If you are owed money, chances are you are tired of dealing with recalcitrant debtors and broken promises to pay. We have considerable experience in advising and assisting clients in dealing with debtors and recovering money.
How We Can Assist
Our debt recovery lawyers can assist and advise in a variety of ways. Initially we take the time to understand your business and driving factors. This enables us to be proactive in dealing with your debtors. Ordinarily we review your Credit Application and Trading Terms and Conditions to determine precisely what is owed, what you can claim and the best way to progress your debt recovery.
If you do not have a Credit Application and Trading Terms and Conditions, our lawyers are able to prepare one for your business. A properly drafted Credit Application and Trading Terms and Conditions reinforce your position and ability to recover debts, interest, and legal costs from difficult debtors.
Our expert debt recovery lawyers will review your material and promptly provide you with their advice and recommendations on the most efficient and effective way to commence your debt recovery. Some of the options we recommend, depending on individual circumstances, are as follows:
Letters of Demand
The issuing of a stern letter of demand is often sufficient to prompt a debtor to make payment or to negotiate payment of a debt. Our team of lawyers are expert negotiators and can often secure repayment of the debt on favourable terms. All negotiations and agreements are documented to provide you with certainty about payment, and the ability to promptly escalate the matter if there is a subsequent default.
In some instances, debtors ignore a letter of demand. This necessitates the matter being escalated and recovery proceedings being issued. Letters are ignored where the debtor is confident that you may not escalate the matter further. Often debtors do not understand that you may have an entitlement to recover penalty interest and legal costs from them, in addition to any amounts which may be outstanding. Our lawyers take the time to carefully consider your claim, they provide advice on the prospects of recovery and any potential issues (defences or off-setting claims) which may arise prior to commencing proceedings.
Generally speaking, for debts under $100,000 proceedings will be commenced in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. Debts where the claim amount exceeds $100,000 will be commenced in either the County Court of Victoria or the Supreme Court of Victoria (depending on the nature of the dispute).
Once a debtor is served with a Magistrates’ Court Complaint, the debtor will have 21 days to either file a defence or to resolve the matter by making payment of the claim, interest and costs (or any other amount as may be agreed from time to time). If the debtor fails to resolve the matter or file a defence, you can promptly apply for default judgment and proceed to enforcement.
Once a debtor is served with a Writ and Statement of Claim (County Court or Supreme Court Proceedings), they will generally have 10 days to file a Notice of Appearance or to negotiate a resolution. A Notice of Appearance is evidence that the debtor intends to defend the claim. A defence is usually required to be filed 28 days after the Notice of Appearance. If the debtor fails to resolve the matter, file a Notice of Appearance or a defence, you will be in a position to apply for default judgment.
Irrespective of the venue where judgment is obtained, we can advise, assist and promptly action enforcement of a judgment debt on your behalf.
Creditor’s Statutory Demands
In some, but not all, circumstances you can side-step the issuing of a letter of demand or commencing proceedings by serving the debtor with a Creditor’s Statutory Demand.
What is a Statutory Demand?
A Creditor’s Statutory Demand is a demand served on a corporate debtor (a company). The demand requires payment of the debt claimed within 21-days. If payment is not made strictly within this time the debtor company is presumed to be insolvent (unable to pay their debts as and when they fall due). Following non-compliance with the demand, you are entitled to commence proceedings in the Federal or Supreme Court to have the corporate debtor wound up (placed into liquidation).
We have a proven track record of advising and assisting clients in post-judgment enforcement. Our legal team can advise on and promptly identify the most efficient method to enforce a debt and recover monies which are owed.
Our approach is to recover our clients’ funds from the debtor in the fastest and most effective way. In addition to debt collection our lawyers can help make your debt collection process smoother and more effective.
Excellent Service. PCL did a great job advising me about my rights and protecting my name and business goodwill. I can absolutely recommend this very professional service.
If I had of gone to another law firm that was cheaper I may have saved many thousands of dollars but as it turns out I may have lost a lot more than that upon settlement. Using a firm such as PCL lawyers I had the peace of mind that each issue as it arose was dealt with in a very matter of fact way and to the letter of the law.
Out of speaking to two other lawyers you were the only one to give me any genuine advice.
Thank you so much for your assistance. Should I ever have the chance to recommend you I will do so.
I appreciate your time and effort and thank you for your prompt response and professionalism. I would not hesitate to use your services again and refer PCL Lawyers to others.