A Guide to Debt Recovery for Businesses

How to recover business debts

Commercial Debt Recovery Lawyers, Glasgow

We understand recovering outstanding sums owed to your business can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience. We act for companies of all sizes and from a wide range of sectors to ensure debts are recovered as quickly and effectively as possible. You can find out more about our commercial debt recovery services here.

Here, we provide an outline of the steps that can be taken to recover commercial debts successfully. If you would like us to assist, please call us today on 0141 258 4117 or complete our online enquiry form.

To discuss your circumstances and get the advice you need, get in touch today

Call 0141 258 4117

Or complete our online contact form and we will get back to you without delay

First Steps

When your customers fail to pay their debts it is always best to take steps to engage with your debtor to try to resolve matters before taking legal action. It may be that they have simply forgotten to pay, and a gentle reminder could be sufficient to remedy this quickly. However, there will be cases when your debtor refuses or is unable to pay.
Your debtor should be given fair warning that you are considering legal action and provide a reasonable period to pay to avoid court action. What constitutes a ‘reasonable period' will depend on the circumstances but in most cases, seven days will be sufficient.

Raising an Action

Debts of £5,000 or less

A process known as Simple Procedure is used to recover debts of less than £5,000. You will be required to complete a claim form setting out the parties involved, the background to the claim, details about why it should succeed, the steps you have already taken to recover the debt and provide any supporting documents. This information is sent to the relevant Sheriff Court and, after they are checked, a timetable will be issued that includes a date on which the claim must be served on the debtor and when they must respond. These will usually be three weeks apart.
The debtor may:● Admit the debt and pay it● Admit the debt and ask for time to pay● Dispute the debt
If the claim is disputed, the case will be heard by the Sheriff. If no response is received, you can apply to the Court for a decision.

Debts of more than £5,000

These claims proceed under the Ordinary Cause rules of the Sheriff Court. You must submit a writ providing details of the claim to the Sheriff Court, which grants a warrant that represents your permission to serve the action on the debtor. 
The debtor then has 21 days to pay or defend the action. If they defend the action, the court will set a timetable, including a date for defences to be lodged and a first hearing. If the action is not defended and no payment is made, you can apply for a decree from the court. 
This can then be relied on to enforce the debt, with Sheriff Officers initiating the enforcement process by serving a Charge for Payment on the debtor.


A range of enforcement options are available to unpaid creditors and we can advise on the most appropriate in the circumstances. These include:
● Statutory demand● Bankruptcy● Arrestment of the debtor’s assets or bank account Earning arrestment – deducting money from your debtor's salary Inhibition – preventing your debtor from selling property Attachment – leading to the sale of the debtor’s property


Contact our Commercial Debt Recovery Lawyers Glasgow, Scotland

For comprehensive commercial debt recovery advice, call Morgan Legal today on 0141 258 4117 or fill in our online enquiry form.

Get in touch


Regent House, 113 West Regent StreetGlasgow, G2 2RU

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