How to Recover a Debt from an Individual

If you are a creditor, there are a number of ways to get debt from a debtor. A debtor is someone that owes money to you. This article explains how to recover a debt from an individual.

Someone owes me money, will I be paid if they go bankrupt?

When bankruptcy takes place the control of the bankrupt’s money and assets are moved to the Official Receiver (OR) and they will look at all claims and try and distribute money to anyone who has provable debt in the bankruptcy and is entitled to a distribution. Sometimes this means that everyone gets paid in full, sometimes it means that no one gets paid anything at all. Some debts are still owed after someone has been bankrupt, If there is a liability in respect of personal damages it is not written off when the bankrupt is discharged although it is a provable debt in the bankruptcy.

You may wish to take legal advice but you can find details of how to claim in the bankruptcy on the Gov website.

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Can I officially record the payments made by the debtor?

You can contact one of the credit reference agencies directly (Experian, Equifax, Callcredit) about the process involved in recording information with them as a creditor.

From the debtor’s perspective, the following would apply:

  • Judgment information is held by Registry Trust and will show for 6 years from the original court date. This cannot be changed without some amendment that is agreed by the court. If the information is updated at Registry Trust it will be updated with the credit reference agencies directly by them.
  • For County Court Judgment’s (CCJ) a Certificate of Satisfaction from the court has to be provided for records to be updated to show that the order has been paid back in full. The debtor could apply for a Certificate of Cancellation if paid in full within 28 days. Then the judgement will be removed from the credit reference agency listing.
  • After 6 years from the original court case, the judgment is automatically removed from their file.

Can a debtor deliberately omit a creditor from his IVA?

If a creditor finds that they have been omitted from an already established IVA they can apply to the Insolvency Practitioner in charge of the debtor and request that they are included in the IVA. Information regarding the Insolvency Practitioner can be located on the Individual Insolvency Register.

If the IVA has not gone through then you can apply to the courts for a CCJ from which you can then get a Charging Order granted on the debtor’s property. The charging order would need to be in place before the IVA was granted. Otherwise, this would not be an option for you.

For more information, you should read this article: IVA and Creditors: The Rights of Creditors

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Can I charge interest on the money owed to me?

If you had some form of contractual agreement and this included the debtor’s commitment to pay you back with interest. Then yes you can charge interest. If this is not the case then you would have to use court action to get the money. You would also have the opportunity to dispute this. The court would then make the decision based on the evidence presented to them.

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