The Protocol applies to all businesses claiming payment of a debt from an individual debtor and it will therefore apply to the collection of all school fee debts.
More information is now required in and with letters of claim. Standard forms have been introduced and debtors should be given more time to respond and an opportunity to make payment proposals throughout the pre-action process.
What Are the Aims of the Changes?
The aims of the Protocol are to:
- encourage early engagement and communication between the parties, including early exchange of sufficient information about the matter to help clarify whether there are any issues in dispute
- enable the parties to resolve the matter without the need to start court proceedings, including agreeing a reasonable repayment plan or considering using an Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure
- encourage the parties to act in a reasonable and proportionate manner in all dealings with one another (for example, avoiding running up costs which do not bear a reasonable relationship to the sums in issue)
- support the efficient management of proceedings that cannot be avoided
For more detail about the new procedure and guidance on how to prepare for the changes, please see our update on the School Fees and Debt Recovery page of OnStream.
For further advice and support, please contact Nick Murrell on 0117 314 5627, Charlotte Williams on 0117 314 5219 or James Garside on 0117 314 5639.