Areas of Practice
Debt Recovery in Singapore
When You Should Hire a Debt Recovery Lawyer in Singapore
Loaning money, products or services to an individual or a business can be a risky proposition. Sometimes, individuals and businesses take products or services and don’t make financial compensation for them. Other times, loans go into default. In these cases, a lender may be wondering if they should hire a debt recovery lawyer in Singapore. While there may be no specific laws that regulate how a debt is recovered statutes like the Penal Code and Protection from Harassment Act may apply to your case when attempting to recover debt from someone or a company.
Debt recovery can be a difficult process in Singapore and as our experienced team of lawyers will guide you through the process as there maybe times where recovery of the debt may cost more than the amount recovered.
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It is important to note that with most debts there is a limitation period. Even if you have a legally binding “I Owe You” (IOU) you must initiate legal proceedings within six (6) years from the repayment date stated in the IOU. If you IOU fails to have a repayment date, the six (6) years time frame will begin from the date on which the IOU was made.
In our experience in recovering debt, one should be open to a revised payment plan that allows the debtor to actually repay the debt in full. Such negotiations can be conducted by setting up formal meetings (Without Prejudice meetings) and negotiations through solicitors and the ultimate aim is to find alternative means of payments or payment plans for the recovery of the debt. In most cases the existing payment plan will be restructured and the monthly payment would be less than previously promised. Although this means that you may not receive the full sum immediately or earlier, it means that you will still recover the full sum anyway. This is a more realistic approach as you would have avoided incurring legal costs.
Process of recovery
The first thing that will need to be done, outside of going over Singapore laws on debt recovery, is as a lender you need to learn as much as possible about the debtor. While it might be a wise to hire a solicitor to recover the debt on your behalf but if you do not know much about the individual or the company that owes you the money it will be difficult for a lawyer to assist you.
An important point to consider is the financial situation of the individual or the company, if the individual or the company does not have any monies or any property in Singapore the collection of the debt might be a fruitless venture.
While visiting the home or the company of the debtor may seem like an effective way of recovering the debt or reminding your debtor of the debt there are other means for doing so.
Letters commonly are a useful reminder to the debtors for the recovery of debts. They also put the debtor on notice that such a debt is still outstanding and they inform the debtor that you intend to pursue your claim against him. These letters can also include proposal on the debt repayment and the desire to negotiate repayments. These letters, SMSes and emails also act as a paper trial and can be used as evidence that will further assist your case in legal proceedings.
Claims under S$10,000.00
If it is determined that an individual or business can repay the debt, then it’s time to consider hiring a professional debt recovery lawyer. However, if the debt is under $10,000, specialists in debt recovery law may not be necessary. Often times, these cases go directly to a small claims court where an attorney won’t have to represent a lender looking to collect. If it is a debt that is excluded from a small claims court, like a loan, or if the debt is over $10,000, then an attorney will be helpful for a lender to collect from the debtor.
Enforcing Judgement against creditors
If the legal proceedings are successful and a judgement is won against an individual or a business that owes money, the process doesn’t stop there. If the debtor honours a debt that would be the end of the matter. However, if they don’t, the lender may have to pursue his claim through other legal avenues such as a Writ of Seizure and Sale, Garnishee Proceedings, Winding-Up Proceedings or even Bankruptcy Proceedings. This is why an experienced lawyers for debt recovery will advise their clients in the future to take the necessary precautions to avoid a debtor defaulting on a loan or payment for services provided.
At I.R.B Law we can assist and guide you through the process of recovering your debt. Our team of experienced lawyers will explain to you the merits of your case and advise you accordingly on the options available to you.