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1. Please be aware of the risks of contested litigation. If you know or suspect that the debtor has genuine reasons for not paying, even if you disagree, and that your claim will be defended, it is not suitable for DCO. However, we are happy to advise about the merits of a dispute on a private solicitor retainer basis, and if instructed to draft detailed "pleadings" more suitable to a contested action.

2. It is important to remember that once a claim is contested costs will become an issue. The old adage about the only winners being the lawyers may have some truth in it. Costs can build up very quickly and need to be factored in to how you proceed. However, we are experienced in litigation and will advise you on appropriate options (such as mediation) to resolve disputes cost effectively.

3. Part Payments made or offered in "full and final settlement" and then paid and accepted, will usually compromise your claim. Unless you intend to accept the payment as full settlement you should not accept a payment in these terms, since by taking the money you may lose your right to claim for the balance. We are happy to advise on the terms of any such offers you receive.

4. Be careful if you are dealing with invoices that have terms and conditions including an arbitration clause. The Debtor may argue that the claim should not proceed until the arbitration procedures have been completed. This may lead to your case being stopped and the costs thrown away.

5. Once you have ordered the Claim, the Claim Form will be lodged with the Court. If you contact us to cancel the claim we will do our best to stop it being issued. If we do not receive your instructions before 2.30pm on the day, it will be too late to stop the claim. Both the costs and the Court fee would then be lost.

6. Special care has to be taken if you wish to take action against Defendants based in Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. If you wish to pursue Debtors in these jurisdictions we advise you to e-Mail help@debtcollectoronline.com for assistance. You need to be aware, in particular, that while you may not have diffculty in obtaining judgment, the enforcement of judgments against debtors living in these jurisdictions is much more complicated and expensive than the procedure in England and Wales.

7. You cannot ordinarily issue a claim against someone under 18 years of age  Please e mail help@debtcollectoronline.com for assistance.

8. Beware of time! If an Invoice or debt has been due for over 6 years then the general rule is that you are "out of time". The Limitation Act would prevent you from taking action against a debtor if 6 years has expired since the debt was incurred. Although there may be some exceptions they are unlikely to apply.

9. Once you have issued a claim, do not delay in proceeding with it. If your debtor does not file an Admission or Defence, you will be prompted to apply for judgment in default. It is recommended that you do this promptly. If you fail to act, the court will in due course "stay" the claim (usually 6 months after the date when the Defence is due). You will not then be able to enter judgment, and to proceed further will have to make an application to the court (which incurs a fee) and explain your delay in order to proceed to judgment.

10. Enforcement. Neither we nor the court can guarantee that you will get your money, even if you obtain judgment. It is important always to consider: has my debtor the means to pay? is there an effective method of enforcement of my judgment? We will on receipt of your judgment send you advice on the methods of enforcement which may be available to you. However, if you have doubts about how the money can be recovered, by all means ask us for advice before you commence the action.

If you have a specific problem then email us at help@debtcollectoronline.com

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