The Protocol only applies to debts owed to a business by individuals and sole traders. As of 1 October 2017, in all letters of demand you send to an individual or sole trader:-
With the Protocol, if you do not allow your debtor 30 days to respond to your letter of demand, the risk is that there could be cost sanctions against you if County Court proceedings are issued. These could include cost orders, orders relating to interest and unless orders.
A further issue you need to consider is that the Reply Form itself (as set out at point 3.2) subsequently expressly states that the debtor has 30 days to respond to the Letter of Demand. Should you issue County Court proceedings prematurely, is your debtor going to use this as an excuse to file a spurious defence which will incur unnecessary time and costs for you?
We understand that for the creditor who is constantly frustrated by bad debtors that the Protocol does not appear very commercial for operation in the business world, especially when the debt has probably already gone through your internal credit control process.
Lupton Fawcett pride itself on offering commercial solutions on how to deal with the Protocol in practice. Should you have any concerns regarding it, or any debt recovery issues in general, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Elsworth, a Senior Debt Recovery Executive in Lupton Fawcett’s Debt Recovery Team.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.