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Five interesting reflections from our local partner about debt recovery in the United Kingdom [interview]

Debt collection UK Brexi

Since time immemorial the British have always followed their own course through history, and nothing seems set to change there in the 21st century. They pride themselves on their independence and their traditions and may sometimes come across as rather eccentric. Only in Britain would you find the tongue-twisting village name Llanfairpwllgwyngyll or the (only!) twin town of the planet Mars, Glenelg. Or what about those weird home-grown British sports, such as bathtub rowing, Welly wanging (or boot throwing) or the World Gurning (face-pulling) Championship?

1. Brexit: a messy divorce?

To say nothing of the way they drive on the wrong (not the right) side of the road, or cling on to their own currency, they are – at least for the time being – a member of the European Union. ‘Thanks to’ Brexit, the United Kingdom (or about half of it) can (if not delayed to June…) vote again for an independent course, but no-one can quite predict whether that decision will also have to be included in the Library of Mistakes (in Great Britain, where else?).

So, it’s still touch and go, nobody really knows whether we get a soft Brexit, a hard Brexit or no Brexit at all. Or, as Pierre Haincourt, Business Manager of our partner Credit Limits International (CLI) in Great Britain puts it: “Brexit? What Brexit? We really cannot see how there can be a cliff edge scenario even in the case of a hard Brexit. Both sides have simply too much to lose and we fully expect that a transition period will take place whatever the outcome, and if Brexit ever happens of course! The main issue in our business which Brexit will affect is recruitment. As a growing international business, we recruit as many foreign nationals as we do British citizens and we fear that any restriction in free movement of people between the EU and the UK will have a negative impact on our business.”

2. Ten Year Jubilee: does size matter?

CLI AwardsCLI was founded on 20/03/2009. Ten years later CLI has grown from a one-man business to become an established debt recovery agency (see the rather large picture) employing some twenty staff and with more than 800 clients. That team currently collects more than 7,000 debts, representing a total of more than 100 million pounds.

CLI is more than a recovery agency, says Pierre Haincourt: “Because our clients need the entire credit management toolkit, we have built our business as a one-stop-shop for credit management services and we are able to assist companies every step of the way, from order to cash. CLI have recently acquired a Sales Ledger Management business, CCS Solutions, which provides credit control outsourcing and credit risk assessments and training services.”

3. The advantages of an island: nowhere to hide?

You can also call on our partner when you want to find your debtors’ whereabouts. Pierre Haincourt: “CLI is able to locate individuals who have left their previous address and find out about their income and assets. Some companies “vanish” when they owe money to their creditor. When this happens, we investigate and find out what has happened to them. Sometimes they have only changed their names and moved address or maybe merged with another entity”.

Not only debtors, but also goods can be traced. If a debtor ends up in bankruptcy proceedings, all is not always lost. “It is always worth filing a claim with a liquidator in case a dividend gets distributed. But even before this, we can work towards recovering any stock that may have been supplied under a Retention of Title Clause or loaned to the debtor. Over the years we have recovered wine, quality lady’s underwear, books, children’s wear, skiing equipment, IT equipment, promotional display units, and a car! We only seek to recover goods which are in a resalable condition of course.

4. The amicable or the legal path: choice overload?

Pierre stresses that both courses of action rely on the availability of the necessary correct documents, which has a substantial influence on the recovery process. This documentation needs not be limited to signed contracts and delivery notes, but may also include, for example, e-mail messages or recorded telephone conversations.

The trained intermediaries can obtain an out-of-court solution for more than 90% of received claims, for which they make use of all forms of communication. However, if an amicable solution does not seem likely it is up to the CLI legal experts to conduct a (free) legal study of the file and perhaps they order taking legal measures in one of the three jurisdictions (England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland).

For debts of less than GBP 10,000 it is in any case recommended to first attempt the amicable course, so as to avoid unpredictable legal costs that have to be borne by the creditor.

The Limitation Act 1980 states that the expiry period of standard debts is 6 years, effective of the date of the bill or invoice or from the date of last acknowledgement of debt (e.g., last payment by the debtor, last written communication in which the debt is acknowledged, etc. …). Once your debt is expired no further legal proceedings can be initiated.

5. Pierre’s big shave

Pi

Credit controllers (and anyone else who has to deal with sensitive issues such as debt and poverty) must – more than any other person – not hide away in ivory towers. As an intermediary offering a tailored solution for creditor and debtor alike, you have at least to know what you are talking about. And that does not stop at mere theory. Debtors deserve the same respect as creditors, certainly when it comes to vulnerable persons.

Pierre has collected GPB 2,000 for a charity event for persons with emotional or mental health problems. This scheme is designed to give vulnerable persons a safe environment full of activities, training, friendship and support by working together with people who inspire self-confidence and teach them to live independent lives.

 

If you have any questions or want to find out more about debt recovery in the United Kingdom, do not hesitate to contact us on number 016 74 52 00 or send an e-mail to info@tcm.be . Remember also to take a look at our pointdrive.

