Old Debt Collection (Part 1)

Chasing Old Debt – The Complete Debt Collection Guide (Part 1)


No matter what sector you operate within, at some point, your business will be in the position of chasing up an old debt. Generally, the best approach to any debt is to chase it up straight away, but that isn’t always appropriate or possible for a variety of reasons:

• The debtor has made a convincing case that they can’t repay currently
• The debtor is unreachable or unresponsive
• You may be hesitant about confronting the debtor for a variety of reasons

While these factors may lead you to put off chasing up a debt, they must be balanced by the impact that non-payment can have on your business, in terms of cash flow. In addition, the longer a debt goes unpaid, the more likely you are to abandon it completely.

Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take when it comes to chasing up an old debt. The first thing to consider is: what are your options?


Chasing Debt: Your Options


One of the first things that businesses need to consider when looking at the recovery of old debt is the time factor, as this can limit your options.

In the UK, the law states that debts have to be collected within a period of six years. After this point, you cannot enforce collection as it is considered to be ‘Statute Barred’. That puts a clear limit on your options in terms of time. There are, however, exceptions.

If the debtor has acknowledged or paid a part of the debt, then the six-year time limit is effectively reset to that point. Additionally, if you are able to obtain a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against the debtor at any point, then you will keep your debt alive and get more time to tun it into cash.

If the debt is within the six-year period or one of the exemptions applies, then you can consider how to chase that debt and you have two main options:


1/ Pursue the debt yourself

2/ Engage the services of a debt collection agency

CLI is a Debt Collection Agency specialising in UK Debt Collection or International Debt Collection for businesses. Our team of experts debt collectors can assist you with your requirements including old debts that are long overdue. We are members of the CSA  and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.