Letter of Demand
The first step to any debt recovery process is the serving of a letter of demand upon a debtor individual or company. A letter of demand is required to set out clearly details of a debt that is owed to a creditor.
It is a useful and beneficial step. It is a required step in order to put a debtor on notice of a debt that is due and payable, and set out the terms of when such debt is required to be paid. By failing to respond to a letter of demand, a creditor may take action against the debtor without further notice, which can result in Court proceedings or the obtaining of a Court Judgment.
However, it is not as simple as just sending a note to a debtor demanding payment. A letter of demand must be clear and concise as to:
- The amount of debt that is owed;
- Who the debt is owed to;
- Who is liable to pay the debt;
- Any contractual obligation in respect of the debt;
- What the debt is in relation to;
- How the debt was accumulated;
- The timeframe the debt is required to be paid;
- Where payment may be made to satisfy the demand; and
- Further steps that may be taken by the creditor if no payment or response is received from the demand.
Without satisfying the above information, the letter of demand may be deemed to be vague and ambiguous. Should a matter proceed to Court and the letter of demand be deemed unclear, this may allow a debtor to be successful in obtaining a potential costs order for costs incurred after the date of the letter of demand, as they may have made payment of the debt if the demand was clear as to the required information.
In order for a letter of demand to be prepared, it would be beneficial to obtain information from you such as:
- Contractual agreements – including credit application;
- Copies of outstanding invoices;
- Any correspondence between you and the debtor in regards to the goods or services provided, and the chasing of the debt; and
- Contact details of the debtor.
At Matthews Folbigg Lawyers, we have a full service debt recovery department and may assist you from reviewing your contracts, terms of credit, or debts, to sending letters of demand (at fixed fee rates), to commencing proceedings and obtaining Judgments.
Matthews Folbigg at all times act in the best interests of their clients. In this regard, proceedings are not always required to be commenced. It is due to this that we have found conducting other methods prior to the commencement of proceedings can be found to be quite successful in recovering a debt, and thereby reducing costs.
We have found that a great deal of the time, a lot of creditors may not be aware of the entity actually liable for the debt owed to them. By allowing your lawyer to review your debts, you can ensure that the correct debtor liable for the debt is pursued in order to avoid incurring significant costs by chasing the wrong entity.
We are a full service firm and may assist you from the stage of a letter of demand all the way to obtaining a winding up order or sequestration order against a debtor.
If you would like to have your debtors reviewed and find out how we can help you recover monies owed and reduce the amount of debtors or write-offs for your organisation, contact Jeffrey Brown, Principal of the Insolvency, Restructuring & Debt Recovery team at Matthews Folbigg NOW on (02) 9635 7966.
Who should you get in your corner as your lawyer – the team at Matthews Folbigg!