Nautilus Law Group’s debt recovery division is dedicated to achieving the best financial outcomes for our clients through our six stage process:
1. TRADING STAGE – Our commercial team is seasoned at drawing credit terms and terms of trade tailored to meet each client’s individual industry. We offer credit management advices and work with our client’s advisors to minimize the risks of bad debt mounting. Where PRE-LEGAL and LEGAL enforcement is required, we step in and offer cost effective and expeditious solutions minimizing the client’s time and resources necessary to recovering debtors;
2. PRE-LEGAL STAGE – Our debt recovery team analyses each case to ensure that the client is aware of risks of proceeding, such as counter-claims which may be raised by a debtor for a failure of delivery or supply by our client. If the case has too many “skeletons”, we engage our debt negotiators to reach a best resolution. If the “best resolution” offered by the debtor, is not acceptable to our client – we move to the LEGAL STAGE informed of the debtor’s arguments and the pleadings are carefully drafted to ensure the best result for our client;
3. LEGAL STAGE – Our litigation team work diligently and efficiently issuing legal demands and court proceedings to enforce credit terms and terms of trade. Most demands and statements of claims are issued the same day as receipt by the client and/or the PRE-LEGAL team. As our legal fees are maintained at or below the court scale fees, the bulk (and usually all) professional fees and costs are recovered against the debtor;
4. JUDGMENT STAGE – As our litigation team draft the statements of claim with the intent to proceed directly to either default judgment against the debtor (if the debtor does not defend the case) or summary judgment (if the debtor defends the case, but there are no issues over the claim made by the client), judgment often flows within three months after lodgment (bearing in mind, once a Statement of Claim is lodged, it must be served and the debtor has a statutory time frame upon which to lodge a defence during which we are not able to action the file further). The goal in judgment is to ensure that all of the client’s professional fees and legal costs are included in the judgment, to ensure a full financial position post-debt recovery. As our fees are at or below the court scale fees – this is rarely a problem. The one preface to this statement is that recovery of costs can often, then, become reliant upon the debtor remaining solvent – to be discussed further in the ENFORCEMENT STAGE.
5. DEFENDED STAGE – As our cases are investigated before lodgment (the exception exists when our client demands immediate proceedings without PRE-LEGAL) and negotiated where a real dispute over the client’s supply/product is questioned by the debtor, few are ever defended by the debtor. However, where the cases must be prosecuted, our legal team works swiftly to advocate the case and list the matter for trial (as listing for trial is largely dependent upon the debtor’s legal team and the court’s docket, the duration varies case by case). Normally, cases which are defended flow into the category of “commercial litigation” rather than strictly debt recovery, as these files typically involve allegations that our client has not supplied something or done the right thing by the debtor. There are a range of excuses tendered by debtors, some fabricated and some having merit. Fees in defended files are often not 100% recoverable, but we are cognizant of not wasting client monies and refrain from unnecessary legal steps which do not deliver value for money. Importantly, the client is kept informed at each stage.
6. ENFORCEMENT STAGE – Depending upon the court which orders judgment, there are alternative options of enforcement if the debtor does not pay freely or otherwise does not respond to our debt recovery team (who are at that stage enforcing the judgment, rather than only the initial debt). Interest accrues a statutory rate if unpaid. Enforcement costs are largely recovered against the debtor. Our legal team advises the most cost effective remedy as we are able to garnish wages, bank accounts, seize property and sell assets. Where appropriate, we require the debtor to attend an Enforcement Hearing (noting, however, that this is often times deemed inappropriate where we have knowledge of existing means of recovery). Alternatively, we may recommend issuing Statutory Demands or Bankruptcy Notices where the judgments exceed the statutory ceilings and recovery by a less invasive mechanism is unlikely to prove successful.
In summary, Nautilus Law Group’s debt recovery team is dedicated to delivering a cost appropriate solution – not merely a legal service. We invite you to enquire about our services and welcome you to join our debt recovery client base. We will be the first to tell you that proceeding will only benefit our shareholders. We have built our reputation on ethics and fair dealing.
We regularly publish articles relative to Commercial Agreements, Credit Management and Debt Recovery. Please refer to our Articles Page.