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How Long Do You Have To Collect A Debt

Last modified: August 3, 2023

How Long Do You Have To Collect A Debt?

Do you have money that is owed to you by a customer that you have left untouched? Are your client invoices being left unpaid? If your debts have been waiting a long time to be recovered, you may be thinking “how long do you have to collect a debt?”.

Having one or more clients that owe you money can be an extremely stressful situation at the best of times, and delaying a collection can make things worse.

Leaving debts uncollected can prove fatal for the longevity of the recovery process and if left for too long the debt may become void.

It can often seem like a larger challenge than it actually is, and there are methods out there to ensuring a hassle-free recovery at a low cost.

Frontline Collections are the UK’s No1 for Private and International Debt Collection and have the industry’s leading debt recovery rate at an average of 90% on undisputed claims.

In this article, we will outline the key pieces of information needed to know regarding how long you have to collect a debt and the steps to ensure you do this professionally.

How Long Do You Have To Collect A Debt In The UK?

Do you have a debt that needs recovering in the UK? There are things you must know before attempting to start the recovery process; whether by yourself or through a Debt Collection Agency such as ourselves.

When it comes to the recovery of unpaid debts, there are various laws and regulations that apply.

It is vital that you know the facts as to ensure you are within your rights to still recover the money you are owed and that you do not leave this until it is too late.

How Long Do You Have To Collect A Debt? – “Statute Barred” Status

In the United Kingdom, there is a time frame in which a debt can still be recovered of six years. All debts that have been left for a period after this time frame will enter a status known as “Statute Barred”.

This term is outlined under the Limitation Act 1980, which details that a creditor has only six years to chase the unpaid debt. The period of which this starts is from the last known payment or acknowledgement of the debt. This is applicable to both business and personal debt.

There are exceptions to this however as if ANY acknowledgement of the debt is made within the time frame by either party the six-year rule will be reset. This can be anything from a letter to an email.

The 6-year time frame is mainly depending on what type of debt it is (Commercial, Private or International Debt) and can be extended at the discretion of the court.

As much as having a limited time frame can seem like a hindrance, it is also a large window in which the debt can remain open and recoverable. The reason for the debtor not paying in the first place could have been due to financial difficulties, so this gives them enough time to recoup the monies owed.

If you have left your debts unpaid and fear you may be close to the end of this collection period, do not worry as there are special exemptions that could relate to the rule which can be discussed with our in-house debt collection experts.

At Frontline Collections, we have the UK’s leading industry experience of recovering Private and International debts.

How Long Do You Have To Collect A Debt Frontline Collections

How Long Do You Have To Collect A Debt Internationally?

When considering recovering debts that are based overseas, this can be perceived as an even greater challenge than local collections and is most commonly the reason why business owners or individuals leave recovering these debts for a longer time.

Across our long history, we have helped many clients who have expressed concern and worry regarding International Debts as they have feared that if the debt is not in the same country it is classed as unrecoverable. This is not the case!

The statute barred rule can change from country to country, as for example, in California the length of time in which a debt can be recovered with no limitations is different to the UK. This is 4 years if it is written and 2 years if it is verbal.

At Frontline Collections, it is our job to assist you with all the facts and information you may need to know based on the location of your debtor.

We have expert teams of professional international debt collectors who are specifically trained on the various regulations across the globe and the many factors that hinder the recovery process. These factors can include time zones and language barriers.

If your debts are owed from another nation and you are unsure of how long you have left to undertake the recovery process, get in contact with our team of experts today. The service we provide is unrivalled across the globe and we ensure that we maximise the chances of a successful recovery.

Helping You With Recovery Of Old Debts – Frontline Collections

If a debt has passed the point of being able to be recovered, many disreputable collection agencies may take on the debt (at a cost to you) knowing this is the case. At Frontline Collections, we will never do this, and our debt collection experts always provide a free analysis of the debt, assessing its viability to be recovered.

For Private, Bulk and International Debt Collection, we have all the tools and assets available, ensuring maximisation of recovery and minimisation of cost.

There are many reasons why we have been rated the UK’s number one for Private Debt Collection including:

  • 90% Recovery Rate on undisputed debts.
  • Local, National and International Coverage
  • No Collection – No Collection Costs to Pay!
  • Localised Debt Recovery Officers to Visit Debtors
  • Cost-effective, Professional and Pro-active

To speak with a member of the trusted debt collection team, please call us on 0333 043 4425, or use our Enquiry form.

How Long Do You Have To Collect A Debt? Get Expert Help From Professional Debt Collectors Now

Are you asking yourself “How Long Do You Have To Collect A Debt”? Our friendly team of Debt Collection Experts is happy to help you today


How Long Do You Have To Collect A Debt – Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will It Take To Collect My Debt?

It is impossible to say but we rest assured, we want to collect it as quickly as possible. We are a result-driven company and we get paid when you do effectively.

We usually aim to get at least a token payment within 7-28 days, if not the full balance but every case we deal with is different and has to be viewed on its own merit.

I had your company recommended to me & I want to instruct you to collect a debt

Yes, we will try and help and best as possible. At outset, we provide a free and frank appraisal of your debt collection requirements. This involves basic due diligence on our part and we need to ensure that the debt itself is legally valid and there is evidence to support such.

Sometimes we cannot assist but will advise you of the reasoning behind that. This can be if the debtor is bankrupt or there is a lack of tangible proof. We sometimes incur thousands of pounds in costs in the pursuit of just one debt so we apply due diligence from outset in relation to any potential instructions that we receive.

What Are Your Commission Rates?

Our commission rates start from as little as 8% and are normally between 8%-20% dependant on the debt value etc with a maximum ceiling of 30% if the debt value is low. We can also apply a small discount for multiple debts depending on the amount/type of debt that you are looking to place with us.

Are there any disbursements or initial fees to collect my debt?

If your debt has been approved for Collection Action then it is important to know that Frontline Collections provides the only fully inclusive Debt Collection service around.

In addition, we operate the lowest commission rates starting from 8% – we do request an Instruction fee is payable initially and we can add this to the debt where possible. This is only after we have conducted our initial appraisal of your debt and it has been validated. We do not take cases on where there is little or no prospect of recovery.

We do not operate drip pricing policies, have hidden costs or have ‘membership fees’ We are extremely ethical and this is reflected in our industry-leading recovery rates as we simply do not take on debts for the sake of it or seek to mislead potential new clients.

Note: There are No Collection Costs to pay if we do not Collect!

What Are Your Commission Rates?

Our commission rates start from as little as 8% and are normally between 8%-20% dependant on the debt value etc with a maximum ceiling of 30% if the debt value is low. We can also apply a small discount for multiple debts depending on the amount/type of debt that you are looking to place with us.

What Is Your Background?

Frontline Collections has been successfully recovering debts since 2005 and have collected tens of millions of pounds over this period. Our reputation speaks for itself. We are serving members of the Credit Services Association and our sister company is Federal Management, the UK’s top Commercial Debt Collection Agency. We are approved by the ICO to process and manage debt collection data and work to ISO:9001 Accredited standards.