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Advice for business

Debt Recovery

We can help you to improve your cash flow by recovering your debts, in a simple, quick and cost effective manner. We also aim to retain the healthy working relationship you have with your customer.


It is amazing how powerful a simple letter from a solicitor can be. This straightforward first step often achieves great results. If the debtor still refuses to pay and disputes the claim, we will provide the specialist litigation advice required to pursue the matter further.

Our team works firmly but tactfully to collect money owed and enjoys a high success rate. It’s straightforward, cost effective, commercial debt recovery.

You can see our fees for debt recovery by clicking this link.

Debt Recovery in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood and the New Forest

Contact us if you would like a free initial appointment to discuss an outstanding debt.

We have offices in Christchurch and Ringwood. Our Debt Recovery Team also covers Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest, with the majority of our clients located in the Bournemouth and Poole area.

Our debt recovery service

We have handled hundreds of debt recovery cases over the years and have built a formidable reputation for our ability to either recover debts in full or negotiate commercially realistic settlements efficiently and cost-effectively.

Our debt recovery solicitors rarely need to advise court action to achieve a positive result. We take an open, reasonable but firm approach with debtors that yields results time and time again.

With both negotiation and litigation expertise, we can offer an inclusive service that covers every stage of the debt recovery process, from pre-action discussions, to court action, to enforcement and insolvency action.

We have experience recovering a wide range of debts, including:

  • Unpaid invoices
  • Rent arrears
  • Recovery of overpayments
  • Enforcing payment for goods and services


The pre-action negotiation stage of debt recovery is arguably the most important part of the process. The vast majority of individuals and businesses are able to make a recovery by entering into constructive negotiations with the debtor. Even if the debtor does not engage or refuses to pay, the court will expect you to comply with The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims, which sets out the process you should follow before making a court claim.

In our experience, a firm letter from a solicitor is usually all it takes to secure a recovery. However, we will ensure your compliance with the Pre-Action Protocol at all times while negotiating on your behalf. So, if negotiations are unsuccessful, you have the best possible chance of succeeding in court.

Money judgment proceedings

If pre-action negotiations are unsuccessful, we will provide advice on your prospects for bringing a money claim in the county court. We will help you balance the benefits of pursuing a recovery with the costs you are likely to incur – this will depend on factors such as the size of the debt, whether the debtor is likely to challenge your claim, and how complex the court proceedings could become.

If the debtor accepts your claim or they do not respond, the process of getting a County Court Judgment (CCJ) is relatively straightforward. You can simply apply for judgment in default.

If the debtor does object to the claim, in whole or in part, the case could become more complicated. However, with our assistance, it is very rare for cases to reach trial. It is possible to settle debts at any point during the process and we are experienced at using the court proceedings and our fierce representation skills to aid our settlements negotiations.

Charging Orders

A Charging Order is a way to secure a CCJ over a debtor’s assets, such as a property or shares. Securing your debt can make your position much stronger because you become a ‘priority creditor’. This means that the debtor should aim to repay your money before their other debts and if they become insolvent, you will be considered first (along with other priority creditors such as mortgage lenders) when their assets are being distributed.

Enforcement action

If you have obtained a CCJ and/or a Charging Order, we can provide advice on a wide range of enforcement options, such as:

  • Instruct county court bailiffs or High Court Enforcement Officers to go to the debtor’s premises and recover the debt or assets to cover the debt – this involves making a further application to the county court or escalating your CCJ to the High Court and obtaining a Writ of Control
  • Apply for an Order for Sale – if you have a Charging Order, you can apply to compel the debtor to sell the asset to repay the debt. It is also common for debtors to engage in settlement discussions at this stage to protect their assets


Where our investigations suggest that your debtor cannot repay you because they are insolvent, we can provide advice on starting insolvency proceedings and claiming your money from the Official Receiver or Insolvency Practitioner appointed to distribute the debtor’s assets. Although it is unlikely that you will recover the entire debt this way, it may still be your best option for recovery. We will provide clear advice about your prospects for recovery so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

We can issue a Statutory Demand for the debt on your behalf. If the debtor fails to pay after that we can submit:

  • A bankruptcy petition where the debtor is an individual
  • A winding up petition where the debtor is a company

Contact our debt recovery solicitors in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood and the New Forest

Contact us if you would like a free initial appointment to discuss an outstanding debt.

    Frequently Asked Debt Recovery Questions

    What is the debt recovery process?

    Debt recovery is a process that requires flexibility and persistence without damaging your relationship with your customer. The same also applies to private arrangements, for example when someone has loaned an individual a sum of money which wasn’t repaid, it is also possible to pursue them via the same methods.

    How do I chase up unpaid invoices?

    The first step is to send a solicitor’s letter to your debtor accompanied by a statement of account showing the sum due.

    At Frettens, we follow up the letter with a telephone call to the debtor on your behalf, allowing us to verify that the debtor is still trading, the current address, and whether the debt is disputed.

    Get in touch with us here.

    Do I need to go through court to reclaim debt?

    If the debtor still does not respond, it is viable to consider court action. You must consider whether it makes commercial sense to do so (we can discuss this with you and help you reach the right decision).

    Kerri Hunter, Dispute Resolution Solicitor, says â€Å“Court proceedings should be the last resort in reclaiming debt â€â€œ very often the threat of legal action is enough to obtain payment and negotiations with the opposing party must have taken place before court action.”

    Can I recover debts through mediation?

    Mediation is a way to control costs and avoid confrontational proceedings. It involves using an independent third party as mediator and the Dispute Resolution Team at Frettens advocate this approach.

    Kerri concludes by saying â€œIt is possible to enforce payment or recover the asset and retain a working relationship with the client via careful dealings throughout the process. However, you must consider whether you want to continue working with a client that is unreliable in paying their bills.”

    What can a landlord do to collect unpaid rent during COVID?

    Landlords can enforce their right to receive rent, by either commencing possession proceedings in Court or commencing a money claim in Court if you are not looking for a possession Order.

    Landlords are also being encouraged to mediate with their tenants who are in rent arrears and attempt to agree a rent deferral or payment plan to enable the tenants to stay in place, whilst gradually repaying any arrears that may have accrued.

    We have offices in Christchurch and Ringwood. Our Debt Recovery Team also covers Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest, with the majority of our clients located in the Bournemouth and Poole area.