Can you help us to avoid bad debt in the first place?
We offer advice on how to protect your position as a creditor or a potential creditor. This can be done at the start of the process before credit is provided. It is important that your terms and conditions are up to date to deal with a bad debt and an insolvency procedure.
Firstly, it is essential that your terms and conditions of trade contain the right provisions and are worded carefully to protect your interests. For example, you should always retain title to the goods which you may supply. Retention of title claims can be complex and expensive to pursue. It is wise therefore to have a robust retention of title clause within your terms of conditions. This clause must be incorporated into the contract with your customer and you must be able to identify the goods as yours which have been delivered to your customer. Our commercial team can advise you on these issues and our business recovery and insolvency team can advise you on how to recover your property in an insolvency regime.
If your customer is a limited company and that becomes insolvent then it is sensible to have the benefit of a personal guarantee from a director. It is important to make sure this is legally binding. We can review and advise on how to put a personal guarantee in place.
We have our own in-house credit management team – can you help us to improve our performance?
We can offer training and advice on how to improve your performance. Continuous due diligence is important as businesses change as they grow or become distressed without your knowledge. The business which signed a credit account application form with you many years ago may now be a completely different business. It is important that you review and analyse your customer so as to minimise your risk to suffering a bad debt.
If your customer becomes insolvent and you receive notice from the customer, Official Receiver or an insolvency practitioner, our business recovery and insolvency team can provide advice on your position and what remedies which might be available.
If our customers become insolvent or ‘disappear’, can we recover money or property from third parties?
This depends on whether you have the benefit of any security. For example, if the director has signed a personal guarantee we can advise you on the steps which need to be taken to pursue the director. We can also advise you on how to put a personal guarantee in place. This does not need to happen at the start of your trading relationship but can be negotiated at any point throughout your trading life.
We can also advise you as to whether there is a claim against the director for fraud. If his company has ordered goods from you knowing that the company cannot or may not be able to pay for them then this may give rise to a claim against the director personally as opposed to ranking as an unsecured creditor in the insolvency procedure which the company is subject to.
If a company has disappeared without paying you we can advise you on what steps need to be taken to pursue your debt. Our business recovery and insolvency team often restore companies to the register so that they can be pursued through the courts and if wound up, we can assist with the appointment of an insolvency practitioner to act as liquidator to investigate the company’s business, dealings and affairs to see if any assets have been transferred for little or no value.
Can I recover money or property from a company which is insolvent or from a person who is bankrupt?
This depends on which type of insolvency procedure the debtor is about to enter. We can advise you as to where you stand as a creditor by completing any paperwork which you may have received. We can also arrange for you to be represented at a meeting of creditors where we can question directors and exercise voting rights to ensure that your claim is lodged and that the insolvency practitioner investigates any matters on your behalf.
Below is an article published on the subject of Credit Management.
Articles are reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers.