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Legal Collections – Why U2 need a good Legal Partner!

July 9, 2015
Debt Collection

Apologies in advance for the musical thread running through this, and double apologies if you are not a fan of U2…but I am! It’s become apparent to us that for a Debt Collection Agency to do the job they are employed and paid to do nowadays, whilst still achieving the same level of results they were achieving 3 or 4 years ago, they really need to engage an experienced, competent and very importantly a compliant Law Firm to complete their back-end process. What can I say? ‘Sometimes you can’t make it on your own’. The most obvious compelling argument to back up this statement is that you may not advise a customer you might take legal action unless you are actually prepared and able to do so and evidence it. So, by shying away from taking legal proceedings you are potentially hamstringing your earlier collection activity by weakening the impact of your collection letters, and that’s just ‘bad’. In fact, if all you are doing is writing letters making the same tired statements that the creditor has already made and possibly another DCA or four…you are wasting your money. Let’s face it you want to be collecting debt not controlling credit …your clients do that already ‘with or without you’. A solicitor’s letter isn’t just ’even better than the real thing’…it IS the real thing and is extremely effective in signalling your true intent. Of course it’s not a forgone conclusion that the customer has the means to be suitable for legal action and that is where an experienced Law Firm comes in. To recover money owed can be a complicated and laborious process, the courts as we know move in ‘mysterious ways’ but an accomplished law firm knows the way, even ‘when the streets have no name’! Societal issues mean that debt is now more likely to be an unavoidable consequence of everyday living rather than an active choice and unfortunately people find themselves ‘stuck in a moment they can’t get out of’. The premise that ‘debtors’ were ‘won’t pays until they proved themselves can’t pays’ no longer hold true. ‘I will follow’ that by saying that the steep upturn in Debt Management Plans bear this out, these are people who have ‘pride’ and want to pay but need help to arrange it. Yes there are still a number of customers who actively withhold payment despite being in a position to pay but for whatever reason choose not to. We’ve all had them, the ‘repeat promisers’, the ‘send me copies of everything you’ve ever issued’, the ‘disputers with no real dispute’, the ‘I can’t talk now call me back…again’. Frustrating enough to make you want to ‘bullet the blue sky’ no? Partnering with an established Law Firm to make that final attempt can pay dividends, resulting in the ‘sweetest thing’ and here’s why:

  • If you factor in a short, properly signposted cycle with a Law Firm you can advise your customer of this in your letters.
  • Re-branding! You could say ‘elevation’ A customer is more likely to take a letter seriously if it comes from a reputable Law Firm
  • A solicitor’s letter will be compliant and legally factual and often couched in more direct terms than a DCA letter, we have to remain compliant with the Solicitor Regulatory Authority as well as the FCA, makes us kind of ‘magnificent’ doesn’t it?’
  • A Law Firm will not only seek payment they will also seek confirmation of the customers circumstances in order to establish means to enforce therefore identifying those suitable for legal action and conversely and importantly those who are not. We do this through proper exploration of affordability asking tactful and searching questions to understand the whole situation fully even when the customer leads us into a ‘city of blinding lights’. A ‘won’t pay’ is soon identified!
  • The costs of issuing can be controlled by negotiated fees and won’t give you ‘vertigo’, scalable to debt volume rather than value. Disbursements can be recovered as part of the Judgment.
  • Happy Clients and happy regulators make for a ‘beautiful day’

‘Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?’...give us a call! This article is provided for general information only. Please do not make any decision on the basis of this article alone without taking specific advice from us. stevensdrake will only be responsible for the advice we give which is specific to you.

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