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At a glance: Find out what to do if a creditor is thinking of taking you to court.
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This summary covers England and Wales
To view information that covers Scotland, please click here.

What is the pre-action protocol for debt claims?

This is a set of rules and guidelines for if you owe someone money and they are thinking about using court action to get it back.

These rules apply to any business claiming payment of a debt from someone.

What is a letter of claim?

Before the creditor starts court action they should send you a letter of claim. The letter should include information like:

  • The amount of the debt and whether interest is being added.
  • Details of the agreement you made.
  • What you are currently paying.

The letter will also include a reply form.

How do I reply to a letter of claim?

If you receive a letter of claim you should send the creditor your completed reply form within 30 days of the date at the top of the letter. If you do not reply within 30 days the creditor may start court action.

The form has four sections. If you can’t fill in every section, it is still important to return it within 30 days.

Trying to resolve disputes

The court wants you and the creditor to try to agree instead of going to court. Try to talk with the creditor. If you can agree over repaying the debt, they should not take you to court as long as you keep to the agreement.

Learn more about this topic

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth guide.

Read in-depth-guide

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