Kelly Law Solicitors offer a comprehensive debt collection service for each and every level of debt.

In the debt collection process there are a number of steps which must be taken by the Solicitor but it is the nature of the debt, and indeed of the debtor, that will determine the steps taken. Each debt collection matter must be addressed by the debt collection Solicitor with reference to the specific nature of the facts on an individual basis.

Groundwork for a debt collection claim

A debt collection Solicitor must carry out a number of background checks before commencing a debt collection matter. Should the debtor be a company, up to date searches need to be carried out with the Company Registrations Office to ascertain details such as registered address and whether the comapny still has a “normal” status. Property searches need to be carried out to ascertain what property the debtor has, if any. Should the debtor have property searches need to be carried out to establish if other debtors have registered charges against that property. These searches are important to carry out before the commencment of an action as in some circumstances the debt may not be recoverable. These searches prevent further losses to a creditor. Searches also provide the debt collection solicitor with the neccessary information to maximise the prospects of recovery.

Letter of demand

As a preliminary step in each debt collection matter the Solicitor will service notice in the form of a letter of demand on the debtor. This letter gives the debtor a period of time to discharge the debt without the addition of legal costs. Should the letter of demand be ignored then legal proceedings are issued.

Legal Proceedings

Legal Proceedings may issue in the District Court, Circuit Court or High Court depending on the level of debt. Once legal proceedings are issued the debt collection Solicitor effects service on the debtor.

Judgement

The method of obtaining judgement will differ depending on whether the claim is defended or un-defended. For un-defended claims judgement may be taken up in the relevant Court office without the necessity of attending Court. Defended claims must be taken through the usual Court process and given a full Court hearing.

Enforcement

The method of enforcement in debt collection proceedings will depend on the individual facts of each case. Methods of enforcement in debt collection matters include:

Judgement Mortgages
Where the debtor is the owner of property the judgement may be registered against that property in the form of a judgement mortgage. The debtor will not be able to sell the property until such time as the debt is cleared in full with interest. In situations where there is equity in the property the next step in the debt collection process is to to the Court for an order for the sale of the property.
Order for sale
Where a judgment mortgage is registered over a property the creditor is entitled to bring an application before the Court for an order for sale of that property.
County Sheriff
Where the debtor is the owner of property the judgement may be registered against that property in the form of a judgement mortgage. The debtor will not be able to sell the property until such time as the debt is cleared in full with interest. In situations where there is equity in the property the next step in the debt collection process is to to the Court for an order for the sale of the property.
Order for sale
Once judgment has been obtained the creditor may request the county sheriff to present at the debtors premises to effect execution against the debtors goods. The role of the sheriff is to seize goods and sell them for the purpose of satisfying the debt.
Publication
The judgment may be registered with the central office of the High Court which will lead to its publication in trade magazines. The effect of this will be to adversely effect that debtors credit rating.
Examination, Installment & Committal Orders
Where judgement is levied against a debtor it is open to the creditor to bring that debtor before the District Court for the purpose of having that debtor's means assessed. Application is made for an installment order to be made based on the debtor's means. Should that debtor fail to keep payments as ordered then further application can be made to the District Court to have that debtor in default committed.
Garnishee orders
Where payment is not forthcoming directly from the judgement debtor and the creditor is aware that money is due to that debtor from a third party then application can be made to the Courts for an order compelling that third party to pay these monies to the judgement creditor.