Debt recovery work on the rise, with 23.5% more money claims handled by the County C.ourts in 2015

August 4, 2017 | by | 0 Comments

debtRising consumer credit and business debt and a likely slowdown in UK economic growth, not to mention potential Brexit-inspired economic problems, point to debt recovery being a lucrative area of work for law firms in the UK in the coming years.

The future will offer opportunities to law firms which can tie up with major debt purchasing companies and which can offer one-stop-shop collection-to-recovery services. Investment in new technologies, such as predictive analytics, is likely to be a growing feature of the market as law firms aim to target their actions on those debtors most likely to pay, thereby reducing costs and improving their cost effectiveness.

These and other areas are covered in the IRN Research report, Debt-related Legal Services 2017 which provides an overview of the legal services related to debt recovery and debt collection. (see Table of Contents below)

The report (86pp, PDF), is available directly from IRN Research, priced at £180. UK sterling price is plus VAT so total price is £216.

IRN Research

Established in 1991, IRN Research is a market research consultancy with a particular focus on the legal services market. We offer a range of bespoke research services, on an ad-hoc and continuous basis, to law firms and suppliers to the sector. These services include client satisfaction surveys, market studies and competitor intelligence, client industry reports, and strategic studies. For further information on the report or our research services contact Gary Giddings on +44(0)7970829751 or URL:

This is one of a series of reports published through the year by IRN Research and a subscription to all the reports is available for £1,200 (plus VAT). Combined price for all reports purchased separately would be almost £1,650 (plus VAT). The reports included in the annual subscription are:

UK Legal Services Market Report
UK Residential Conveyancing Market
UK Wills & Probate Market
UK Family Law Market
UK Personal Injury Market
UK B2B Legal Market
UK Commercial Law Market
Debt-related Legal Services
Medico-Legal Services

PLUS: Password access to UK Legal Services Dashboard containing 50 historical and regularly updated time-series on the UK legal market.



4     Introduction
4     A market which is growing and presenting new opportunities
6     Some key facts about the market
6     Some key facts about the future

7     An overview of the debt collection and recovery process
10  Overview of mortgage and rental debt recovery
10  Overview of the insolvency process
12  Insolvency involving property
12  Legal action often results in a second best outcome
13  Debt sales
13  There’s consumer debt and then there’s regulated consumer      debt
14  Abbreviations

15     Consumer debt under control but signs the burden is increasing
17     Did consumers control their debts or were they forced to control their debts?
18     Consumer liabilities almost £2 trillion
The burden of debt has fallen but that still leaves many adults facing problems
22     Poorer households the most vulnerable
23     Business debt declines after financial crisis but is now rising again
26     5% of businesses in the UK could be zombie companies…
26     Although most can comfortably repay their debts
27     Almost half of B2B trade is conducted on credit, making late       payments an issue
27     With almost half of payments late or uncollectable.
28     Many SMEs are not sure how to recover debt

29     It’s becoming harder for smaller legal firms to compete
30     The FCA steps up its scrutiny
31     Legal changes make it harder and less attractive to pursue legal redress
34     BREXIT impacts on insolvency rules
35     Changes to the insolvency regime
36     Online court for small claims
37     Enforcement of Judgments and Orders
38     SRA gives up regulatory oversight of insolvency practitioners

39     London and regional markets
41     Over 2000 practices operate in this market
41     Debt-related work often overlaps with other legal work
42     The debt recovery and insolvency work of the top 6 UK Law Firms
45     Examples of other firms offering debt recovery legal services

55    The volume of debt-recovery work on the rise
57     But debt write offs fall for banks and building societies…
57     But that leaves an exposure of £91 billion…
58     And write offs remain significant for businesses
59     Almost 1 million CCJs…
61     With High Court Enforcement Officers clearing over 80,000 writs
62     County Courts now the main venue for debt cases
62     Cases filed in court are the tip of debt collection iceberg
64     Company insolvencies rise in 2016…
64     With more companies wound up in court
66     Big rise in personal insolvencies in 2016
66     Over 18,000 mortgage procession and 140,000 landlord possession claims
68     Mortgage arrears showing signs of rising

70     Consumers represent the bulk of CCJs…
72     But businesses are more significant in terms of debt write offs and non-performing debt
73     Credit cards and unsecured loans the areas where most debt recovery work is involved
76     Most company insolvencies are creditors’ voluntary liquidations
77     Bankruptcies becomes less important for personal insolvencies

80     THE FUTURE 
80     A future which is hard to predict
81     Debt recovery work set to rise
82     With rapid growth in the value of non-performing loans
82     And debt write-offs for businesses

83     Debt-recovery focused
85     General but covering debt recovery

Category: Business

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