How long can you chase a debt for?

04th February 2020

At DCBL, we have answered some common questions we’ve received from clients who have enquired over the past year. These include:

‘How long can you chase a debt for?’  ‘What are the time limitations on recovering money?’  and ‘Have I left it too long to try and get the debt paid?’

How long can a debt be chased?

To collect any debt the time frame currently stands at six years, but despite this, it is not always straight forward to think that if six years have passed from incurring the debt, it cannot be collected. If the debt originated over six years ago without any proof of the debt acknowledgement from the debtor, then, unfortunately, you cannot legally enforce it. 

However, any acknowledgement of the debt resets the six-year time frame. Any debts that are active under six years can still be recognised and valid for enforcement.

Is your debt valid for collection?

Check how long the debt has been outstanding

If the debt has been active for less than six years, then you can try and reclaim the money rightfully owed.

Investigate whether the outstanding debt has been acknowledged by the debtor

If the debtor has acknowledged the debt, then the time frame of six years will reset. If not, and you are still within the six years, you can always try to reclaim the money.

The financial situation of the debtor

The debtor may now stand in a better financial position where they can now pay back the debt. Previously the individual or business may have been struggling with cash flow issues or possible unpaid debts of their own which may have now been resolved. Debt can be written off by a company if the debtor has no capability of paying, but this can change. By using a debt collection agency like DCBL, traces can be carried out to see the credit history, financial details and current address of the debtor. 

Consult a debt collection agency

By using a professional and established debt collection agency to manage your debts, you can dramatically increase the success rate of collection. At DCBL, we strive to provide professional and ethical enforcement while taking into consideration your reputation as a business to preserve client relationships.