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Small Claims Court

If someone owes you money, you might consider taking them to small claims court. It’s often the first thing a lot of people think to do when they are owed money and it’s easy to see why. You might assume that small claims court – as it involves the law, lawyers and a judge – is an assured win, a fast way of getting paid by a debtor. You might think that a debtor will be scared by the court process and cough up instantly. But, it’s not always the most effective or efficient way of recovering your funds, and there are certainly no guarantees. In fact, taking someone to court can be a time consuming and stressful process.

This is why we always recommend enlisting the help of a debt collection agency, such as Cobra Financial. Instead of navigating the complexities of small claims court and dealing with lengthy delays, you can start debt collection proceedings immediately.

Small Claims Court vs. Debt Collection Agency

There are two ways to recover a debt; taking a debtor to court or handing everything over to a debt collection agency. There are pros and cons to both, but using a debt collection agency always comes out on top.

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    The Benefits of Using a Debt Collection Agency

    • Convenience – Using a debt collection agency, such as Cobra Financial, is more convenient than going through the small claims court process. We handle the entire debt collection process for you, leaving you free to focus on other things.
    • Expertise – As a debt collection agency, we have the experience and resources needed to locate debtors and negotiate payments. We tailor our approach to your unique situation, using the techniques that are more likely to achieve debt collection success.
    • Efficient – Debt collection agencies tend to have a higher success rate in collecting debts, compared to small claims courts. The small claims court process can be long, especially as courts are currently experiencing a lot of delays.

    The Downsides of Going to Court

    • Time Consuming – Small claims court cases can be time consuming, even if you choose the fast track route. Not only do you have to organise the paperwork and file the claim, but you also have to wait to be given a court date. This could be months, possibly even a year, in the future.
    • No Guarantee – A win in small claims court doesn’t guarantee that you will be paid. Even if you win in court, collecting the money can still be a challenge, especially if the debtor doesn’t have the income or assets to pay.
    • Court Fees – When you take a debtor to court, you will need to pay court fees. The amount payable depends on how much you are claiming for, but it can be anywhere from 5% of the claim to £10,000.
    What Methods Do Debt Collection Agencies Use to Collect Debts?

    Small Claims Court Delays

    When it comes to recovering a debt, you can pursue a debtor via a debt collection agency, or you can take them to court. We are often asked if going to court is a waste of time and money, and sadly, it often is. It’s not just a handful of people that are facing small claims court delays, it’s something that is affecting cases up and down the country.

    Simply, the courts haven’t recovered from the COVID-19 backlog, and that doesn’t appear to be changing soon. According to recent futures, the delays at small claims court now exceed 75 weeks. Instead, enlist the help of Cobra Financial. We can recover your funds quickly.

    Small Claims Court Delays in Action

    Back in January 2023, we received an inquiry from a potential client. He was owed £9,200 and his debtor was refusing to pay, as is often the case. The Cobra Financial team jumped at the chance to help, knowing that we had the debt collection skills needed to successfully recover his funds in no time at all. Unfortunately, the client decided to take the matter to small claims court.

    We later heard back from the client, letting us know that he had received a court date for June 2024. That’s right, the court date was an entire year away, meaning that he had to wait at least a year to even begin his debt collection journey.

    We advised that as court proceedings had been issued, the client is now locked in to the system and he now has to continue on the small claims court route. Instead of immediately getting the ball rolling with Cobra Financial, he has to wait until June 2024 before his case is even looked at. By taking the debt to small claims court, the debtor has been given even longer to repay the funds. The client is still without the money that is rightfully his, and he will be for the foreseeable future.

    How Does the Debt Collection Process Work?
    Can I Charge Interest with Face-to-Face Debt Recovery?

    Remember, You Don’t Need a CCJ to Recover Your Debt

    A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that you need a County Court Judgement (CCJ) to recover a debt, but this isn’t the case. With the help of Cobra Financial, you can receive the funds that are rightfully yours, without going anywhere near a courtroom.

    Find out more about recovering your debt without needing to go to small claims court, by contacting the Cobra Financial team. We are always on hand to help, regardless of how much your debtor owes.

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    FAQ

    A small claim is a case that has been allocated to the Small Claims Court. Predominantly concerning claims worth up to £10,000, Small Claims typically involve claims for faulty goods, services, unpaid bills or rent arrears.

    If you have had a problem with a service or product; you rent and your landlord hasn’t repaired a problem worth up to £10,000; you are owed a refund, or you have been injured in an accident, then you are fully eligible to make a Small Claim.

    To make a Small Claim in court you will need to provide a brief statement of the facts, how much money you are claiming, and the amount of interest you are seeking. After a claim has been issued, the defendant must then file a defence; after which the judge will make a final ruling.

    There are several types of typical claims in Small Claims Court. These include pursuing unpaid invoices, breach of contract claims, sale of goods and services disputes, claims for unpaid rent, building disputes and professional negligence claims.

    In England and Wales, there is a starting fee of £25-£410. This is completely dependent on the size of your claim and can be paid by credit or debit card.

    There are several alternatives to Small Claims Court. These include agreeing an out of court settlement, mediation with a trained mediator, pursuing the help of a government agency, or instructing debt collectors such as Cobra Financial Solutions.

    Let’s get started

    For further advice and support, and to discuss your case in detail, then call one of the Cobra team on 0151 526 4222.

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