STA is primarily a pre-legal collections agency; only 3% of commercial files and 12% of student/ consumer files placed with us ever reach legal recovery. For legal recovery, our strategy minimises cost and maximises cash receipts. The transfer from amicable to legal recovery is seamless with all information available to you on Your Debts Online.
When your commercial customer fails to pay us amicably (or pre-legal) – it will be despite our full and persistent telephone negotiation, culminating in a Letter-Before-Action (LBA). When the LBA fails to give payment, we check the customer’s solvency and liquidity, making sure that they have no stated dispute with your invoice(s). Once we can satisfy ourselves with these, we will recommend that you move the account to our legal service.
When your consumer or sole trader customer fails to pay amicably, the Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) applies. PAP encourages early engagement to enable the parties to resolve matters without the need for court action. We only recommend sending a Letter of Claim (LOC) when all amicable efforts fail, and you should only accept our recommendation if you intend taking legal action for continued non-payment. We send the LOC with full details of the debt, an information sheet, reply form and standard financial statement, and the customer has 30 days to respond.
Litigation starts with the issuing of a Claim via the County Court Bulk Centre (CCBC) in Northampton whose court fees are less than other County Courts. The subject has 14 days to pay or respond before we make an Application for Entering a Judgment. Once the Judgment is with the subject, we instruct the High Court Sheriff to begin Enforcement proceedings.
Most of the associated legal costs and fees are recoverable from the subject, along with the Court’s mandated rates of interest. We charge a Case Preparation Fee of £25, plus our usual commission charge that applies to all the monies recovered and, while these costs are not recoverable, you can end up with more money than your customer owed in the first place.
Every stage in the legal process involves a recommendation to you along with the associated cost of the action. When you sanction action, we advance UK legal costs and invoice you to save valuable time.