How to collect debts in UK from abroad
Thread poster: Chris Dravers
Chris Dravers  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:41
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 26, 2007

Hi. Can anyone tell me how to go about collecting a debt (extremely late payment) owed in the UK from outside the UK. (I have no purchase order but I do have confirmation emails - is this any good?) Thanks in advance. Chris

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:41
English to Dutch
+ ...
Same problem here Mar 26, 2007

Hi Chris,

I have the same problem. I've tried emailing the UK Courts Service, but my email came back undeliverable.
Perhaps you have better luck:

customerservicecshq@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk

They have a very compehensive website, maybe you can find what you need there.

www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk

At least they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck!
Margreet


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Paul Malone  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:41
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Have you thought of a professional collection service? Mar 26, 2007

Hi Chris,

1) Identify a professional debt collection company with a good reputation, simply by doing a web search, that offers professional collection services in the jurisdiction concerned. There are plenty of them that offer international services. Several of them offer their services on a 'no result - no fee' basis, which means it doesn't cost you anything to commission them.

2) When you've identified such a company that you feel may well be capable of collecting your outstanding debt if the client still doesn't pay, write a very firm letter to the top person in the business that owes you the debt, stating the facts of how the debt was incurred and how long overdue it is now, and stating that if your outstanding fees are not paid within a specified time (seven days, for example) your only remaining option will be to pass the file on to your collection department - which will, or course, lead to additional costs for your non-paying client.

I found myself in this situation once. I followed steps 1) and 2) above and got my bank transfer within a few days, so it may work for you.

3) If they don't pay, the next step I would take would be to pass on all the information you have to your chosen collection company and commission them to collect the outstanding amount. In my case, I didn't get this far, so I can't give you any information about whether it works or not.

Remember, it's your money now, so don't get mad, get even

Good luck,
Paul


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Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
Small Claims Mar 26, 2007

Hi guys,
There is a Small Claims Court/Service which I used on one occasion and it worked. It belongs to the Court Service I think ...the only problem is that you need to have an address in the UK. To sum up you request payment only and they send the company some kind of citation to pay....my agency got scared and pay up......if this doesn't work you need to follow the normal court procedure afterwards.....
Hope it helps.
Regards,
Jesús.


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:41
English to Russian
+ ...
How I collected bad debt from France being in the US Mar 26, 2007

Looks like there is a way. I was mostly using the ATA advice as well as the name of collection agency they recommend.

Stop calling or emailing, they would not reply or lie one more time on the phone. Send (better by certified mail but email worked in my case) a letter named First Collection Notice for the attention of the General Director describing the situation and include all the Work Orders, Invoices, supporting correspondence, etc.

At the end of the letter specify the date you want to be paid otherwise the following measures are to be taken: letter sent to the national translators association, negative comments made on all possible translators' websites and chatrooms, procedures started with the collection agency. If there is an equivalent of Better Business Bureau in this country, include this one too.

I did not even have to approach the collection agency - the money came fast and before the deadline I specified.

It worked for me, might work for you. If they think we cannot reach them being in another country (well, I am even across the pond), they are wrong - yes, we can!

Good luck.


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Rebecca Lowery  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:41
French to English
Small claims court Mar 27, 2007

I live in the UK and that's the way to get paid. No company wants a CCJ against them! Not sure of the more intricate details but I think your debt has to be a certain size before you go down this route.
Before you do initiate any legal proceedings, I'd send an e-mail saying that you have not received payment for the work and that in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act, if the debt is not settled within 7 days, you will charge interest on the debt at 8% above the Bank of England base rate. Send a written letter in the post to them too by recorded delivery (and specify that you will be doing so in the e-mail). If they don't pay up within 7 days, then go to the small claims court.
If you show them that you mean business, you do usually get paid.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:41
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I tried a collection agency without good results Mar 27, 2007

Chris Dravers wrote:

Hi. Can anyone tell me how to go about collecting a debt (extremely late payment) owed in the UK from outside the UK. (I have no purchase order but I do have confirmation emails - is this any good?) Thanks in advance. Chris


