Debt collection process
Should your Debt Recovery be unsuccessful, you may choose to follow with legal actions. This Debt Collection Process follows strict legal steps:
The first step in this process, should legal action be chosen, is to have The Section 129 Notice served to the consumer via Registered Mail. This notice offers the following calls to action:
- The consumer can endeavour to settle the amount in arrears.; or
- They can choose to dispute the amount owed.
- If the consumer is over-indebted, they can seek assistance from a debt counsellor to restructure their debt.
Once this notice has been sent to the consumer, they have 10 business days to act on one of the above three options.
Should the consumer not act on the section 129 notice within the specified time, the creditor may proceed in issuing a summons. This is delivered to the consumers “domicilium” address by the Sheriff of the Court and will attempted no more than three times.
If the consumer is unavailable of all three occasions the summons will be placed in their post box or affixed to their entrance – it is then considered lawfully served.
This summons provides the clients with a further two options:
- The consumer can consent to the judgement which means that they acknowledge that a debt is due, and that the creditor may apply for a judgement against you.
- The consumer can enter an ‘Appearance to Defend’. This is then handed to the Clerk of the Court in order to issue a date for you to state your case in court.
A default judgement can be defined as a judgement entered against a party who has failed to defend the claim that has been brought against them. If the summons has not been acknowledged 10 days after its delivery the creditor will proceed to the final step of the procedure by applying for a default judgement. This default judgement details that the consumer has failed to respond to the summons and has by default given no objection to the action of a judgement.
Once granted the creditor will enforce this judgement and collect the outstanding debt. If applicable, assets may be auctioned to do so. Should this not suffice to settle the debt owed, the creditor will claim the shortfall from the consumer.
Attaching movable property
Where movable property can be attached, the warrant of execution will be delivered to the sheriff within the concerned area. This will state their findings and will be along the premise of one of the following outcomes:
- The debtor has no property to attach
- The debtor is not a legal owner of the property
- A list of the debtor’s movable property as well as an estimation of its value
- The debtor is not present at the given address
Should the debtor not have movable property to attach a financial enquiry can occur which requires them to appear in court. This notice should be served directly to the individual in question.
Should the individual not make an appearance for this court date, a warrant for their arrest will be issued.
Avoid the legal debt collection process with our specialists
Although the Debt Collection Process is an avenue available to businesses for consumers that fail to settle their debts, the easier and more cost effective route is to first make use of a debt recovery service to responsibly contact the consumer to settle their outstanding account.
Get in touch with us to get our expert team on the case today.