Insolvency Proceedings - Statutory Demands

In our experience this is a very effective debt recovery tool for any undisputed debts over £750 as it puts your debtor on notice in no uncertain terms of how seriously you view their failure to pay.

A Statutory Demand is not suitable if there is any element of dispute to the debt.

You can issue a Statutory Demand even if you do not have a Judgment against your debtor.

If an individual owes you a debt of more than £750 then ultimately you may petition for their bankruptcy. If a Company owes a debt of more than £750 then you may apply for a Winding Up Order to be made against it.

In either event, it is a prerequisite under the Insolvency Act 1986 that a Statutory Demand is personally served on either the individual or at the registered office of the business that owes you money.

Our standard fee for the preparation and all administration relating to a Statutory Demand is just £175 plus VAT.

In exceptional circumstances, where a Company owes you more than £750 we can dispense with the need to serve a Statutory Demand under our "Mission Critical" service that will lead to the immediate filing of a Winding Up Petition. Once the bankers of your debtor become aware of the petition that you have filed following our statutory advertising of the petition, they will invariably freeze the debtor’s bank accounts, until the final outcome of the petition is known. Other creditors may also withdraw any credit facilities to your debtor as a direct result of your petition.

Given the severity of this course of action and the implications for your debtor, you should be aware that if your petition does not succeed, for whatever reason, then you could be ordered by the Court to pay a substantial sum in costs and/or damages.

This service is only suitable in exceptional cases of high monetary value and when you are certain that a company cannot pay its debts. You will need to contact us to discuss each case on its own merits.

The debtor has to be personally served with the Statutory Demand given the significant implications of failing to deal with the demand within the very strict timescales set out in the Insolvency Act 1986.

Wherever the demand needs to be served in England & Wales, we can arrange for personal service to be effected together with a sworn affidavit of service to confirm this, as required by law.

Typically the average cost of personal service by a process server is £65.

Once the demand has been served on the debtor, they then have 21 days in which to pay you, or secure the debt, failing which you can then petition for their bankruptcy or winding up.

The implications of bankruptcy/winding up are very serious and unless the debtor was already contemplating that course of action themselves, then in most cases debtors will find the means to settle your debt in order to stop you petitioning for either their bankruptcy or the winding up of their company.

Bankruptcy Petition

The court, upon the filing of your petition, can make a bankruptcy order against an individual who fails to pay his/her debts. A bankruptcy order makes sure that the assets of the bankrupt are shared out fairly among the creditors and imposes certain restrictions on the bankrupt, such as:-

  • If an undischarged bankrupt trades under a new name, he or she must disclose the old name (under which the bankruptcy order was made) to anyone with whom he or she does business.
  • An undischarged bankrupt is not allowed to act as a director of a company or be concerned with its management, without leave (permission) of the court.
  • An undischarged bankrupt can only get credit up to £500 without informing those with whom he or she is dealing about the bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy does not necessarily mean that the debts of the bankrupt will be paid.

Before you can present a Bankruptcy Petition against an individual or a partner in a business, you must have either:-

served a Statutory Demand and the debtor failed to comply with it, or

have an "unsatisfied" execution of a Judgment debt, whereby either a County Court Bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer has been unable to seize enough assets to discharge the debt.

The out of pocket expenses and disbursements required to present a bankruptcy petition are considerable and we would not recommend taking this course of action lightly.

Winding Up Petition

If a company owes you money and has refused or neglected to pay the debt, you may apply to wind it up by presenting a petition to court for that purpose. A winding-up petition is usually presented by a creditor on the grounds that the company cannot pay its debts and this has to be proved to the court.

This proof can either be:-

  • the failure on the part of the debtor to comply with a Statutory Demand that you have served or;
  • an "unsatisfied" execution of a Judgment debt, whereby either a County Court Bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer has been unable to seize enough assets to discharge the debt.

The out of pocket expenses and disbursements required to present a Winding Up petition are considerable, and exceed those of a bankruptcy petition, and we would not recommend taking this course of action lightly.

Call Veritas Legal Debt Recovery Services on Exeter 01392 498686 or Torquay 01803 617077
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