What’s the aim of the letter?
It’s well known that unless you’re a critical supplier, those who shout loudest are paid first. Experience tells us that c40% of debtors will pay their balance (if they’re able to) on receipt of a letter from a third party, whether that’s a debt collection agency or a solicitor. Usually there’s a charge or commission for this service, but at Ko-bolt we’re trying to do things a little differently. Enter our free of charge final demand letter, designed to prompt your customer to pay quickly whilst maintaining the buyer-supplier relationship. What’s more, using email tracking software, we’re able to see when the email is delivered, opened and clicked etc. This provides greater clarity on the impact of the letter and helps us to determine if further escalation might be required to secure payment.
How does it work?
- You register for your free account
- You complete the final demand form
- We issue your free 7 day final demand letter via email and/or post.
- You get paid!*
*7 days following the issue of the letter, our team will contact you to confirm if the balance has been paid and the file will be closed without charge. Where the debt remains outstanding, we will offer assistance. But, by using the final demand service, you are under no obligation to use our ‘no collection, no commission’ service.
What’s the difference between a Final Demand Letter and a Letter Before Action (LBA)?
A letter before action is usually issued by a solicitor and is the final step you must take before you can issue a county court summons. It goes without saying that this can be very distressing for the customer and effectively severs communication which can irrevocably damage the relationship.
How do I send a final demand letter?
First you’ll need to register for your free account, then you’ll be able to request a final demand letter.
Why do I have-to register?
We need to know who you are, so that the letter is accurate and to ensure we comply with industry regulations.
Why do you need a statement/copy invoices?
This is to ensure we comply with anti money laundering regulations and in the event that the debt isn’t paid, we can act quickly to assist you in resolution.
What if I don’t want to issue a final demand?
No problem, you can place the account with us on a ‘no collection, no commission’ basis, see below for more information.
We have a very clear fee structure for pre-legal recovery, so there are no surprises and our service is offered on a ‘no collection, no commission’ basis. For full details of the cost of commission, please refer to our pricing page – https://www.ko-bolt.com/pricing/
Placing a debt with Ko-bolt is free. There are no joining fees, annual fees or placement fees and what’s more, under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (interest) Act 1998 and the Debt Regulations Act 2013, we are able to add our collection costs to the debt and when we collect our fees from the buyer, you’re only liable for the VAT, and any interest we recover is 100% yours.
Ko-bolt’s firm, but fair debt resolution process is designed to get you paid quickly whilst maintaining the relationship between buyer and supplier.
By giving the buyer the tools they need to communicate with us in a way that suits them and pairing it with our innovative approach, which aims to immediately open up a dialogue, buyers are encouraged to work with us to find a solution which is acceptable for all parties, avoiding the need for unnecessary and expensive legal action.
You’ll need to register for your free account with Ko-bolt via our online form https://www.ko-bolt.com/register/. You can then place debt(s) for collection immediately via https://www.ko-bolt.com/place-a-debt/
You’ll need to provide copies of invoices and/or an up to date statement of account. You can simply drag and drop these documents into Ko-bolt’s online debt placement tool. We’ll only contact you if we need additional information or we’re unable to help (for example if we identify that the buyer is already insolvent at placement).
Yes. Unfortunately collectibility deteriorates significantly once the debt is over 12 months old. To ensure we’re able to maintain the highest levels of service for all of our customers, we are unable to accept debts which are older than 12 months.
Ko-bolt specialise in business-to-business debt resolution. We are unable to offer our services for debts owed by individuals (members the public), which includes sole traders.
Individual debt placements must exceed £500.
The buyer is encouraged to pay directly to Ko-bolt. This gives us transparency of the incoming payments which means we don’t have to bother you to find out if you’ve been paid. Some buyers will pay you directly despite our instructions. Please let us know as soon as this happens so that we can apply the payment to their account and cease activity – this is very important to the buyer-supplier relationship retention strategy.
We remit cleared funds every other week, which is twice the average for the industry.
No. In fact, engaging Ko-bolt can offer your customer a vital lifeline if they are struggling, we may be able to assist them in recovering funds from their buyers which are needed to pay you. If your customer is unable to repay you in full immediately, we will work with them to define an affordable repayment plan.
