How to Recover Debt from an Individual

Being owed money can be very infuriating and uncomfortable, and even worse when going through the process of recovering it!  

There are many things to consider when beginning this journey, so continue reading to get an insight on our debt recovery advice 

Where to start? 

The first step of a debt recovery process is trying to contact the individual. Sometimes that isn’t as easy as a phone call, in that case begin by sending a letter.  

In the letter you should include:  

  • All information about the debt – The amount owed, the reason they owe you money 
  • Explanation of other methods you have completed in attempt to recover the debt  
  • When the payment is expected (make sure you are allowing at least 7 days) 
  • The next steps you are going to take if the issue isn’t resolved  

When writing a letter to recover debt, ensure the letter is clear, concise, and well written. This way, your debtor knows what is expected of them and what actions could be taken if failure to comply.  

Professional help  

When dealing with debt recovery, unless familiar with the law this can feel overwhelming and confusing. You should consider professional support when dealing with a stubborn debtor.  

It is important to note that seeking professional help is only recommended when the debt is significant enough. Enforcement action can not only be a big expense but also negatively impact your relationship with the debtor.  

After considering all the above, there are a few options available to look into helping recover your debt. 


When negotiating a legal matter, especially money, it is likely to be heated and argumentative. Bringing in a mediator means there is a neutral third party to help with any dispute.  

Providing an outside viewpoint will enable a fair outlook and result on the debt recovery.  With someone to provide legal advice where required. 


With any legal matter it is vital to know your rights and without an understanding of the law this can be difficult, hiring a solicitor will take away that worry. 

If you are wanting to use a solicitor, it is best to begin using them as early as possible. This will show the debtor how serious you are about recovering your debt.  

Solicitors will be able to write the debt collection letter and assist with any legal actions. Which means if the debt collection progresses to court, you have legal support from the beginning of the debt recovery process and someone who is familiar with your case.  

Debt Recovery Agency  

There are many advantages to using a debt recovery agency. These services are a quick and definite way to recover any debt. Debt recovery agents will know the best legal route to take dependant on your circumstances. A debt recovery agency will have years of experience and extensive knowledge to assist you with recovering your bad debts quickly and efficiently.  

Using a respectful and professional collection agency may help you maintain a good relationship with the debtor, whereas that is usually unlikely if legal action is taken. Most recovery agencies will act promptly to ensure that both parties are treated fairly within the repossession process.  

If the agency tries to recover the debt and the individual still refuses to pay, the debt recovery agency can instruct solicitors on your behalf. 

However, it is important to consider that the use of this service can be costly, so again always weigh up whether your debt is a considerable enough amount before using this service.

Court process  

If all these suggestions have been completed and the debtor is still ignoring your requests and demands, it may now be time to take your case to court.  

If considering beginning the court process it is vital to consider a few things: 

  • Your debt is substantial enough to justify the amount spent on a court case 
  • All disputes regarding the debt recovery are resolved (without doing so chances of recovering any debt drops considerably)
  • The debtor has the means to settle all debt – bankruptcy is likely to get the debt stricken off  

There are numerous ways you can make a debt recovery claim. The size of the debt influences how you proceed. If the debt is below £10,000 it can be made through small claims of the county court. Debts over £100,000 will need to be made in high court. 

Most debtors once threatened with a court case will pay up. But failure to do so will leave you with no option than to continue with the court proceedings. 

Recovering money from a bankrupt individual 

Recovering debt can be challenging in any normal circumstance, let alone when bankruptcy is involved. Once owed money from an individual or company who cannot pay their off debt, how you claim your money back is dependant on their circumstance.  

If you are owed money, you become a creditor of the person that is in debt to you. Once recognised as a creditor a report will be sent to you, if there are assets you will be asked to complete a proof of debt.  Once confirmed an official receiver (OR) or an insolvency practitioner (IP) will release all assets. Money raised by doing so is then divided amongst any creditors in order of priority.  

There are many legal requirements and further information to understand when owed money from a bankrupt individual, which you can find out here  

Recovering money from an individual in another country 

Recovering debt from a debtor that is in a different country will be a struggle but still possible.  

If your debtor leaves the country, legally you are unable to chase them for the money owed, but you can go after any assets left behind. 

The UK has agreements with some countries, like Australia and Canada. With these agreements you can be granted access to selling your debtors arrears to a debt collecting agency within the country they are in, which will mean you are able to then chase them for their arrears 

However, if you are wanting to proceed with recovering your money, you will have to file the case in a foreign court. When doing so it is vital to know whether the debt is substantial enough to proceed with a foreign court case, as this will cost an unreasonable amount. 

Need assistance? 

Independently recovering debt can be challenging and time consuming. Here at Able investigations, we understand the importance of knowing your rights and how to correctly recover your money.  

Contact us now to speak to a professional and start your debt recovery process today! 


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