We are aware that many businesses throughout Essex and East Anglia use Thomas Higgins solicitors (based in Merseyside) for their debt collection work.
To be fair, Thomas Higgins are cheap, charging only £2 plus VAT for a letter before action or £5 plus VAT for a late payment demand. By comparison we charge £15 plus VAT for a letter before action (although we do automatically include a demand for late payment compensation). Admittedly we are more expensive than Thomas Higgins however we still feel that we are good value for money.
How does it work in practice? Typically, we will get an email from one of our regular clients which says something like: “can you send one of your letters to the to the following company.” They provide us with the name and address of the company that owes them money together with details of the outstanding invoices including dates and amounts. We then send that company a letter warning them that if the debt is not paid within 7 days, legal proceedings will be commenced. In addition we advise the debtor that they owe our client compensation pursuant to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 and we tell them how much they owe. We ask them to send payment directly to our client.
So what happens if the debtor still does not pay? If it becomes necessary to issue legal proceedings Thomas Higgins charge fixed costs for issuing a claim. Our charges are not fixed in the same way however we still offer good value for money and in most cases our charges are less than the compensation and fixed costs that we are able to recover from the debtor. This means that we are often able to recover the full face value of the debt for the client.
However, where we offer real added value is when the debt is disputed and this does make us different from Thomas Higgins. It is our understanding that if the debt is disputed Thomas Higgins then inform the client that they do not handle disputed cases and the client has to find a new solicitor. This can be after legal proceedings have been issued. So legal proceedings have been issued, they are being defended and you now have to find a different solicitor to act for you.
We are happy to deal with disputed cases and have the skill and experience to advise you on the merits of the dispute.
Hastings & Co Solicitors are based in Chelmsford, Essex and specialise in debt collection. For advice or assistance please contact Liam Hastings on 01245 835 305.