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Help with personal debt recovery

As Covid-19 bites into everyone’s life, debts are spiralling, with some estimating that household borrowing and debt arrears have surged by over £4bn since May.

While the government has extended furlough payments until March, policymakers have put a 6-month cap on the credit amnesty, putting even more pressure on people.

Are you owed money?

If someone owes you money you will want to try and recover it as quickly as possible.

If they are unable to pay that’s one thing, but if they are slow to pay or are refusing to pay, then there are debt recovery options open to you. Which option you choose will depend on the amount of money you are owed.

Formal letter

Sometimes a formal solicitor’s letter is enough for to convince your debtor that you are serious about recovering the money they owe.

Mediation

You could try mediation where an impartial mediator will help both sides to reach an agreement.

Court system

If the debt is less than £100,000 and is owed by no more than 2 people or organisations, you could use the online debt recovery service.

Statutory demand

If the debt is more than £100,000 and less than 6 years old, you can use a statutory demand. This will give the debtor 21 days to either pay off the debt or reach an agreement with you about how they plan to pay you. If the debt is more than 6 years old you will need to take legal advice.

Bankruptcy

If the person or organisation has filed for bankruptcy, you will need to register your claim straight away. You might not be able to recover all the money owed but you should receive something.

Need legal help?

If you don’t have the time or desire to chase the debt yourself, we have an expert debt recovery team that can help in a range of ways – call and have a no obligation chat about your options 01302 320621.

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Buy to let landlords, rents and coronavirus

Buy-to-let landlords who find they have tenants struggling to pay their rent due to the coronavirus crisis have been thrown a financial lifeline.

The government has introduced a range of measures in an effort to ease the financial pressure many landlords and tenants will inevitably find themselves experiencing. One of the measures introduced is access to a three-month mortgage repayment holiday, the same as previously offered to homeowners.

Tracie Croft, property lawyer, commented: “Landlords and tenants need to respect each other’s position at this difficult time. Landlords are operating a business, but where the tenant is genuinely unable to pay their rent because of their current financial position, an agreement will need to be reached.

Eviction proceedings

As part of the measures introduced by the government, landlords can no longer begin eviction proceedings for at least 3 months. During this time, I would recommend that the landlord and tenant work together to find an affordable repayment plan.”

Housing secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, said: “The government is clear, no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord faced with unmanageable debts. These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage…It’s important that everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”

Some banks and building societies were very quick to roll-out the three-month repayment holidays for landlords. Nationwide director of mortgages, Henry Jordan said: “As the UK’s second-largest buy-to-let mortgage provider we feel it is important to extent protection to landlords and their tenants during this uncertain period. We have extended mortgage payment holidays to include rental properties so that landlords with tenants who are unable to meet the rental payments because of coronavirus are protected as much as possible.”

He added: “We would encourage tenants to speak to their landlords if they are impacted or worried about coronavirus to ensure that steps can be taken to support them.”

Suspension on home repossessions

The government’s three-month payment holiday plan offers reassurance to those who have borrowed for either residential or BTL properties that their homes will not be repossessed during this period of extreme uncertainty.

Stephen Jones, CEO at UK Finance, commented: “Monthly mortgage payments tend to be the largest outgoing for the vast majority of households and lenders want to reassure both homeowners and landlords who have tenants who may be affected financially that the industry is working hard to put measures in place to support them during these uncertain times.

“In addition, to the industry’s support for residential homeowners, mortgage lenders are extending the same support to buy-to-let landlords who have tenants experience issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19 and the options include a payment holiday of up to three months.

For those customers already experiencing financial difficulty, lenders have also agreed a three-month moratorium on residential and buy to let possession action.”

Are you a landlord in need of legal advice? Our specialist team can be reached on 01302 320621 during office hours or email info@athertongodfrey.co.uk and we will get back to you.