Very occasionally we find a customer decides that they are not going to pay us the money we are owed. Obviously, we find this pretty upsetting, after all, we work on a No Win No Fee basis so without honest customers paying what they owe, we would not survive. We do take non-payment extremely seriously. we are not like lenders who accept bad debt and do not chase it, we just can't afford to let non-payers off the hook. We need every pound to survive and therefore we chase non-payers for our money.
So, what do we do with someone who either ignores us, refuses to send a Final Decision letter or will not pay us? The first step is that we follow all legal guidelines and rules. We will send out forms and letters following the Pre Court Protocol rules set by the Ministry of Justice. After 30 days we will commence legal action in the County Court. Once we have won in the County Court we will seek Judgement from the Court and immediately following the Judgement we appoint High Court Bailiff's to recover the debt for us. We usually use the company you can see on Channel 5's "Can't pay We'll Take it Away" as we find them very effective.
We do not ever want to have to take legal action as it does not help anyone. We only end up with what we were owed and the customer ends up paying a lot more than they had to. This is a real example:
We won a customer called Andrew £2,480.26 from Wage Day Advance. Andrew decided to accept the offer directly and not pay us. Our fees were £620 plus vat, so £744.08. We took Andrew to the County Court and this added £60 to the amount he owed us (that is the amount we were charged by the Court), we then took him to the High Court, via the Bailiffs, and this added £66 to what he owed us. By the time the Bailiffs collected all the money, he ended up paying out £1,243.61!
He wasted £499.53.
We did not add any other costs or interest. we only wanted what he owed from the successful claim.
Another sad and unnecessary case, a Policeman of all people. We won him £1,179.71 from a Wonga case. Wonga initially rejected the case and said they had done nothing wrong, so we took the case to the FOS. We spent many hours and a long time working on his case and we won. The FOS upheld our complaint and made Wonga pay out the £1,179.71 to him. He then refused to pay us and became quite nasty. He owed us £294.93 plus vat. We had no option but to take him to court and he still refused to pay. So we had to get a warrant issued and a Court Bailiff collected £465.92 from him. We added no extra money to the claim, the increase was purely court costs. So this man wasted £112.