Meet Michael Richards, Hillyer McKeown Head of Debt Recovery
I have over 11 years’ experience in recovering debt on behalf of major banking clients, debt purchasers and uninsured driver claims. My work is varied and covers negotiating on behalf of commercial property owners and landlords to retrieve rent owed, or for tenants defaulting on agreement terms. My expertise also includes providing advice about credit control, recovering costs and contract terms.
The effect of late payments for businesses and individuals has been widely reported and I am proud to mention that for one business client, my skills and experience increased their net recovery by 25% in one year. The result was that they exceeded their financial targets. This is a very satisfying part of what I do as recovering debt means there is more money available to reinvest back into the business.
In my experience I have also learnt that no circumstances are the same. I am particularly skilled at negotiation and appreciate that our approach must be fair and tailored to clients and those who owe the client money. This method ensures an outcome can be reached which is suitable for everyone involved.
Difficulties recovering debt
Have you tried recovering your debts yourself? I appreciate that calling and sending letters can be both time consuming and stressful. I can help clients in this situation by issuing a Letter of Action which needs a seven day response – a method which puts pressure on the person owing money to pay the debt. Some clients are not aware that the cost of this letter can be as little as £10.
I also work closely with clients to ensure the debt recovery process is lawful such as sticking to payment terms (14 days for an organisation and 30 days for an individual).
If recovering the money is leading to a dispute about what is owed, my experience covers issuing and enforcing claims, and helping clients to identify suitable enforcement options available for non-paying debtors.
On occasion, my work involves dealing with a dispute with people who absolutely refuse to pay my client. Again, in such situations my negotiating expertise has helped those involved reach settlement terms.
Minimising the cost of recovering a debt
It is always key to ensure that any legal action taken is cost effective for the client and they are not incurring any unnecessary costs. I’m pleased when clients are not only surprised that the cost of recovering a debt is less than they thought, but that there are various options open to them.
It is also important to protect the image of this firm as well as the reputation of our clients. My experience and expertise means that I can also guide a client through the recovery process.
Outside of working
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, playing golf and going to the gym.