Five interesting reflections from our local partner about debt recovery in the United Kingdom [interview]

Debt collection UK Brexi

Since time immemorial the British have always followed their own course through history, and nothing seems set to change there in the 21st century. They pride themselves on their independence and their traditions and may sometimes come across as rather eccentric. Only in Britain would you find the tongue-twisting village name Llanfairpwllgwyngyll or the (only!) twin town of the planet Mars, Glenelg. Or what about those weird home-grown British sports, such as bathtub rowing, Welly wanging (or boot throwing) or the World Gurning (face-pulling) Championship?

1. Brexit: a messy divorce?

To say nothing of the way they drive on the wrong (not the right) side of the road, or cling on to their own currency, they are – at least for the time being – a member of the European Union. ‘Thanks to’ Brexit, the United Kingdom (or about half of it) can (if not delayed to June…) vote again for an independent course, but no-one can quite predict whether that decision will also have to be included in the Library of Mistakes (in Great Britain, where else?).

So, it’s still touch and go, nobody really knows whether we get a soft Brexit, a hard Brexit or no Brexit at all. Or, as Pierre Haincourt, Business Manager of our partner Credit Limits International (CLI) in Great Britain puts it: “Brexit? What Brexit? We really cannot see how there can be a cliff edge scenario even in the case of a hard Brexit. Both sides have simply too much to lose and we fully expect that a transition period will take place whatever the outcome, and if Brexit ever happens of course! The main issue in our business which Brexit will affect is recruitment. As a growing international business, we recruit as many foreign nationals as we do British citizens and we fear that any restriction in free movement of people between the EU and the UK will have a negative impact on our business.”

2. Ten Year Jubilee: does size matter?

CLI AwardsCLI was founded on 20/03/2009. Ten years later CLI has grown from a one-man business to become an established debt recovery agency (see the rather large picture) employing some twenty staff and with more than 800 clients. That team currently collects more than 7,000 debts, representing a total of more than 100 million pounds.

CLI is more than a recovery agency, says Pierre Haincourt: “Because our clients need the entire credit management toolkit, we have built our business as a one-stop-shop for credit management services and we are able to assist companies every step of the way, from order to cash. CLI have recently acquired a Sales Ledger Management business, CCS Solutions, which provides credit control outsourcing and credit risk assessments and training services.”

3. The advantages of an island: nowhere to hide?

You can also call on our partner when you want to find your debtors’ whereabouts. Pierre Haincourt: “CLI is able to locate individuals who have left their previous address and find out about their income and assets. Some companies “vanish” when they owe money to their creditor. When this happens, we investigate and find out what has happened to them. Sometimes they have only changed their names and moved address or maybe merged with another entity”.

Not only debtors, but also goods can be traced. If a debtor ends up in bankruptcy proceedings, all is not always lost. “It is always worth filing a claim with a liquidator in case a dividend gets distributed. But even before this, we can work towards recovering any stock that may have been supplied under a Retention of Title Clause or loaned to the debtor. Over the years we have recovered wine, quality lady’s underwear, books, children’s wear, skiing equipment, IT equipment, promotional display units, and a car! We only seek to recover goods which are in a resalable condition of course.

4. The amicable or the legal path: choice overload?

Pierre stresses that both courses of action rely on the availability of the necessary correct documents, which has a substantial influence on the recovery process. This documentation needs not be limited to signed contracts and delivery notes, but may also include, for example, e-mail messages or recorded telephone conversations.

The trained intermediaries can obtain an out-of-court solution for more than 90% of received claims, for which they make use of all forms of communication. However, if an amicable solution does not seem likely it is up to the CLI legal experts to conduct a (free) legal study of the file and perhaps they order taking legal measures in one of the three jurisdictions (England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland).

For debts of less than GBP 10,000 it is in any case recommended to first attempt the amicable course, so as to avoid unpredictable legal costs that have to be borne by the creditor.

The Limitation Act 1980 states that the expiry period of standard debts is 6 years, effective of the date of the bill or invoice or from the date of last acknowledgement of debt (e.g., last payment by the debtor, last written communication in which the debt is acknowledged, etc. …). Once your debt is expired no further legal proceedings can be initiated.

5. Pierre’s big shave

Pi

Credit controllers (and anyone else who has to deal with sensitive issues such as debt and poverty) must – more than any other person – not hide away in ivory towers. As an intermediary offering a tailored solution for creditor and debtor alike, you have at least to know what you are talking about. And that does not stop at mere theory. Debtors deserve the same respect as creditors, certainly when it comes to vulnerable persons.

Pierre has collected GPB 2,000 for a charity event for persons with emotional or mental health problems. This scheme is designed to give vulnerable persons a safe environment full of activities, training, friendship and support by working together with people who inspire self-confidence and teach them to live independent lives.

 

If you have any questions or want to find out more about debt recovery in the United Kingdom, do not hesitate to contact us on number 016 74 52 00 or send an e-mail to info@tcm.be . Remember also to take a look at our pointdrive.

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