A guide to the early stages of a debt recovery claim

Starting the claim

The Claim Form and Particulars of Claim

A claim is started by the Claimant (the party bringing the claim) sending or delivering to the Court a Claim Form and Particulars of Claim together with payment of the Court fee.

The Claim Form is a standard document which contains details of the parties and briefly describes the nature of the claim.

The Particulars of Claim set out in more detail what the claim is about. In straight forward cases there will be sufficient room on the reverse of the Claim Form to include the Particulars of Claim. In more complex cases a separate document may be required.

The Court will usually require 3 copies of the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim (1 for the Claimant, 1 for the Court and 1 for the Defendant). If there is more than 1 Claimant or Defendant (the party against whom the claim is made) an additional copy for each additional party is required.

The amount of the Court fee depends upon the value of the claim.

Claims worth less than £25,000 are normally dealt with by the County Court. Claims of £25,000 or above are normally dealt with by the High Court.

Issue and service of the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim

Once the Court has received the Claim Form, Particulars of Claim and payment of the Court fee it will “issue” (stamp) the documents.

The Court will normally serve the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim on the Defendant. The Claimant can serve the documents itself if it so wishes although in practice most Claimants let the Court serve the documents.

The Court will serve the documents on the Defendant by sending them by first class post. At the same time the Court will send the Defendant a Response Pack. The Response Pack explains to the Defendant what it needs to do next and contains various forms for it to fill in.

Notice of Issue

If the Court serves the documents on the Defendant it will send to the Claimant a Notice of Issue. This is a document which confirms that the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim have been issued and served on the Defendant. The Notice of Issue states the date upon which the documents were sent to the Defendant and the date upon which service is deemed to be affected. When service is by first class post the date of deemed service is the second business day after the documents were posted to the Defendant.

The Defendant’s response

The Defendant has 14 days from the date of deemed service to respond to the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim. The Defendant can respond in one of the following ways:

By filing an Admission

If the Defendant does not dispute the claim they should complete and send to the Court a form called an Admission.

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For more information on:

  • By filing a Defence
  • By filing an Acknowledgment of Service
  • Failure by the Defendant to respond