Do you know your Debtor?
We at Else Solicitors have pulled together some things to consider before starting a claim. In Part 3 of our series, we discuss Address Details.
Again, this may seem a basic point but we have had cases where clients/claimants have guessed the address of their debtor (because they have seen them coming out of that property) or they have done a land registry search and think that confirms residency. Whilst a Land Registry search of course details proprietorship, your debtor may not actually reside there. They could be renting the property out or they may no longer reside there with the joint owner.
Where your debtor is an individual or sole trader and you are not 100% sure of the address details you have, it may be wise to consider instructing us to perform a trace. We do not offer this service ourselves but will request this from a third party tracing agent and the cost is reasonable with many agents offering a no trace no fee service. The address you have may be confirmed or it could bring to light a new address which you were not aware of. Correspondence will then be sent to the new address and this then may prompt a response – even if that response is “how did you know where I was”! This will open up the lines of communication.
A limited company of course has a registered office address and in most cases a website to visit. In most cases, all legal correspondence should be sent to the registered office and a trading address if there is one, to cover all bases.
Having the correct address details saves time should you need to chase any outstanding invoices/charges and end up issuing a claim. If a claim is issued and served at an address where the claimant does not reside or no longer resides, this may lead to a defence being filed or any Judgment you may obtain being set aside. If the defendant has not seen the claim – how can they respond?
Also having the correct address and contact details may negate the need for court proceedings altogether as the sooner the defendant is aware of your intentions, the sooner the matter can be resolved. It may open up negotiations as neither party really wants to become embroiled in the Court process.
If you are then faced with a defence to your claim or an application to set a judgment aside on the basis they “haven’t seen the claim” then in order to argue your case, you will be able to show that a trace was carried out in order to have the most up to date information at the time and this can only assist your position.
Also, If your case cannot be settled without enforcement action, you will have a head start with your enforcement as you will have the most up to date information.
If you have any outstanding invoices that you have put to one side because you are not getting any response – perhaps a trace may be a good starting point and as always, we will only be too happy to assist.