Letter before Action under Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims

Letter of Claim for Debt Recovery (Protocol Version)

TR.D&C.02.14

This Letter of Claim for Debt Recovery (Protocol Version) should be used if a customer has failed to settle or agree to settle an outstanding debt after receiving a number of reminder letters. If the creditor is intending to take court proceedings, a Letter of Claim must be sent before bringing proceedings. 

This letter complies with the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims which applies where the debtor is an individual (including a sole trader). An alternative version of the Letter of Claim is available for cases where the Protocol does not apply.

The letter sets out details of the debt and encloses an Information Sheet, a Reply Form and a template Financial Statement Form. These documents are all included in the Letter of Claim template. If the creditor has produced a Statement of Account, this should also be enclosed.

The letter must be posted on the date it is dated or, if that is not reasonably possible, the following day.

The customer has 30 days from the date of the letter to respond, using the Reply Form and (if relevant) the Financial Statement Form.

If the customer does not reply to the Letter of Claim within 30 days the creditor is free to start court proceedings. If the customer returns the Reply Form within 30 days, the creditor must not start court proceedings less than 30 days from receipt of the Reply Form or from the creditor providing any documents requested by the customer, whichever is the later. This gives the debtor the opportunity to take debt advice and allows the parties to try and reach agreement.

If a dispute remains about the existence, enforceability, amount or any other aspect of the debt, the Protocol requires the parties to take steps to resolve the dispute without starting court proceedings. In particular, they should consider Alternative Dispute Resolution.

If the creditor does decide to take court proceedings, they must give the customer at least 14 days’ notice of their intention to do so. See the Letter - 14 Days’ Notice of Court Proceedings to Recover Debt.

For a simple way to make a County Court claim visit www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. To prepare yourself for an online claim please refer to the forms contained within the 'Legal Action Letters and Court Forms' subfolder which can assist you.

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