The Early Bird Catches the Worm

When it comes to retrieving debt and pursuing debtors, it isn’t all about being first in the queue, but it certainly helps…

We’re often asked by creditors about whether or not it will make much of a difference, as to how quickly they obtain a Writ against a debtor, and our advice is always the same.

“The sooner the better.”

And there are a number of reasons for this, so let’s have a look at them a little more closely.

Firstly, we have to think about process. Process and order.

The courts give priority to the Writs filed at the earliest stage, because they were filed at the earliest stage! It’s simple, but it’s effective, and it creates an order that is easy to follow for all stakeholders and interested parties, not least the debtor themselves. And remember, some debtors could be vulnerable.

The idea behind this is to prevent a free for all breaking out, where enforcement companies fight for the scraps in a ‘he who shouts loudest’ type situation. There are obvious pitfalls with this, including potentially unfair pressure being placed on the debtor.

So, that’s process and order considered.

What about outcomes?

Well, the outcome of a debt recovery can also be significantly impacted upon by the timing of a Writ. Because the earliest registered Writs are dealt with first, there is always likely to be more money still available and accessible to the debtor, meaning that the debt is more likely to be recovered in full. A Writ that is handled at a later stage may find that the debtor has already had to settle multiple other debts, with the enforcement costs that come with them, meaning that there is very little (if anything at all) left over to pay the late coming Writ.

So, you’re less likely to get your money back if you’re last in line?

Unfortunately, yes, that’s how it is, and how it will be until someone else devises a system that is ‘fairer’.

Good luck with that…

The ‘Take Home’ message here is to always, always, always seek to serve Writs at the earliest possible opportunity.

Don’t wait, it could cost you money.

Speak to #TeamCES to find out more and we’ll help you stay ahead of the game.


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