If someone owes you money in the UK and you wish to take legal action to recover the debt, you may need to send a letter before action. Here are the main things you should include in the letter:
- Details of the debt: clearly state the amount of money owed, the date the debt was incurred, and any other relevant details, such as the terms of any agreement or contract.
- Request for payment: request immediate payment of the debt, including any interest or charges that may have accrued.
- Deadline for payment: set a deadline for the debtor to make payment, typically between 7 and 14 days from the date of the letter.
- Consequences of non-payment: outline the consequences of non-payment, such as legal action or debt collection proceedings.
- Information on how to pay: T provide details on how the debtor can make payment, such as bank transfer or cheque.
- Contact details: include your contact details, including your name, address, and telephone number, in case the debtor wishes to discuss the matter with you.
- Acknowledgement of receipt: The letter should ask the debtor to acknowledge receipt of the letter and respond within the specified deadline.
It is important to note that a letter before action is a formal legal document, and its contents can have significant legal consequences. Therefore, it is advisable to seek legal advice before sending such a letter to ensure that you follow the correct procedures and that the letter accurately reflects your legal position.
In the case of a claim against an individual, there is a ‘pre-action protocol’, a set of guidelines that must be followed by parties in a legal dispute before court proceedings are started. We will deal with this in a future post.