Frequently Asked Questions
What do you need from US to collect a debt?
Copies of absolutely everything you have regarding the debt including invoices, credit application, details of communications you have had with your debtor and details of any undertakings to pay or complaints from the debtor.
How long will the collection take?
How long is a piece of string? We can never predict how long it will take to recover your money. The debt may be recovered following our letter of demand or we may have to go to the end of the earth and back again before we get it all in. Often debtors end up on a payment programme but even these can stop and start several times before the debt is fully recovered. Debtors sometimes disappear and have to be found to continue with the recovery.
How much will it cost me?
Once again we cannot give you any definite figures because we never know how long we will have to work to recover your debt. Therefore, we charge $70.00 plus GST plus disbursements. No matter what happens or what agreement you have with your client/debtor, you will always be liable for the costs we incur. Any Lawyers fees incurred will be your responsiblty.
Do you charge a percentage of the debt recovered?
No, we only charge per hour. This is because we can recover a $10,000 debt by one letter of demand. But for a $100 debt we may have to go to the end of the earth and back and again for.
Have you ever had a debt you could not recover?
Unfortunately, yes. Three things can go wrong with debt recovery.
- A debtor can disappear off the face of the earth so it becomes uneconomic to continue to attempt to pursue them.
- Any person can walk into Court, pay the required filing fee and declare themselves a voluntary bankrupt. The reality is that they never have any assets or funds to settle their debt.
- If a debtor dies, there is very little chance they will have any surplus funds in their estate.
There is nothing that we can do to prevent one of these three things happening. We do not possess a crystal ball and, therefore, cannot predict what a debtor will or will not do.
Can I do anything to reduce the time you take to recover a debt?
All you can do is to learn to take the right action when a client comes to you for goods and services, i.e. to obtain all the required information about your client before you do the job. You need to take action quickly to recover your debts. If you need our assistance, you must provide us with all the information you have. With debtors, you cannot get blood out of a stone – in other words, if the debtor has not got the funds to settle your debt in full, you have to accept a payment programme.
Is there any way I can prevent having bad debtors?
If you take the stance that most bad debts are a result of poor management, you can definitely reduce your exposure. Have clear terms of trade and ensure you advise your clients accordingly. If the client does not comply with your terms of trade, stop doing any more work and take positive steps to recover your debt without delay. A good saying is “Good credit control is fast credit control”.
An ‘undertaking to pay’ form is a form which becomes legally binding on your debtor provided it is signed and dated by the debtor. It will help immensely when you need to recover debt (if it gets to that). You can download a print and freely use a copy of our Undertaking to pay form here.