Hullo Chris,
After months of failing to secure payment (or replies) from a notorious bad-payer in France (I'm in the UK), I enlisted a debt-collection agency here who said they specialised in collecting foreign debt. Their terms were that they would charge me 15% of any sum I received thereafter and that they would keep me updated on how matters stood. I supplied them with full information and documents on the situation, sums owed, since when, etc.
Unfortunately, the debt-collection agency was most unsatisfactory and the money I succeeded in getting was almost entirely through my own efforts - I actually called on the defaulting agency when I was in France last year.
The debt-collectors never sent me any report and were most uncooperative, but I still had to pay them the 15%.
I dare say they'r not all as useless as that, but if you'd like to contact me personally I can tell you their name so at least you'd know one to avoid. I obviously can't give their name in this thread. email: jenny @jennyforbes.wanadoo.co.uk.

I think taking court action is likely to be very expensive with a foreign defaulter and possibly not worth it unless the amount owed you is large.

Good luck,
Jenny.


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Chris Dravers  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:41
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Margreet. I'll make a note of that. Mar 29, 2007

Margreet Logmans wrote:

Hi Chris,

I have the same problem. I've tried emailing the UK Courts Service, but my email came back undeliverable.
Perhaps you have better luck:

customerservicecshq@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk

They have a very compehensive website, maybe you can find what you need there.

www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk

At least they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck!
Margreet


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Chris Dravers  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:41
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Paul. Many thanks for your very sound advice. Mar 29, 2007

Paul Malone wrote:

Hi Chris,

1) Identify a professional debt collection company with a good reputation, simply by doing a web search, that offers professional collection services in the jurisdiction concerned. There are plenty of them that offer international services. Several of them offer their services on a 'no result - no fee' basis, which means it doesn't cost you anything to commission them.

2) When you've identified such a company that you feel may well be capable of collecting your outstanding debt if the client still doesn't pay, write a very firm letter to the top person in the business that owes you the debt, stating the facts of how the debt was incurred and how long overdue it is now, and stating that if your outstanding fees are not paid within a specified time (seven days, for example) your only remaining option will be to pass the file on to your collection department - which will, or course, lead to additional costs for your non-paying client.

I found myself in this situation once. I followed steps 1) and 2) above and got my bank transfer within a few days, so it may work for you.

3) If they don't pay, the next step I would take would be to pass on all the information you have to your chosen collection company and commission them to collect the outstanding amount. In my case, I didn't get this far, so I can't give you any information about whether it works or not.

Remember, it's your money now, so don't get mad, get even

Good luck,
Paul


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Chris Dravers  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:41
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jésus! Mar 29, 2007

Jesús Marín Mateos wrote:

Hi guys,
There is a Small Claims Court/Service which I used on one occasion and it worked. It belongs to the Court Service I think ...the only problem is that you need to have an address in the UK. To sum up you request payment only and they send the company some kind of citation to pay....my agency got scared and pay up......if this doesn't work you need to follow the normal court procedure afterwards.....
Hope it helps.
Regards,
Jesús.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Chris Dravers  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:41
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks very much! Mar 29, 2007

sokolniki wrote:

Looks like there is a way. I was mostly using the ATA advice as well as the name of collection agency they recommend.

Stop calling or emailing, they would not reply or lie one more time on the phone. Send (better by certified mail but email worked in my case) a letter named First Collection Notice for the attention of the General Director describing the situation and include all the Work Orders, Invoices, supporting correspondence, etc.

At the end of the letter specify the date you want to be paid otherwise the following measures are to be taken: letter sent to the national translators association, negative comments made on all possible translators' websites and chatrooms, procedures started with the collection agency. If there is an equivalent of Better Business Bureau in this country, include this one too.

I did not even have to approach the collection agency - the money came fast and before the deadline I specified.

It worked for me, might work for you. If they think we cannot reach them being in another country (well, I am even across the pond), they are wrong - yes, we can!

Good luck.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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