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What if someone owes you money?

What if you are a creditor who has money due to them? This happens on occasion and if you have a debtor that refuses to pay their debt back to you, you have ways of recovering the money you loaned them. The size of the debt and your ability to prove that you loaned them the money and that they have not paid you back yet will help determine just what action you can take in recouping the money that is owed to you.

Obviously you have been trying to contact the debtor who owes you the money.
When you do not get any response over the telephone it is time to write a letter to them. You should include the following information in your letter that states the facts of the situation between you:
  • Your name and address as well as your debtor’s name and address

  • Dated copies of any paperwork that relates to the debt you are trying to collect

  • A date by which you expect payment

  • A request that the debtor puts into writing any issues or disputes they have with you and your letter statement

  • Details of the action you will take if the payment isn’t received by the date you specify in the letter

Make sure that your letter is written in a firm voice that is calm and non-threatening. You need to make sure you stay within the law with what you say and that you send all of your correspondence by recorded delivery. Keep copies of all correspondence back and forth because you may need to use them as evidence if you have to take your debtor to court. Do not allow the debtor to draw you into heated arguments or lengthy letters and do not threaten legal action unless you plan to follow up with a suit against the debtor.

If your debtor still does not pay you the money they owe you or respond to your letters, you may wish to consider talking the case over with a debt recovery solicitor. They will write a letter to your debtor on your behalf explaining the legal action that could be taken against them if they do not pay you. There is a small fee for this service, but it normally produces results. You can also use a debt recovery agency that employs a solicitor to help you take legal action against your debtor.

When none of these options work you can try independent arbitration, mediation, and ombudsman schemes to collect the money that is owed you. The last step is, obviously, taking your debtor to court. This is going to be time consuming and expensive, so you should exhaust all of your options before taking legal action. They may not owe you enough to make it worth your while to take them to court. You should seek out the advice of a solicitor to make sure you have enough legal grounds and evidence to make a case against your debtor, otherwise you may only find yourself paying court fees for nothing.
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