The website, called Money Claim Manager, automatically prepares the Letter of Claim and Court Forms needed to recover an outstanding debt. Instant and fully-automated, documents are prepared to a professional standard so that individuals and businesses can recover the full amount to which they’re entitled from a debtor, including all interest and, if appropriate, collection costs. Easy to use via the internet, it is described on the website as being ‘just like a solicitor inside your computer, but without the hassle and expense’. It has been designed to be quick, cheap and unintimidating for the layman.
Three quarters of UK businesses are planning to launch legal action in the next 12 months to enforce the recovery of debts (CreditSafe). At a time when businesses are seeing a rise in defaulted payments as companies have insufficient funds to meet their commitments, it has never been so important for business owners to maintain cash flow and protect themselves against bad and irrecoverable debt.
Money Claim Manager, which goes live this week, does everything a solicitor does, but with a saving of more than 95% compared with the average High Street Law Firm (2008 Epoq survey of law firms). After registering with the secure website, Claimants create a user ID and password, then type in the name and address of the person who owes them money together with brief details of the debt. With a click customers can generate their Letter of Claim, ‘optimised’ if necessary with additional interest and collection costs using the Late Payment Act. These must be paid by the debtor whether or not legal action is taken, and is a powerful tool in encouraging early settlement of the debt.
If the debtor hasn’t paid by this point, another click and your Claim Form is prepared to be sent off to the local court. An internal diary records all activity on a debt with a task list which emails customers when further action needs to be taken. Consumers and businesses can threaten and sue for money owing, get judgment, and, if necessary, even send in a bailiff or enforcement officer to get back the judgment debt.
Launching the new service for England and Wales, Money Claim Manager Founder and CEO Andrew Nicholson said: “Claiming money that is owed to you can reduce the hardiest soul to a helpless pawn. With claims for money owed expected to reach close to 2 million this year, Money Claim Manager should prove invaluable for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country. What most people do not know is that debt recovery solicitors already use similar software to automate court documents for their clients whilst often running up extortionate amounts in legal fees. We’ve taken that software and made it simple and easy to use via the internet, and at a price everybody can afford.”
The new service follows the launch of the government service for small claims – Her Majesty’s Courts Service’s (HMCS) Money Claim Online – which has been running since 2002 and allows people to make claims online. Mr Nicholson describes Money Claim Manager as the “fully-automated alternative”. “OK, so HMCS has given us Money Claim Online so that we can file our claims for money owed online. Although this makes the claim process more accessible, one still needs to know how to use it effectively to make your small claim successful. You still need to know how to complete and word your court forms, apply and calculate the correct type and rate of interest, and word the particulars of claim. You also need to know how to calculate the interest on what you are owed, which accrues from the due date of the debt through to issue, to judgment and beyond. For debts comprising multiple invoices, interest accrues from the due date of each individual invoice. Not only is this all very tiresome and time consuming, chances are you’ll make a mistake which may cause your claim to be returned ‘undelivered’ or your judgment set aside. You may fail to claim or fail to be awarded the full amount of interest, and, if appropriate, collection costs to which you’re entitled. What we are saying is switch to Money Claim Manager, get your letters and court forms prepared to a professional standard, and recover your debt and everything else to which you’re entitled. With UK Suppliers losing more than £3million in interest every single day (Graydon UK; 2006), Money Claim Manager helps you maximise recovery without paying out vast amounts to a solicitor. You pay a small annual subscription, save time, hassle and legal fees, and recover more. Money Claim Manager should pay for itself from day one.”
“The Government has also given us the Late Payment Act and tried to drive awareness of the issue of late payments by launching The Prompt Payment Code. But how many business owners understand if and when they qualify to use the legislation and how it should be used and applied? Uptake on the legislation has been poor, partly because business owners are confused about whether or not they qualify to use the Act and how it can be easily and effectively utilised within their businesses. With the launch of Money Claim Manager we expect to see far greater numbers making use of the legislation.”
“Money Claim Manager does what it says on the tin – it manages your debt claim from issue of your Letter of Claim through to obtaining judgment against the debtor, and, if necessary, sending in a bailiff or enforcement officer to recover the judgment debt. For businesses using the Late Payment Act, interest is calculated and applied to your documents automatically together with collection costs which are calculated on a ‘per invoice’ basis at £40 to £100 depending on the amount of the invoice.”
The service can be reached at http://www.moneyclaimmanager.net. The site also boasts the facility for visitors to start the ball rolling on their claims in real time and a 7-day no obligation free trial. To coincide with the launch of the beta version, there is 50% off for a limited period with prices currently starting at just £20 for 1 debt, increasing to £65 for 10 debts, £95 for 20, £165 for 50 and £245 for 100 debts.