Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims

The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims is made by the Master of the Rolls as Head of Civil Justice. The Protocol comes into force on 1 October 2017

This Protocol applies to any business (including sole traders and public bodies) claiming payment of a debt from an individual (including a sole trader). The business will be referred to as the “creditor” and the individual will be referred to as the “debtor”. This Protocol does not apply to business-to-business debts unless the debtor is a sole trader.

The Protocol describes the conduct the court will normally expect of those parties prior to the start of proceedings. It includes a template Information Sheet and Reply Form to be provided to debtors in all cases.

The Protocol is intended to complement any regulatory regime to which the creditor is subject. To the extent that compliance with this Protocol is inconsistent with a specific regulatory obligation (such as a principle, rule or guidance contained in the Financial Conduct Authority’s Handbook) that regulatory obligation will take precedence. The Protocol should also be read in conjunction with industry and government guidance relating to good practice in the recovery of debt.

The Protocol does not apply:

(a)    where the debt is covered by another Pre-Action Protocol such as Construction and Engineering or Mortgage Arrears; or

(b)    to claims issued by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs that are governed by Practice Direction 7D (Claims For The Recovery Of Taxes And Duties).

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