It is often the case that a debtor will seek to rely on a creditor not following a court pre-action protocol to try and avoid paying a debt. But is this right?
The quick answer is that a creditor can avoid having to follow the Pre-Action Protocols in certain circumstances.
- there is nothing in the new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims that prevents a creditor from choosing to go down the statutory demand route;
- the statutory demand process is entirely separate to the “traditional” county court route. It is a precursor to bankruptcy proceedings which is not what happens in a normal county court claim. Indeed, statutory demands are not issued court documents unlike county court or high court claims.
A wider word of warning is that statutory demands should only be used in specific circumstances – they are not just a way of avoiding the protocol and traditional court routes – and if they are used incorrectly, the cost consequences can be high. Legal advice is recommended if you are considering the use of a statutory demand and whether you are exposing yourself to risk as a creditor.
Key for a creditor is whether the debt itself is subject to a genuine dispute or whether the debtor has a valid cross claim. Ignore these questions at your peril! Do not assume that just because the debtor has not responded at all to a letter before claim that the debt is not subject to a dispute.
Contact one of our expert debt recovery lawyers now for your friendly consultation. At Francis Wilks & Jones, we have all the statutory demand experience needed to deal with any type of debt recovery problem. We offer fast and effect statutory demand advice, whatever your situation. Call now for a friendly consultation.