Disappearing debtors: Improving Your Chances of Successful Debt Collection
Sometimes a debtor will change address without notifying creditors, leaving those creditors feeling pretty helpless as far as debt collection goes.
As a creditor it might seem like they have gone for good, but remember: nobody really disappears off the face of the earth.
So what can you do about it? Well, under the Civil Procedure Rules there ARE debt collection measures you can take in order to improve your chances of seeing your money again. Just take a look…
Your Legal Position
As somebody suffering from disappearing debtor syndrome you can still take legal action for debt collection. All you need to show is that you have taken reasonable steps to find out the debtor’s current address.
If you don’t manage to discover the address, then it’s still not over… That’s because you can still issue debt collection proceedings by serving documents on the debtor’s last known address.
However, in such cases eventual debt collection enforcement can be problematic. Therefore you should definitely take a long-term view about recouping the money owed.
Nevertheless, providing you obtain a County Court Judgment against the debtor, you can place a black mark on their credit record that could remain for six years.
In some cases this black mark will alert the debtor to your grievance immediately, providing they keep an eye on their credit score. If they don’t, the outstanding debt’s urgency may become apparent to the debtor the next time they apply for credit. If this happens you might be surprised by the results. Indeed, you could find the outstanding sum is paid relatively swiftly in order to have the Judgment recorded as having been paid and therefore improving their credit rating
Did you know? You can always use specialist trace agents to track down your disappearing debtor in order to ensure a successful debt recovery. Many of these work on a ‘no trace – no fee’ basis, saving you from exposure to further financial risk.
At Lovetts we have found trace agents to be very effective in tracking down disappearing debtors. Providing they ascertain the debtor’s current address you can avoid the course of action outlined above and follow the more usual debt recovery process.