Debt Collection for European Banks

In 2010 we were asked to assist Spanish banking clients to trace UK based debtors, who owned properties in Spain but who had defaulted on their Spanish mortgages.
Our service includes locating the debtors in the UK and initially trying to encourage debtors to re-engage with the bank in respect of the arrears and sums owed. In the event that the debt cannot be rescheduled using European legislation we can arrange to have your judgment registered in the High Court in London. Thereafter, it can be enforced in the same manner as if it were a judgment of any UK court.

Click here to see how we can enforce the judgment.

However even without a judgment using European legislation we are still able to pursue your debts, again by using European law. Below is a summary of the main European regulations but it’s important that you instruct solicitors to advise on the most appropriate method.

European Order for Payment Procedure (EOP)

The EOP procedure under Regulation (EC) No 1896 of 2006 is a relatively quick and easy way of recovering an uncontested debt from a person or business in another European Union country.

We can draft the relevant court forms involved and submit these to the relevant court in the event that the debtor refuses to pay.

European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP)

If the value of your claim is less than €2,000 under Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 you could use the European Small Claims procedure (ESCP) which is for low value claims in cross-border cases.

As well as using standard forms across the European Union, the ESCP also sets time limits to speed the process up which were revised on 19th November 2013. Planned modifications will increase the €2000 claim limit to €10,000 and court fees will be capped at 10% of the claim amount which will assist individuals and businesses to recover their debts.

We can draft the relevant court forms involved and submit these to the relevant court in the event that the debtor refuses to pay.

European Enforcement Order (EEO) for uncontested claims.

A European Enforcement Order (EEO) under Regulation (EC) 805/2004 provides a simple method for enforcing your uncontested judgment in another country within the EU. We can draft the relevant court forms involved and submit these to the relevant court in the event that the debtor refuses to pay. Thereafter we can assist with the enforcement of such claims.

What is the advantage of using solicitors instead of a
Debt Collection Agency (DCA)?

Many clients based abroad do not appreciate the advantages of instructing a firm of solicitors instead of a debt collection agency, otherwise known as a DCA.

There is a huge difference and by clicking here you can see why.

Solicitors are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and are required to maintain a properly audited client account. They must also have professional indemnity insurance.

DCA's are not so regulated.

In addition Solicitors can provide a seamless transitional service in the collection cycle from pre-action communications to the debtor and thereafter they can take court action by issuing legal proceedings in a court of law.

If you use a debt collection agency they are not authorised to issue court proceedings. This is because it is an offence to do so under the Legal Services Act 2007.

Accordingly if your debtor refuses to pay, the DCA will have to hand your file back to you and such a delay will inevitably send the wrong message to your debtor and lead to delay in collecting your debt.

In summary:
  • only solicitors can commence legal proceedings in a court of law;
  • only solicitors are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority;
  • only solicitors are obliged to maintain professional indemnity insurance;
  • only solicitors are required to have their client account audited pursuant to the Solicitor Account Rules.

How do you charge?

Creditor clients often wrongly believe that lawyers only charge by the hour. The latter is not always true and Welbeck Solicitors takes an innovative and modern approach to litigation funding.

The vast majority of our work is undertaken through a ‘Damages Based Agreement (DBA)’ which is a document approved by the Ministry of Justice. This means that you pay by results and only pay fees if a recovery is made.

In addition where possible Welbeck Solicitors will endeavour to recover our fees and any related disbursements from the debtor or a third party.

For further details please see the explanation below.
A damages-based agreement (DBA) is a form of "no-win, no fee" agreement between a lawyer and client under which the lawyer is paid an agreed proportion of the sums the client recovers in litigation. This kind of arrangement is perhaps more often described as a "contingency fee", but in England and Wales that term would also cover a "conditional fee agreement".

Until recently, English law only permitted DBAs in relation to non-contentious transactional matters and proceedings before employment tribunals but, from 1 April 2013, they are now permissible in relation to proceedings before the English courts. In debt collection cases, the payment a lawyer may agree to receive under a DBA will be subject to a cap of 50% of the sums recovered by the client but Welbeck Solicitors charges a lot less. The liability of an unsuccessful party to pay the costs of an opponent, which has entered into a DBA, will continue to be calculated in the usual way i.e. based on the lawyer's hourly rates.

State-of-the-art technology and software systems to get your
money back quicker.

We provide Internet access so that your management teams can always monitor the progression of your cases.

Our software also enables us to contact your debtors using SMS (text messaging) and our tracing system which is linked into one of the major credit reference agencies means that we can assist you to try and locate your debtor’s current address.

Pay Now. Our website also enables debtors to pay their debts electronically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How to get in touch

If you would like more information on our Debt Collection services or for a free no-obligation discussion please call us on 020 7467 3999 or make an Online Enquiry.

Our Fees

If you would like more details of our charges, please refer to our pricing guide here.