You lent out some money to a friend a few months ago, but it’s time to pay up, and you can’t help but feel a bit shameful about having to remind them about this again and again. You offered a small business loan to a struggling startup a couple of years ago and waived off the interest on return as well. But now that it’s time to return the investment, you can’t get hold of the company’s legislation or its whereabouts, leaving you in dismay and confusion.
You’re stressed out, angry, and frustrated at the company or friend to whom you loaned money. While they’re facing crippling debt and probably incognito, you’re having trouble in collecting payments. Depending on the amount that’s owed to you, you can take relevant and friendly reminders or legal action in order to recover the money that’s rightfully yours.
However, based on where you reside, always remember that debt collection practices might vary to a certain extent, especially if they involve a debt collecting agency or high law enforcement agency. Mentioned below is a brief debt collection guide that will help and motivate you to recover the money that’s owed to you.
1) Courtesy Email – A Friendly Reminder
There’s a probability of forgetting that you owe a debt to a loan facilitator and that the time for returning the debt is finally up. People usually forget that their time is up – maybe because they’re either preoccupied or involved in a primal misunderstanding. Sending friendly reminders to the people who owe you money is the first step in the series of procedures involved for its recovery.
You’re tired of ringing up landlines because your debtor doesn’t pick up their phone. You’re tired of sending friendly letters of reminders because somehow, they always find their way back to your mailbox. It’s the digital age – and before you call out a person on social media for ‘running away with your money’, add them to your mailing list for sending recurring emails of reminders to them.
While there are several readily available email templates on the internet, you can always design your own for adding a personalized touch to your reminders. Let’s focus on what your ‘courtesy letters’ or ‘email reminders’ should consist of:
- The name of the person(s) who is involved in the transaction and owes you the debt.
- Mention your name or the name of the company
- The amount (and interest if any) in payable options
- Mention the number of calls or letters you’ve already sent as reminders for recovering your debt. In case this is your first reminder, you can save this template and add this in the recurring reminders.
- Attach dated copies of all the paperwork involved in the loan, along with the commitment that the owed party consented to for the return of the debt.
- Mention any (especially legal action) that you might take if your reminders aren’t replied to.
- Also, provide a box for the debtor to mention their side of the dispute. For instance, they can request for a deadline extension or give you a justified reason for the failure of abiding by their commitment.
- Add a deadline for payment recovery along with a timeline that clearly mentions the dates on which they might receive reminders for late payments.
Try not to include any threats of legal action as you might have to fulfill it and show proof of correspondence, especially if you are unwilling or are unable to do so.
2) Take help from a Mediator
Consider going for conflict resolution by taking the help of a debt mediator to settle the dispute (if any) between you and the party that owes money to you. A mediator can help you resolve your dispute out of court and settle for a solution that benefits both of you in time.
Also, hiring a mediator is preferable if you offer loans to friends or known companies and colleagues. Obviously, you don’t want to get in debt to finance your business expansion. If you want to stay on good terms with the debtor as per the dynamics of your relationship, a mediator can help you settle for a cheaper and less conflicting way of resolution of your debt.
3) Hire an Experienced Debt Recovery Solicitor
If you’re planning on taking your case to a high court enforcement group or take assistance from legal correspondence, always remember that the law, too, will have you to seek a mediator, counselor, or dispute negotiator for settling your debt out of court initially.
If you’re still unable to recover the amount that’s owed to you despite sending countless friendly reminders and mediating the conflict, you can always take things up a notch and go to an experienced solicitor for debt recovery.
A debt recovery solicitor either works privately for an hourly fee, or is employed by agencies that excel in recovering long-standing debts for a fixed or hourly rate. Debt solicitors are legally trained and visit the debtor in person after their legal reminders have failed in getting the reaction that was expected from the owed party.
Most debt collection agencies also buy your debt from the original creditor, making them the party to whom the money is owed. They can either extend the date of recovery of payment or simply deal with your non-payment issues their ‘own sweet way’. A debt solicitor will also help you understand the dynamics of your case and whether or not you should take the assistance of a law abiding group for recovery of your debt.
Debt solicitors show up where you least expect them to. You might be at an interview, and the last thing you’d notice is your debt collector standing up in the audience and reading out your missed payment scripts (Confessions of a Shopaholic, anyone?)
4) Hiring a High Court Enforcement Group
This is practically the last straw – you have lost all ties with your debtor and are now frustrated enough to give this a go. With your money stuck in the deepest crevices of your debtor, you think it might be a better option to hire an experienced, trained, and certified officer of the high court for dealing with your case.
High court enforcement groups are authorized by the state’s governing policy, which means any legal action from their side cannot be declared null and void by the owed party. It can take from 6 weeks to a few months to settle the case, as the high court has more debtors to look into than you can ever imagine.
Also, since you involve the court and the ministry of supreme justice, your case will be dealt with sheer vigilance and importance. While taking your case to the court yourself might take up several months where you might have to suffer if the owed party is declared bankrupt. A high court enforcement group will, however, help to affiliate your case with the high court itself and provide you a sense of security, authority, and accomplishment once resolved.
Always remember the first rule of lending your money to a friend, company, or colleague – run a thorough background check and lay down your terms in black and white. Recovering debt is a painful process. Most creditors simply lose their end of the struggle mainly because they don’t want to go to a debt solicitor or the court.