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Civil Disputes - Making a Claim

Before taking Court proceedings to recover money owed to you, you should try and explore every possible alternative. Although making a claim for a sum less than £10,000 is not particularly expensive it can be time consuming, frustrating and at the end of the day, unsuccessful.

You may need help in bringing the claim from a solicitor. If the value of the claim is less than £10,000 (£1,000 for personal injury claims) you will not be able to recover those solicitors costs from your opponent.

You also need to consider whether the other party has sufficient assets and resources to be able to pay you the amount ordered.

If someone is unemployed, is bankrupt or has other debts and no property of their own even the Court may not be able to get money for you.

If you want to check whether someone is bankrupt or owes money to other people which has not been paid you can search the bankruptcy and insolvency register.

A Court case may take many months to resolve and even when an award is made the money due is often not payable straight away but over a period of time.

For these reasons making a claim through the Courts should be your last resort. Before going ahead you should try to speak to the person who owes you money and write them a letter setting out what is owed, requesting payment and threatening to take Court proceedings in the absence of a satisfactory reply.

Making a Claim When Unemployed

If someone is unemployed, is bankrupt or has other debts and no property of their own even the Court may not be able to get money for you.

If you want to check whether someone is bankrupt or owes money to other people which has not been paid you can search the bankruptcy and insolvency register.

A Court case may take many months to resolve and even when an award is made the money due is often not payable straight away but over a period of time.

For these reasons making a claim through the Courts should be your last resort. Before going ahead you should try to speak to the person who owes you money and write them a letter setting out what is owed, requesting payment and threatening to take Court proceedings in the absence of a satisfactory reply.

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Making a Claim FAQs

Winning a Claim

If you go to Court and win the case so that judgment is entered against the other party this is not the end of the matter. You still have to extract the money from that other person. The Court will usually make an Order there and then for immediate payment or payment by instalments. If the other party does not comply with that Order you will have to try and enforce it through the Courts. This will involve further Court fees. A number of alternative methods of enforcing the judgment are available to you as set out in the section headed “enforcing a claim”.

If you are successful in defending a claim this will be because the claim against you has either been “dismissed” by the Judge (after a hearing) or “struck out” (without a hearing). In either case the Court will send you written confirmation that the claim against you has been unsuccessful and has finished.

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