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Debt Recovery Solicitors vs Debt Collection Agency

Debt Recovery Solicitors or Debt Collection Agency?

Should you use debt recovery solicitors or a debt collection agency when looking to recover money owed to you?

This may be a question that you have found yourself asking after suffering from someone not paying you what they owe.

There are many different ways to achieve dispute resolution when it comes to the owing of debt.

Dealing with unpaid debts is a common challenge, and the choice between debt recovery solicitors and debt collection agencies should be based on your specific circumstances and priorities.

Debt recovery solicitors offer legal expertise and a tailored approach, while debt collection agencies are often more cost-effective and efficient.

DCBL has operated as one of the largest debt recovery solutions in the UK for over 20 years. Our many years of experience make us the best fit to help with the above matters.

In this article, we look at the differences between each route and shed light on which method is the best and why.

When to Use Debt Recovery Solicitors?

Going down the legal route when financial disputes arise is a common thought for many of those affected.

In many ways, it can be seen as a way of solving a problem quickly due to the professionalism and renown of law firms and solicitors.

Dealing with unpaid invoices can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating aspect of running a business or managing personal finances.

For example, you may have loaned a friend or family member some money with the intention to be paid back.

Or, a previous employer may have failed to pay you for the goods or services carried out.

When an employer fails to pay, this can corrupt the relationship between you both, which is regulated by Employment law.

If attempts to collect a debt have proven unsuccessful, you may need to seek professional assistance.

Two common options for debt recovery are debt recovery solicitors and debt collection agencies. Each option has its benefits and success rates, but equally, they both come with a cost.

Continue reading to learn the key differences between the two, which will help you determine which one might be the right choice for your specific situation.

Debt Recovery Solicitors

Debt recovery solicitors are legal professionals who specialise in the recovery of debts on behalf of their clients when the case is ready for litigation.

Most solicitors will charge an upfront fee, regardless of whether they believe the debt to be recoverable or not. Legal costs and any increases are something that should be taken into consideration if you end up using a solicitor.

Due to the expert training and educational experience that is required to be a lawyer, they have a deep understanding of the debt recovery legal aspects. This experience can be used to navigate the complex legal landscape that individuals may otherwise have found confusing.

If your case involves complex legal issues or the debtor is likely to contest the debt, debt recovery solicitors may be the better choice.

It is important to note that the Solicitors Regulation Authority regulates reputable debt recovery solicitors, so be sure to check when doing your research.

Here are some key advantages of using debt recovery solicitors:

Legal Expertise

Debt recovery solicitors are specially trained to recover debts and have a thorough knowledge of the legal system in the UK.

To compel a debtor to pay, they can take legal actions such as sending a letter of claim (letter before action), initiating court proceedings, and obtaining judgments.

This expertise will also help them to tailor their working approach to your specific case and create a customised strategy. They will also take into account the debtor’s financial situation and any defence they may have.

Professional Negotiation

It is no secret that personal and commercial debt recovery solicitors are skilled negotiators.

They can engage in negotiations with debtors to reach a settlement that is acceptable to both parties, which can often lead to quicker and more cost-effective resolutions.

Many scenarios end quickly simply because the debtor does not want to be entangled in court action and the subsequent court fee.

Legal Enforcement Actions

Despite the effectiveness of using a debt recovery solicitor, negotiations can sometimes fail. If this happens, they can take legal action to enforce the debt repayment.

This may involve seizing assets, garnishing wages, or placing liens on properties, depending on the circumstances and applicable laws.

Unlike debt collection agencies, solicitors commonly do not get involved in the recovery process until the case is ready for litigation.

The threat of litigation is usually enough to influence a debtor to pay. Otherwise, this could be a costly process.client not paying invoice CTA

Debt Collection Agencies

Debt collection agencies, on the other hand, are specialised firms that focus solely on collecting outstanding debts.

Whether you have personal or business debt, a professional agency will have the expertise required to recover this successfully.

This is a common situation that many individuals across the UK find themselves in every day. After all, there are around 700 debt collection agencies in the UK compared to 500 legal firms.

Here are some of the advantages of using a debt collection agency:


Debt collection agencies typically charge on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they successfully recover the debt.

In other scenarios, they may take an upfront fixed fee, which will then be added to the amount the debtor pays and then be returned to you.

Debts occur in all walks of life and affect individuals and smaller businesses with cash flows that must be maintained.

This can be a cost-effective option for those with limited resources


The debt collection process is often streamlined, which can result in quicker resolution times compared to legal proceedings or independently trying to recover.

One of the major benefits of using a debt collection agency is that you leave them to work in the background whilst you focus on the things that matter.

Debtor Tracing

Debt collection agencies may have access to skip-tracing tools and databases to locate debtors who have gone off the grid.

This can be particularly useful when debtors are evading contact.

Relationship Preservation

If you want to maintain a positive relationship with the debtor, this may be a more diplomatic choice.

A debt collection agency will often employ negotiation techniques rather than legal actions.

Choosing the Right Option – DCBL

The knowledge above should now give you an idea of the differences between a debt recovery solicitor and an agency.

Whilst now would be the right time to choose the method best for you, we recommend using a collection agency.

Specifically our expert specialists at DCBL.

We have 20+ years of experience recovering unpaid invoices, and if you have a late payment, we can help you!

Our “One Solution” service means that if a case should need litigation, our sister company, DCB Legal, can step in.

This means that you get the best of both worlds, providing you with a seamless transition between pre-court and litigation.

When you instruct us, our debt recovery team will access the documents you provide and create a case plan.

Upon instruction, we get to work locating the debtor and communicating with them. All communication with your debtor is professional and compliant.

If you are looking for an expert who can encapsulate both a collection agency and a solicitor, we are the answer.

Click here for a free quotation from our debt recovery specialists.

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