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HomeAbout UsBusinessPersonalNews & ArticlesContactReceived a debt collection letter?Download our 'Income and Expenditure' form here

Have you received a collection letter?

Go to Business Debt Collection

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Why has my account been passed to stevensdrake?

It is common for businesses to refer unpaid accounts to external debt collection agencies or solicitors for recovery. We have a
highly-experienced team who help people that are experiencing a wide range of financial difficulties.

Who are stevensdrake?

stevensdrake have been successfully recovering debts on behalf of a wide-range of clients for over 40 years. We have been commended for our approach to ethical collections having been named ‘Best Law Firm for Collections’ at the 2017 Credit Awards.

You have contacted me, what should I do now?

If you have received a letter or telephone call from us, it’s likely because we’re trying to contact you about an unpaid account on
behalf of one of our clients. Please contact us on 0344 2510577 as soon as possible to discuss the matter.

What will happen if I ignore your attempts to contact me?

If you do not contact us then we will not be able to help you manage your account and we would need to consider a different solution. In some situations, where it is deemed appropriate and reasonable we will consider recommending to our client that legal proceedings be issued to recover the outstanding balance. It is always advisable to talk to us early and find a solution
that suits you.

How much will I have to pay?

If your agreement with our client relates to consumer finance we will agree on repayments that are based on your individual financial circumstances. We will not recommend that you pay more than you can afford. 

We will assess your income and expenditure details to ensure that any payments that are agreed are realistic and sustainable based on your circumstances. 

You can download and print a copy of our income and expenditure form here. Once you have completed the form please email this to us at collections.team@stevensdrake.com with your offer of repayment.

If your agreement with our client relates to a commercial finance or business to business accounts, payments will be expected in line with contractual terms.

My agreement relates to a vehicle which I still have in my possession?

If we have been instructed in relation to a live vehicle agreement, depending on the type of agreement you have, if you are unable to repay the arrears and maintain the contractual monthly repayments you may wish to consider voluntarily surrendering the vehicle. If you choose to voluntarily surrender the vehicle you are likely to be liable for any excess mileage charges, the damage assessed once the vehicle has been recovered, and any shortfall that is remaining once the vehicle has been sold and the proceeds applied to your account.

How can I pay my outstanding account?

You can speak to one of our team members directly by calling 0344 2510577 during office opening hours from 08:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can email us at collections.team@stevensdrake.com quoting our reference number (ex. KR/MXXXXXX) located in any letters or emails you have received from us

What if I am experiencing financial difficulties and can’t afford to make payments?

We appreciate that everybody experiences financial difficulties from time to time. Please call us on 0344 2510577 to let us know
your circumstances. We will be able to assess your affordability in order to agree on an arrangement that is within your budget and acceptable to our client. We will ask you a few confidential questions about your Income and Expenditure so please have a bank statement to hand.

Alternatively, you can seek help from a free and independent debt advice organisation such as:

Citizens Advice Bureau
www.adviceguide.org.uk
T: Yellowpages

Stepchange Debt Charity
www.stepchange.co.uk
T: 0800 138 1111
 
National Debtline
https://www.nationaldebtline.org
T: 0808 808 4000

If you choose to seek debt advice please let us know as soon as possible to prevent any potential escalation in collection activity.

What should I do if I do not deal with my own financial affairs?

If you have instructed a third party to deal with your outstanding debts such as Step Change Debt Charity, National Debt Line or your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau please ask them to contact us as soon as possible. If you have appointed an individual to act on your behalf we will need written authorisation from you prior to discussing your personal details with them.

The balance on my account isn’t correct?

Our correspondence will contain the balance we have been instructed to recover. This will be our starting balance and any payment history will be shown on your account. If you believe any part of your balance is not correct then you need to tell us immediately. This balance could be reported on your credit file so it is important that we work with you to ensure it is correct.

Will this debt affect my credit rating?

