About Us
Contact Us
Get Started Sign In
Invoice Claims is Whatsapp Integrated. Access our whatsapp business chat for live support.
Connect With Our WhatsApp!
Whawoo Logo - Whawoo helps business build Super Sales and Marketing Platform using Whatsapp Business.
Quick Connect
Scan Our QR Code...
Alternatively, Enter your number to connect...

Letter Before Action (LBA)

How and When to send a Letter Before Action to your Customer/Debtor.


What Exactly Is An LBA?

A Letter Before Action (LBA) is a formal letter which can either be delivered by via paper format (postal service) or electronically i.e. by email which formally requests payment of a debt, for instance an overdue invoice and warns the customer/debtor of the imminent issue of a court claim which can ultimately end up with a county court judgement CCJ being registered against them.
Nature of an LBA

Getting The Correct Balance When Creating An LBA

Despite the severity and formal nature of the an LBA, it should always be kept firm, fair and polite without using threatening or punishing language. It is important to get the balance right when sending an LBA as using reckless empty threats can actually do harm to your claim when presenting evidence in court.
Legal Structure

Using Solicitors or Debt Recovery Specialists

Whilst there is no requirement to use a solicitor or debt recovery specialist to send an LBA, it is always encouraged to do so as they can provide a clear framework, correct terminology and context in pursuit of recovering monies owed. What's more debtors are much more likely to respond when they realise a professional third party is dealing with the debt on your behalf.
Pre Action Protocol

Sole Traders & Pre Action Protocol

If your debtor is a sole trader (or individual) then you must adhere to the Pre Action Protocol for Debts Claims and can longer send a standard Letter Before Action.

Pre-action protocols explain the conduct and set out the steps the court would normally expect parties to take before commencing proceedings for particular types of civil claims. They are approved by the Master of the Rolls and are annexed to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).

More Information







Additional Costs

What Additional Fees Can You Include Within Your LBA?

You can also use the Letter Before Action to include added late fee compensation, interest and admin costs so your customer i.e. the debtor understands exactly how much is owed. Always provide an ‘olive branch’ too and grant clear opportunities to make payment or discuss the issue - it is important not to turn a customer/debtor into an enemy.
Late Fee Compensation
Interest Fees
Admin Fees
Professional Approach

Professional Behaviour Will Benefit You Massively

At this point you should be always constructive in your approach in wanting to reach a resolution. Whilst you may have legitimate reasons not to remain fair and friendly, and every fibre of your being may want to chastise your debtor for not paying and putting your business at risk, it is always recommended to remain balanced, reasonable, polite and calm in all your correspondences to your debtor. By not doing so you are providing them with opportunities to try and justify their actions and potentially invoke a degree of sympathy if/when contesting it in the courts.

Business Relations

Don't Damage Potential Future Trading Routes

Always remember, that if your claim is justified, accurate and proper then in most cases the law will side with you – there is no need to provide cheap “give-aways” to your debtor. And despite how bad the circumstances are now, you may well one day wish to do business again with your debtor so it is always better not to sour any business relationship – simply remove all emotion from the process and deal with the facts.
Invoice Claims

Free Invoice Building & Billing Software

Use Invoice Claims
Issued to Escalation

The Invoice Timeline

A Letter Before Action clearly sets out what is owed to your business from a customer/debtor and provides a set time period in which to make full payment. 7 days is usually the standard number of days to pay – Afterall at this point they will already have had 30 days to pay the initial invoice, 21 days to pay the invoice + late fees and now a further 7 days after the LBA. If After 7 days they still have not paid then we recommend sending 2 further reminders on the 10th day and 14th day giving them another weeks grace before you escalate this to the next stage.
An LBA is a fundamental requirement for the debt recover process and must be issued before legal proceedings can be initiated – if it is not then costs may be forfeited and you could end up paying legal costs on behalf of your debtor.
Intial Payment Overdue
Past Agreed Payment Date
Late Payment Reminders
Additional 7 Days
LBA Issued
Formal Late Payment Warning
Additional Reminders
10th & 14th Day Overdue Reminders
Escalation Stage
Potential Court Action Taken
Getting Invoices Paid

We Use Professional Pressure Techniques

The majority of customer/debtors which receive an LBA usually tend to make full payment upon receiving it, especially when the LBA has come from a formal third party as they understand the severity of the situation and that you are very serious about retrieving monies what is rightfully owed to you. Unfortunately however, there are some businesses which despite receiving a Letter Before Action simply ignore this and allow the matter to escalate to the Courts. At this point it is important to take stock of the situation and not simply go on a crusade to retrieve monies owed as it may be a clear sign that your business customer simply doesn’t have the ability to pay.

Whilst this may seem defeatist, it may prove more costly in time, resources and money trying to essentially “flog-a-dead-horse.” If your business customer for instance has numerous CCJ’s registered against them for previous non-payment, a bad credit history or a litany of disgruntled business suppliers this may be a warning sign not to take matters further.

Approach Style

Evaluation Your Situation

Before making any rash decisions, we would always suggest reviewing the situation and base some of your decision on whether...

have the patience, resilience and tenacity to pursue debtors in the courts.

whether it will be to the detriment of providing your goods and services to other business customers i.e. ensure you don't loose focus on your main priorities.

that your are happy potentially spending more money in court costs, legal fees and except the risk (however small) that you may not win in court and potentially have to pay debtor fees.

What Should Your LBA's Include?

Business Names and Addresses for you and your Customer.
Details of the Goods or Services that they Owe you for.
How much they owe you, Including any Interest and Compensation.
The Calculation of What they Owe you Calculated the Amount Owed.
A Detailed Timeline of Actions Already Undertaken to Reach Out to the Business Customer. What you’ve Already Done to Try to get the Money.
Dated copies of any relevant Documents, for Example Purchase Orders, Invoices and Statements.
A Reasonable Deadline for Paying or responding (at least 14 days).
The consequences of what will happen if they don't pay or fail to respond e.g. taking debtor to court to outstanding debt plus additional fees which will be incurred.
Invoice Escalation

Avoiding Court Action

An alternative to court action is to offer mediation, this can be done by arranging a face-to-face meeting with your business customer and involving a third part mediator who can help reach a compromise. Whilst mediators do cost money, it is usually much less expensive then proceeding with court action and can prove much quicker in reaching a resolution. Although you may have to be prepared to write off a portion of the value of the outstanding debt and receive the balance in instalments.
Alternative Mediation

Written Agreements

​Whilst you can simply decide that a verbal agreement or handshake is sufficient when agreeing to a deal, it is always encouraged to get a written settlement agreement. This will form a contract if legal action has not already commenced. If however you have started legal action then a written agreement can be signed and sent to the court who can make it an official court order which can be upheld.

background circle patternbackground circle patternbackground circle patternbackground double circle pattern
background triangle patternbackground square pattern

Try our automated credit control management SaaS FREE today.

No costs or upfront contracts simply create an account and start using all of our cool features.

Get More Updates!

Subscribe to our newsletter...

2024   ©   Passive Software. All rights reserved. VAT Reg: 456 8774 36