Credit control – assessing the risk

Whenever we are asked by one of our clients to sue either an individual or a business we assess whether that person or business is worth suing. As they say, “there’s no point suing a man of straw”. At the end of the day, the client decides whether to proceed or not with litigation, however, we make sure that the client understands the risks involved.

The assessment which we undertake is the type of assessment which individuals and businesses should undertake when deciding whether to give their customers credit and how much credit to give.

We ask the following questions:-

1. Who exactly are we dealing with? ie are we dealing with an individual or a limited company.

2. Do they own any assets?

3. How long have they been trading?

The following online resources are either free or relatively cheap:-

  • In the case of individuals we check the Individual Insolvency Register to see whether the person has been made bankrupt or some other form of insolvency.
  • In the case of companies we check Companies House as this will tell us the address of their registered office, how long they have traded and whether they have been filing accounts.
  • The Land Register can be checked to find out who owns a particular piece of land.
  • Nethouse Prices will give you an idea how much properties have been selling for in the same area.
  • For a small charge you can find out whether the individual or company already has any County Court Judgments registered against them.

The more you know about your customer the more informed your decision will be.

Hastings & Co Solicitors are a niche solicitors firm in Chelmsford, Essex that specialise in debt collection and litigation. For advice or assistance please call Liam Hastings on 01245 835 305.

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