Serving a Statutory Demand
The steps to issue and serve a Statutory Demand
A Statutory Demand can be served on an individual or on a Limited Company is respect of an outstanding debt.
In order to serve a Statutory Demand the debt must be agreed and not in dispute and for service on an individual the amount being claimed must be at least £5,000. If the Statutory Demand is being served on a Company then the amount being claimed must be at least £750.
Once the Statutory Demand has been legally served then the debtor has 21 days in which to pay the debt or come to an agreement with you regarding payment.
If they fail to do so then you can then apply to issue a Bankruptcy Petition against an individual or a Winding Up Petition if the debt is owed by a Company.
We will now look at the rules regarding service of a Statutory Demand.
How to serve a Statutory Demand on an Individual or Limited Company
Service of a Statutory Demand on an Individual
When serving a Statutory Demand on an Individual this can be legally completed by personal service or by substituted service.
Personal service is when we physically hand the Demand to the debtor. Should they confirm their identity but refuse to take the Demand then it is legally served by dropping it at their feet.
If we are unable to meet with the debtor but confirm they continue to reside at an address then we can proceed by way of substituted service.
By confirming residency we mean that we will speak discreetly with another individual at the address or a neighbour who confirms that debtor continues to reside at the service address and has been seen recently. When doing this we do have to keep within GDPR and DPA guidelines and ensure that no personal information is disclosed to a third party.
With residence confirmed we can then proceed with substituted service which entails sending the debtor a Letter explaining that we have visited their property but failed to meet with them and nominating a date and timeslot when we will be returning. The Letter also sets out who we are serving the Statutory Demand on behalf of.
If the debtor does not make contact in response to the Appointment Letter we return to the service address in the stated timeslot and should we still not meet with the debtor we effect legal service of the Demand by insertion through the letterbox in a sealed addressed envelope.
Service of a Statutory Demand on a Limited Company
When serving a Statutory Demand on a Company this can be legally completed with just one visit to the service address. This service address will be the Registered Office of the Company and if not known can be found at Companies House.
When a process server attends at the Registered Office they will initially look to serve the Statutory Demand on a Director of the debtor company. If they are not available or not on the premises at the time then we will ask for an employee of the company who is authorised to accept service.
If service is not possible by handing it to someone then the Statutory Demand will be legally served by depositing it at the Registered Office in a way in which it would come to the attention of an officer of the debtor company attending at that address.
Generally, this means that the Demand can be left on the Reception Desk or put through the letterbox and this counts as legal service.
Hopefully the above clarifies when a Statutory Demand can be issued and how it should be served. If you should have any questions please feel free to contact us by phone or through the Contact Form below.
We are not legally qualified and cannot provide legal advice but can provide procedural advice as to how your documents should be served.