt on your behalf.

Managing My Cases

Will there be somebody at Lovetts to guide me through my cases?

Yes, you will be assigned a dedicated paralegal who will work on all of your cases and keep you updated with the progress. They will be available to you during office hours to answer any questions you may have at any step along the way.
 

How can I submit a new case or instructions to my paralegal?

You can log into our online portal, CaseManager, to input the details quickly and easily or you can contact your paralegal by phone, email or letter if that suits you best.
 

How can I track the progress of my cases?

Our online portal, CaseManager, will constantly be updated with the progress of your case and you can log in anytime. On here you will be able to view all internal correspondence related to your case, court documents, legal costs and all actions we have taken on your behalf.
 

What am I responsible for after I pass a debt on to you?

You must ensure you give your paralegal instructions promptly at each stage of your case, and keep them informed of balance changes and disputes.
 

Do I have to do everything online?

No, you don’t. Although the vast majority of our clients find it much easier and more efficient to manage cases online, you will always be able to phone or email your paralegal if that is what you would prefer.
 

Will I have control over my legal costs?

Absolutely! There is a clear price for every service we provide and you will have to approve each action we take on your behalf before we do anything. CaseManager allows you to review your legal costs 24/7. View the price list here.

How often will you contact me about my cases?

We will contact you at all the key points in the progress of your case and guide you through these. You can also review all on-going cases at your convenience through our online Casemanager.

What form will that contact take?

All updates will be immediately uploaded to CaseManager for you to view at a convenient time. We will also be in touch by email, letter and phone depending on how you like to be informed.

What are your opening hours?

We are open during normal office hours: Mon to Fri 9 to 5.
 

Can more than one person within my company manage the cases?

Of course. Simply inform your paralegal of each of the colleagues you would like to have access to CaseManager, and we can provide them personal login details which enable them to view each case from their account.
 

What statistical reports can I expect?

Online CaseManager has a dashboard with Key Performance Indicators. CaseManager also has individual reports that you can use to suit your needs.

What are your service levels?

• We will issue standard LBAs, LPDs and PreLegal letters the same day if we receive your instructions by 2.00pm

• We will issue standard Claim forms and Judgments the same day if we receive your instructions by 2.00pm

• We will commence standard Enforcements (including Insolvency) the next day, if we receive your instructions by 2.00pm

• In Defended work, we shall be working to a court-imposed timetable. Subject to receipt of instructions from you promptly, we will meet the timetable

• We will normally reply to letters, faxes, emails and web messages within two days of your communication

• When the person you require is unavailable to take your telephone call, we will ring you back within 4 working hours.
 

The UK Debt Recovery Process

What happens after I send a letter before action?

If your debtor doesn’t pay or contact you within seven days, you will be prompted by your paralegal to decide whether or not to pursue legal action. If you do, the next step would be to begin County Court proceedings (issue a claim against your debtor), and eventually get a Judgement against them. The Judgement will stay on their credit report for six years and give you the authority to use enforcement methods to pursue the debt.

In some situations, applying to make your debtor insolvent or bankrupt is the better alternative. Your paralegal will be able to advise you once they know the details of your case. 

Are there alternatives to issuing a claim?

In appropriate cases you can consider insolvency proceedings. This may include a draft winding up petition against a company. If payment is not made, the petition is sent to Court to wind up the company. Alternatively, if you have a debt against an individual you would start with a Statutory Demand. If payment is not made, a Bankruptcy Petition could be issued.
 

Is a Statutory Demand the best way to collect a business debt?

These can be extremely effective if an individual owes you money, but we don’t recommend the use of a statutory demand for a limited company because they provide an additional 21 days for your debtor to avoid payment or mount a defence. Draft winding up petitions are much more effective and only give the debtor 7 days to pay before they are at risk of their company being wound up.
 

If I start an action in England or Wales and it is undefended, how quickly is it likely to be resolved?

