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Pre-Action Protocol Letter
PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL LETTER
The first stage of the debt recovery process involves sending a pre-action protocol letter to the individual or sole trader that owes you money.
WHAT IS A PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL LETTER?
A pre-action protocol letter is a written demand for payment within 30 days.
HOW IS A PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL LETTER DIFFERENT TO A LETTER BEFORE ACTION OR A LATE PAYMENT LETTER?
A pre-action protocol letter is different to a letter before action or a late payment letter in that it is the appropriate written demand for payment where you are owed money by an individual or a sole trader.
WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL LETTER?
A pre-action protocol letter does not have to be in a prescribed form. It must, however, comply with the provisions of the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims. To this end, a pre-action protocol letter must set out:
- The amount of the debt.
- Whether interest or other charges are continuing.
- Where the debt is the result of an oral agreement, who made the agreement, what was agreed and when and where it was agreed.
- Where the debt is the result of a written agreement, the date of the agreement, the parties to it.
- If the debt has been assigned, the details of the original debt, the date of assignment and to whom.
- If regular instalments have been offered by the debtor, the reasons why the offer is unacceptable.
- Information about how the debt can be paid.
A pre-action protocol letter must also include a statement of account, the Information Sheet and Reply Form that form part of the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims at Annex 1 and the Financial Statement form at Annex 2.
A pre-action protocol letter must also be clearly dated at the top of page 1 and sent by post.
HOW DO YOU SEND A PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL LETTER?
Our pre-action protocol letter is sent the individual or sole trader that owes you money by Royal Mail first class post. The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims does not include a requirement that a pre-action protocol letter be sent by e-mail (although we can send a copy of our letter via this method of delivery if you so wish).
DO I NEED A SOLICITOR TO SEND A PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL LETTER?
No. You do not need a solicitor to send a pre-action protocol letter. However, it is advisable. Paragraph 7.1 of the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims states “The court will take into account non-compliance when giving directions for the management of proceedings”.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SEND A PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL LETTER?
For a fixed fee of £30.00 plus VAT, we will send a pre-action protocol letter to the individual or sole that owes you money. The cost of sending a pre-action protocol letter is not usually recoverable from the individual or sole trader that owes you money.
If you want us to send a pre-action protocol letter by post and by e-mail, our fee will be £45.00 plus VAT.
HOW DO I INSTRUCT YOU TO SEND A PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL LETTER?
HOW QUICKLY WILL YOU PROCESS MY REQUEST?
Provided that your instructions are received by 4.00pm, we will process your request same day. If your instructions are received after 4.00pm, at a weekend or on a bank holiday, we will process your request the next working day.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER I INSTRUCT YOU TO SEND A LETTER BEFORE ACTION?
We will send you a copy of our pre-action protocol letter and our invoice for £30.00 plus VAT. Thereafter, if the individual or sole trader that owes you money contacts us following receipt of our pre-action protocol letter, we will contact you immediately to let you know if:
- They admit the debt and have sent us payment.
- They admit the debt but have not sent us payment.
- They admit part of the debt and have sent us payment.
- They admit part of the debt but have not sent us payment.
- They have requested copy documents.
- They dispute the debt.
If your debt is disputed, a charge of £30.00 plus VAT will be payable in respect of the time we spend sending you copy correspondence and/or details of any telephone call(s) we receive from your opponent. Ad-hoc requests for further advice and/or guidance will be charged at the rate of £15.00 plus VAT per email and/or telephone call.
If the individual or sole trader that owes you money fails to respond to our pre-action protocol letter, you will be entitled to proceed to Stage 2 of the debt recovery process by instructing us to issue court action.
Please note: to access our services, you will need to open an account. You can do this by completing the form on the open an account page of our website. On receipt of your application, we will set you up as a debt recovery client and then contact you to explain what will happen next. Alternatively, for general enquiries, please contact us. If you would like to speak to one of our advisors, please call: 0151 650 6908. We very much look forward to working with you.
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