It can be incredibly frustrating to be owed money. You have done the work or loaned the money in good faith. It could be an individual or a business who haven’t paid up. What can you do legally if someone owes you money? Let’s take a look.

It’s Not Fair

Firstly, we agree, it isn’t fair. When someone owes you something and you have bills to pay and mouths to feed, it can be stressful and irritating. The first step is to realise that getting angry, annoyed or hung up on the ‘fair’ aspect of things won’t help. Give those feelings time to escape your body and then let’s approach this in a legal way. What you do next depends on how much you are owed and how much you can prove that it is owed to you.

MAKE Contact

The first thing you can do on our list of solutions to the question of what can you do legally if someone owes you money, is to talk to the person. Be it an individual or a company, talk to them. Reach out. Don’t just do it on email or Twitter. Call them too. Keep a record of everything that is said, including dates and times.

If a phone call doesn’t help the money come your way, write them a letter. Include all the details you have about how much is owed, for what, when it should have been paid, dated copies of paperwork. You should also request that they send in writing any problems they have with your request for payment. Detail what steps you will be taking should the payment not be made. Keep things short and to the point, don’t go into lengthy correspondence or arguments. Avoid empty threats of legal action, you need to be prepared to follow up on what you are saying.

Try Mediation

If you can’t settle the dispute between the two parties, you can get a mediation service involved. Before going to court they would expect you to take this step so you might as well do it, even if you think it’ll get you nowhere. The mediation service will help you negotiating a solution to the issue at hand and it’s much quicker, simpler and cheaper than starting court proceedings.

Get A Solicitor Involved

Sometimes you have no other option but to get a solicitor involved. It can be extremely helpful to speak to a solicitor who is an expert in debt recovery. Obviously there will be fees involved when you bring a solicitor into the equation but a they can help identify actions you can take. A letter from a solicitor to the person who owes you money, whilst not always, can produce fast results.

Debt Recovery

This won’t be for everyone but you might want to just have someone else do it for you. There are debt recovery services who will employ a solicitor to recover the money owed to you. They may do this for a fixed fee or a percentage of the debt. Be aware that no all debt recovery services have legally trained members of staff so do research into the company you are looking to use.

Go To Court

This is what is often threatened when chasing money that is owed. Did you know that getting to court is actually a longer process than just saying it? If you can’t settle the issue in any other warm this is likely your final resort. It can take months, sometimes years to get to court and there is no guarantee that you will win your case. If you lose, you may even have to pay the legal fees of the other party so you could end up without the money you’re owed and having to shell out even more. Also consider that you might not even be able to get the money back. For instance, if the With all of this in mind it’s essential that you seek independent legal advice from a professional first.

Claim Online

You may have heard about taking someone to ‘small claims court’. Putting in a court claim is what this actually means. You can do this online now. You’ll have to pay a fee depending on the amount you’re trying to claim. For up to £300, it’s £25. It’s £105 if the debt is between £1000.01-£1500. You can see that the fee increases as the debt increases. It’s cheaper to put the claim in online than fill in a paper form. There are amounts which can’t be claimed via the online form though. You can read more about how to make a money claim online here.

Consider & Conclude

You need to consider if the cost of trying to get your money back, along with the stress of it all, is worth it. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get your hands on your money. You might end up shelling out lots of money for nothing. This isn’t saying you should sit back and be taken for a ride by people, but you need to think about whether you want to go down this often tricky and frustrating road before you do. What can you do legally if someone owes you money? There is a lot you can do but it’ll likely cost you so put some time and thought into your next steps.

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