Recovering Money From People

Have you lent a sum of money to a friend or relative through an IOU but have yet to receive the money back? Or have you provided a business service or goods to a client and they have yet to make the payment? You have asked and asked but all to no avail. What will you do next? This article will aim to help you out if you are ever in this situation.


Who’s the Debtor?

First, you will first need to know who the debtor is. What this means is that you will need to know who this person is before you can start claiming any fees. You will need to ask yourself whether this person has any other outstanding debts valued at more than $15, 000.00 or if they are currently under filing for bankruptcy. This information will be useful for you as bankruptcy carries personal restrictions on the debtor and they may be encouraged to pay up the money that they owe to you.


What Assets Does Your Debtor Possess?

You will then need to know of your debtor’s assets when pursuing an action of repayment. Hiring a good lawyer will give you a better assessment of your debtor as they can conduct checks on your behalf. Things like whether they are employed, their income, any valuable assets can be useful in determining if your debtor can repay your money.

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What happens then if the debtor is broke without any money? They will not have any cash or assets to repay their debts with. In this situations, you would be better off not pursuing legal action and instead, negotiate a payment plan with them instead. Getting to pay 10 per cent of their salary over a certain number of months for example would be more cost-effective than pursuing the matter in a Court of Law. Of course, do consult a good Singapore lawyer that is trained in debt recovery matters before deciding a course of action.


How long Does an IOU last?

If the IOU states a repayment date, you will have six years from the stipulated repayment date to commence legal proceedings. If there is no repayment date stated, the six-year time limit will start from the date when the cause of action began.


Should I Hire a Debt Collector?

Depending on the actions taken by the debt collector, it may turn out to be illegal for them to chase the debtor for your money. Their actions may come off as harassment. Although there are no laws regulating debt collection, they are still susceptible to criminal charges if found to have committed as such.

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Conduct such as banging on their door and shouting vulgarities, though maybe standard debt collecting practices are against the law. To use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with the aim of causing alarm to the debtor or causing them to believe that immediate unlawful violence will be used against them is a crime. Spray painting “owe money pay money” on their property will constitute as vandalism and the debt collectors will also be charged accordingly.


You must note the legal ramifications when dispatching a debt collection agency to retrieve your money as it may implicate you if your debtor reports you to the authorities or even sue you if they are aware that you were behind the harassment.


What Will My Lawyers Do?


Letter of Demand

Your lawyer will assist in drafting out a Letter of Demand. This letter will state the amount of money that is owed to you and that payment must be made before a certain time. A Letter of Demand is usually sent to warn the debtor that you will commence legal action unless payment is made.


This may potentially save a you good amount of your money by avoiding litigation if the debtor complies. The letter of Demand can also be used as evidence in a Court of Law that you had attempted to settle the matter prior to the Court hearing.

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At Lions Chambers LLC, we pride ourselves on being responsive. We understand that some problems need immediate attention, let us assist you.

Filing a Suit at the Small Claims Tribunal

Your lawyer can also assist you, from behind the scenes, in obtaining a Judgement from the Small Claims Tribunal if the claim sum is below $20,000. This Judgement will order monetary payments to be paid to you. If the debtor is unable to pay, then you will have to take up separate enforcement proceedings against them.

Enforcement Proceedings

If the debtor refuses to comply or plays hardball, and that they appear to possess sufficient assets of value, enforcement can still occur. The most common enforcement method adopted by most lawyers is the issue of a writ of seizure and sale. This will authorize the bailiff to seize and sell movable property belonging to the debtor and pay off their debt to you. There are other methods available as well such as garnishee proceedings or the issuance of a writ of delivery to name a few.

How can we help you

Debt Recovery in Singapore is a delicate issue and may be too technical for you to fully understand alone. We understand that going through such an event in your life is difficult. Worry not, at Lions Chambers LLC, and we have experienced lawyers who are well versed in debt recovery in Singapore. We will be able to guide you through the process and explain to you each and every stage the matter.

Lions Chambers LLC is an established law firm in Singapore. Our team of lawyers specialise in various areas of law and will be able to assist you. Our consultations are free. Please call +65 8777 3677 or click here to WhatsApp us today.