Typically, 8 – 10 weeks, assuming your debtor doesn’t come forward with the money at any point during the legal process. You can enter a Judgement within 20 days of your initial claim, and if a bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer needs to be instructed your case will take between 4 to 6 weeks to be resolved.

To reduce the time on each case, make sure you provide your paralegal with the instructions to make the next action on your behalf as early as possible throughout the process. You can do this by monitoring CaseManager and remaining updated.

What is a Defence?

If your claim is disputed by the defendant, the defendant will fill a defence form detailing the nature of the dispute and file it with the Court. The Court will send you a copy of the defence and ask if you wish to proceed with your claim in light of the defence.

 

What is Summary Judgment?

Summary Judgment is a means of short-cutting the normal Court process but, because of this, the Court only allows it where there is a clear paper-trail which proves each point in the Claimant’s case and disproves each point made by the Defendant. Because of this it is not suitable where:

•  There is a lack documents
•  There are quality disputes
•  Where what was said is in dispute
•  Where expert evidence is needed to prove some part of the claim
•  Where there are allegations tantamount to fraud.
 

The hearing is purely to examine the documentary evidence to see whether it proves the Claimant’s case beyond doubt by showing that the Defendant has no reasonable prospect of successfully defending the matter at trial. The Court applies a higher degree of proof to Summary Judgment than at full trial when all the normal safeguards of disclosure of documents etc would have been completed. The defendant gets the benefit of any doubt.

 

What is the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims?

It is a procedure, in force from 01/10/2017, to be followed when writing to warn an individual or sole trader that you will be claiming payment from them in court. The protocol requires the letter before action (LBA) to include a great deal more detail about the debt, and it allows the debtor 30 days to reply to the LBA using a prescribed form to outline their position. Furthermore, any requests for documents or time to seek legal assistance by the debtor result in an extension of 30 days. Lastly, at least 14 days written notice must be provided by the creditor before they finally do file their claim with the court.

The main aims of the protocol are to allow debtors enough time to access legal help if they require it, and to enable the parties to resolve the matter without the need for court involvement. Subsequently, this process takes a great deal longer than the typical 7 to 14 days usually required, and requires much more administration to be carried out by the creditor.

You can read more about this and download a detailed guide on our website here.

 

Can Lovetts send my debtor a Pre Action Protocol for Debt Claims compliant Letter Before Action?

Yes, we can. We have designed a service where our pre-legal department will handle the whole process for you on a no win-no fee basis with 10% commission for UK debts. If unsuccessful after the time has expired, the matter will be moved to our legal department where it will be handled as usual from our normal fixed fee price list.

If you are currently a client and wish to order a PAP compliant LBA on CaseManager, we have prepared a tutorial for you. 

Alternatively, your company can handle this in house and transfer the matter to Lovetts only when legal action is required. We have prepared a full guide for use in this situation which includes a letter template and everything else you will need to send a compliant letter. The guide can be downloaded here.

The International Debt Collection Process

What does PreLegal mean?

It is a term we at Lovetts use to explain the methods of debt recovery we use prior to starting legal proceedings – letters and phone calls.

We thoroughly research the history of your debt and the person or company who owes the money so that when we do contact them on your behalf, they will be very likely to pay immediately without the need for legal action.

Why do you charge a percentage commission on international debts rather than a formal price list?

We operate our international debt recovery department on a “no win-no fee” basis, so if we don’t recover your debt for you, you don’t have to pay anything. This advises you of the cost upfront, and allows you to pursue your debt completely risk free.
 

Can Lovetts issue legal proceedings in a foreign court?

We can. In the rare instance that contact is made with your debtor but payment is not forthcoming, we can transfer your case to our legal department so formal proceedings can be started. On some occasions we may recommend that you instruct a local lawyer or agent in the debtor’s own country to pursue the debt further.
 

If legal action is taken, will it be under UK law?

Not necessarily, that depends on your contract with your debtor and can vary in every situation. You can speak to a member of our legal department who will advise you the best course of action to take, and with a team of agents across the globe Lovetts will be able to assist you in the majority of circumstances.
 

Have you still got an unanswered question?