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Jun 21 2019
Debt Recovery

When is the right time to contact a debt collection agency?

We have often found that a number of clients have hesitated before instructing an agency to start chasing and collecting debt. Whether they have waited a day or two, three months or maybe even longer, the question remains: when is the right time to take proper action and instruct a debt collection agency?


To speak in standard terms, it is generally understood that invoices remaining unpaid after 90 days from the date of issue is a good starting point for chasing debt. However, a number of factors affect each different client’s decision to begin debt collection, such as their relationship with their client and the length of time they have been trading together. It remains obvious, nonetheless, that the older the debt becomes, the more difficult it is to recover. The affect it has on the business in the longer term will also be bigger.


It is common amongst businesses looking to instruct an agency to be struggling with a long-term, stable client that is no longer paying their invoices. Often, it’s unlike this client to not be forthcoming with payments, and in these cases it’s a difficult decision to begin debt collection proceedings. Across the board, there is always a palpable fear of breaking the trust between businesses, but each those with clients in debt must consider the following:

  • Is the business in debt holding your stock?
  • Have they been in contact with you recently or are you experiencing a lack of communication?
  • Do you suspect their business may be in trouble?

If the answer is yes to any of the above, it is time to take action. Whilst it is important to keep business relationships intact, no one can allow their business to suffer, particularly if the debt is mounting, so it’s recommended you instruct an agency at the first signs of anything untoward.


It is especially important to take action quickly if it’s believed those in debt may be in financial trouble. Upon further investigation in a number of cases, those in debt may have active County Court Judgements against them, are close to administration or are struggling to pay numerous companies.


Reaching out to a debt collection agency will always be a tough choice and there may not be a ‘right’ time, but often the choice is the right one. For more information and further advice, contact us today.

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