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When should I begin debt recovery?

  • Blog
  • 16 November 2017

Businesses, for the most part, succeed by being paid for the goods and services they offer. When a client or customer doesn’t pay for those good or services, it can have a damaging effect on a business – on its cash flow, growth and relationships.

This is why it’s important that a business which is owed money should have the tools to recover any debt it’s owed. But when exactly should the process of debt recovery begin? This blog aims to help you understand the process.

When should I begin debt recovery? 

Try communicating first

Sometimes, a lack of payment might be an oversight, like a missed invoice or a banking issue. While this is unfortunate, it does happen. For instance, a client may have recently relocated, so some financial documents might have been misplaced. Or a client might have employed a new financial manager, who has taken over from a more experienced employee and they are still getting to grips with their invoicing system.   

If a payment date is missed, it’s important to contact the party in question first. There could be a perfectly good reason for a lapsed payment, which they can rectify and pay you the amount owed, so there’s no need to pursue any further action.

Final deadlines

You might be in a situation that means you are constantly chasing a problematic customer. They might have repeatedly  missed payment deadlines, which has created a financial situation that’s resulted in you stopping work for that client until they’ve settled any outstanding debts.

They could also be accruing extra interest and late fees from you as a result of not paying, which increases the amount they have yet to pay you.

In these situations, you should send the client a final written warning. The letter should outline that the next step of the process will involve legal proceedings. It should state that you’ll start a debt recovery process against them, unless payment is agreed upon by a specified date.

Beginning debt recovery

If that final notice is ignored then debt recovery proceedings should begin. This is a legal process that allows you to have a debt recognised and reclaimed.

The process for this is explained further in our blog post, What is the process for debt recovery. This highlights the various options available to businesses when they’ve undertaken debt recovery proceedings.

Debt recovery is a last resort once communication between your business and a client has failed to yield results. This involves enlisting outside help to legally enforce and reclaim your outstanding  debt from that client.

How can FSB help with debt recovery?

Failure of a client to pay on time can cause a business a variety of financial problems, especially if they’re just starting out and need the funds to help grow their company.

To help businesses recover debts, FSB offers access to a debt recovery service as part of its Business Essentials package.

This service includes a range  of features designed to help businesses with debt recovery, including:

  • A dedicated debt recovery helpline
  • Ability to load multiple debts and view progress of cases
  • Additional services, including collection, recovery, tracing and insolvency services 
  • Exclusive FSB Debt Recovery platform, accessible seven days a week, all year round
  • Full UK and global collection service

To find out more about how FSB could help your business deal with late or lapsed payments, visit our FSB Debt Recovery page. To see how else our Business Essentials package could help your business continue to grow and improve, visit our package comparison page.

FSB Debt Recovery from FSB

FSB Debt Recovery gives you the opportunity to recover 100% of the money you are owed and in most cases this costs absolutely nothing

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