Every debt is different, so our approach will adapt depending on how the customer interacts with the team, but the fundamental process is the same (outlined below). Within 24 hours of placement, we write to the buyer to advise them of our involvement and the balance before engaging with them by phone to discuss the issues causing the delay in payment and to work towards a resolution. From there, we follow a series of different processes and procedures using email, letter and phone dependant on the outcome.
Where all other efforts fail, we have an exclusive partnership with a specialist debt recovery lawyer who is able to issue and enforce legal proceedings.
The non-contested debt collection process typically takes <21 days.
Step 1 – Create your free account – https://www.ko-bolt.com/register/
Step 2 – Place a debt – https://www.ko-bolt.com/place-a-debt/
Step 3 – Initial Checks – within 24 hours of placement, we will review the information provided to ensure it meets our criteria and it passes regulatory compliance.
Step 4 – Request for payment – Once our initial review is complete, we will generate a request for payment, which advises the buyer that we have been appointed to assist with collection, confirms the debt value together with interest and charges and finally what they should do next.
Step 5 – Telephone – Our highly skilled debt resolution team will contact your buyer by phone in an effort to understand their liquidity position and the reason for the delay in payment. This enables them to work with the buyer to negotiate the best solution for all parties.
Step 6 – Final Demand – If your buyer hasn’t responded to our efforts to collect the debt previously, this is the final opportunity for your customer to engage with us before we involve a solicitor to recover the debt.
Step 7 – Letter Before Action – Our specialist legal partner will send a Letter Before Action (LBA) to your buyer at no cost to you. This is a legal requirement before legal action can take place and is very effective at engaging the buyer.
Step 8 – Legal Action – If you still haven’t been paid, we’ll pursue payment via legal action, which may involve the issue of a Statutory Demand or County Court Summons. Our solicitor will review your file before making their recommendation on the best course of action and they will not take any action without your authority.
This is a difficult one to answer clearly as there are lots of different processes that we can adopt, but in short, No. However, if necessary the debt can be escalated through legal action and it possible to enforce payment via a high court writ.
As experts in commercial debt resolution, Ko-bolt aim to work with your customer to get their debt paid swiftly, but we have access to the right tools if they’re required.
Cash flow problems are a common source of supply chain bad debt. So we use our expertise to improve your customer’s cash flow so they can pay you. We facilitate prompt payment of the debt through approachability, open communication and our experience with the relevant legislative, legal and regulatory aspects of debt recovery.
As early as possible. The sooner you engage us once payment becomes overdue, ideally before 60 days past due, the more chance we have of recovering the debt quickly and without the need for legal action, which can be costly, time consuming and ultimately means you will wait longer to receive your money. Plus we have more success collecting costs when the debt is placed early.
Unfortunately this is common and it’s likely that buyers are suffering from bad debt and cash flow problems themselves. We will work alongside your customer to put together an achievable repayment plan that works for all parties, and offer them our debt collection services to help them recover the funds that they need to pay you.
All information relating to the placement and administration of our service is stored in an encrypted and secure system. We are fully GDPR compliant and we are registered the ICO.
A clear and pre-defined invoicing and credit management process is essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes if they want to avoid bad debt.
A few tips include;
– before you offer a credit account, check with a credit opinion/ratings agency to get some background of your buyers credit status
– invoice promptly once the goods and/or services have been supplied
– get your invoice right – see our blog for more details
– make sure the buyer knows your terms of payment
– talk to the buyer BEFORE payment becomes due to make sure there are no issues or disputes etc
– look at credit insurance as a way to protect yourself from the risk of bad debt (we can help with this)
Yes. We are committed to helping your client to develop realistic payment plans that are appropriate in the current climate and we will offer them our help and support to review their cash flow and any payment issues they may have as a result of the crisis to get the debt paid promptly.
If you’re worried about bad debt, you may be able to insure your invoices/customers by using credit insurance which protects against bad debt due to insolvency and in most cases late payment too. If this is of interest, please contact the team who would be happy to help you to look at the options.
The sooner you engage us once payment becomes overdue, ideally at or around 60 days, the more chance we have of recovering the debt quickly and without the need for legal action – which can be costly, time consuming and ultimately means you will wait longer to receive your money.
By adopting a collaborative approach, we can help preserve the trading relationship between you and your buyer while freeing up your time and resources, so that you can do what you do best.