In the second part to our practical advice guide to commercial creditors, we cover some more gems to assist you with managing commercial recoveries against individuals.
Don’t be afraid of the repayment plan
Creditors’ have 4 months from service of the Demand before it expires and a fresh one has to be issued. This gives Creditors a significant amount of time to negotiate and deal with the Debtor in good faith.
There is no prejudice to a Creditors’ position in coming to a repayment plan (temporary or long term) after the Demand is served.
It also provides a useful ‘intensive care’ period with which to study the Debtors’ behaviour and decide whether there is room for future business with them.
Has someone beaten you to it?
Whenever a bankruptcy petition is filed, the Land Registrar is notified (to prevent the Debtor from disposing of any assets). The Land Charges Register will be noted with a Pending Action, referring to the petition number and the Court that the Petition was issued in.
From 29 July 2014, Creditors have been under a duty to search the register for any existing petitions when presenting their own petition.
A significant amount of money can be saved if the Creditor simply searches the Land Charges register before they even contemplate issuing a Demand. If it transpires that there is already a pending action against the Debtor, Creditors may decide not to proceed but rather to make contact with the Petitioning Creditor and support a bankruptcy order being made.
Stay on top of credit reviews
Where the trading relationship between the Creditor and Debtor is long standing and largely uneventful, there is little impetus to undertake a Credit Review. In an environment where there is never enough resource to day all of the day to day tasks, the credit review often gets overlooked or snowballs into a ceremonial undertaking of mammoth proportions done every 6 months across the ledger.
We would always recommend a ‘little and often’ approach to credit reviewing undertaken on the basis of risk.
Whilst you may think that a Debtor with an immaculate payment record is low risk- consider the following:
When was the last time you spoke to them? Do you know the name of the person in Accounts Payable who authorises payments? Are you sure that you have up to date contact details? How has their order level changed over the last 6 months?
The point here is that by staying on top of Debtor positions, you get a better informed view of how the Debtor is behaving. Behavioural information, when used, is the best defence against providing an errant debtor with massive amounts of credit.
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We serve legal documents all over Lincolnshire for a fixed fee. We assist our creditor partners and their professional advisors with their debt collection by providing field services aimed at driving recoveries, delivering intelligence and maintaining the customer-supplier relationship.
If you, or one of your clients, would benefit from this approach, get in touch.