Most unpaid debts have the potential to obtain future credit more difficult. If you are making repayments to us we regularly report these to our clients. This means that if you have a default registered against you in relation to the debt your repayments will also be reflected to future potential creditors.

I have received a Letter before Claim — what shall I do?

A Letter Before Claim is a letter warning you that court proceedings will be issued in the absence of a response.

If you have received a Letter before Claim, then please complete the Reply Form that was included with it.  By completing that form you can let us know if you are able to make an offer of payment, based on what you can afford to pay. If you are experiencing difficulties, or don’t think that you can pay anything towards the debt, then please do still contact us, so that we can discuss your position and help you get free money advice.

If you do not contact us, then court proceedings will be issued against you, with a view to obtaining a County Court Judgment for the outstanding debt which will include interest (where applicable) court fees and fixed solicitors’ costs.

Court proceedings have been issued against me — what shall I do?

The court will have sent you a response pack explaining how you can respond to the claim, and the timelines involved. You should read this carefully. You can ask the court to allow you to pay the debt by instalments over a period of time, which would, if agreed by the court, result in a Judgment by instalments. You can also defend the claim or part of it. If you do not respond to the claim, we will ask the court to grant a County Court Judgment against you.

What is a County Court Judgment (CCJ)?

A CCJ is a court order requiring you to pay the debt. Once a creditor has obtained a County Court Judgment, the debt becomes a Judgment debt and will include costs involved in the legal process. A County Court Judgment may affect a person’s credit rating as the information appears on their credit file. This may make it difficult for them to obtain further credit.

How can I stop a Judgment appearing on my credit record?

If you settle the Judgment debt within one month of the date of the Judgment, then you can avoid the Judgment showing on your credit file. You would have to send the court proof that you have paid the full amount so that they can cancel the entry.

If you want to do this, you should contact us on 03442510577.

How can a CCJ be enforced?

Once a County Court Judgment has been obtained, further court action can be issued to enforce the judgment debt. The enforcement action could include an application for:

An Attachment of Earnings Order:

The court will request you provide them with details of your earnings and expenses and may make a Suspended Attachment of Earnings Order without the need to contact your employer.  If you fail to provide those details, then they will contact your employer directly and may order that a regular amount should be taken directly from your wages to pay towards the judgment debt. This means that your employer is informed of the debt, and will be responsible for ensuring that the correct sum is remitted to the court each month.

A Charging Order:

If you own a property, we may ask the court to make an order that the Judgment debt is secured against it. This means that when the property is sold or remortgaged, the debt should be paid directly from the proceeds of the sale.

A Warrant of Control:

A County Court bailiff may be instructed to attend your property to establish contact with you, and in the absence of a reasonable repayment arrangement, may seize goods to be auctioned to pay towards the judgment debt.

We want to avoid enforcement action. Please contact us on 0344 2510577 to discuss your circumstances, so that we can work with you to achieve the right solution.

If you are in any doubt as to your legal position you should obtain independent legal advice.

The person you are writing to doesn’t live at my address?

Sometimes people move without updating their address. Please call us on 0344 2510577 and we will investigate.

How do I complain?

We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service. Should we fail to meet your expectations or you are dissatisfied with the service we provide, please tell us.

We are happy to accept your complaint by any medium, (telephone, letter, or email). It would be helpful if you can provide full details of your complaint, what you would like us to do to put things right and copies of any documentation you consider relevant.

By Telephone – If we get it wrong then please call us on 0344 2510577. We will be happy to discuss what has caused you to complain and will try to resolve the problem for you.

By Email – You can email us at collections.team@stevensdrake.com

By Letter – stevensdrake solicitors, 117-119 High Street, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1DD

Once contacted we will:

Our final response will advise you:

We do hope that the final response will resolve the matter to your full satisfaction. If it doesn’t you may be entitled to approach The Financial Ombudsman (FOS). Full details (and a FOS leaflet) will be provided in our response.

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