Having trouble collecting your school fees?
It is important that your school has a healthy cashflow to enable you to continue to run your school efficiently which is in the best interests of your pupils.
One way of maintaining your cashflow is to ensure your school fees are paid on time. It is inevitable in the current climate that some parents will find themselves in a position where they can no longer afford to pay the school fees which will result in bad debt and ultimately affect your school’s income and expenditure.
This is where we can help you.
We can manage the recovery of your fees from the initial stage of sending a pre-action letter through to enforcement. We can also monitor payment plans pre or post-issue of court proceedings.
The steps we will take:
- Send a 7 day letter before taking action
- Issue County Court Proceedings
- Obtain Judgment in default
- Proceed to enforcement.
At the outset we recommend that checks are carried out to establish whether the parent(s) have the ability to pay any judgment you may obtain against them. We will carry out bankruptcy searches, Companies House searches and Land Registry searches at fixed charges. These checks will also be carried out again prior to commencing enforcement action to establish whether the parent’s situation has changed post-issue of the proceedings which may alter the advice we give to you at this stage.
If it is necessary to issue County Court proceedings and then any enforcement action, where the claim has not been defended or disputed we will limit our costs to those fixed costs claimed from the parent. The costs fixed by the Court are:-
- For a debt between £25 – £500: £50
- For a debt between £500 – £1,000: £70
- For a debt between £1,000 – £5,000: £80
- For a debt that exceeds £5,000: £100
- For each additional parent: £15
These costs are subject to VAT which element is not recoverable from the Parents.
In addition to these fees, there is a court fee to pay which again, if you are successful then this fee is recoverable from the Parent.
The court fees that are set by the court to issue a claim are:
- Up to £300: ……………………………. £35
- £300 – £500: ……………………………. £50
- £501 – £1000: ……………………………. £70
- £1,001 – £1,500: ………………………… £80
- £1,501 – £3,000: ……………………….. £115
- £3,000 – £5,000: ………………………… £205
- £5,001 – £10,000: ……………………….. £455
- £10,001 – £200,000: ……………..…….. 5% of the value of the claim.
- Greater than £200,000:………………….£10,000
We will always take your instructions before taking the next step so you will always be kept fully appraised as to costs and action will only be taken with your express instruction. We will also provide you with regular updates so you are kept fully updated as to the progress of each case.
If it is necessary to commence enforcement action in respect of a judgment, we will review each case individually and advise you in respect of the most appropriate method(s) for each individual parent and agree a course of action with you.
The methods of enforcement available are:-
- High Court Enforcement
High Court Enforcement Officers will attend at the parent’s home to remove assets and sell them at auction to pay the judgment. Alternatively the parent may enter into a payment plan (to be agreed with you) and the Officer will monitor the payments.
- Charging Orders
The Judgment is secured against the parent’s property.
- Order for Sale
Forcing the sale of the parent’s property.
- Statutory Demand
A pre-cursor to Bankruptcy proceedings. This can be an effective method of enforcement if a debt is undisputed (provided it is in excess of £750). You do not need to obtain default judgment to serve a Statutory Demand.
- Attachment of Earnings Order
Obtaining payment of a judgment by instalments (at a rate to be fixed by the Court) direct from the parent’s wages.
- Third Party Debt Order
Freezing a parent’s bank account with an Order from the Court to pay the judgment from the money in the parent’s bank account.
Our services are tailored to suit your needs in respect of each individual case with a view to achieving a recovery in the most cost-effective manner. If a case becomes defended, our experienced litigators will review the defence carefully, consider your prospects of success and discuss the options available to you including other procedures such as mediation which can be more cost effective than having the outcome of a case decided by the Court at a final hearing. If we consider it is in your interest not to proceed, we will tell you as early as possible and explain why.
Our case management system allows us to work quickly and effectively. If the parents put forward payment terms at any point during the proceedings, the process can be put on hold so that payment terms can be agreed.
We have experience of handling sensitive cases and we understand that you can be in a difficult position whereby you want to be seen to be pro-active in respect of recovering unpaid school fees but at the same time you need to maintain the reputation of your school. We therefore ensure that we deal with all parents ethically and professionally to protect your reputation.
If you would like any more information about the services offered by our team, please get in touch on 0161 832 4666 alternatively complete the online enquiry form below.