Need to reel in your debtors? Using a law firm instead of a debt collection agency offers many advantages.
Over many years, Turner Hopkins has distinguished itself as one of the largest and most efficient providers of debt collection services in New Zealand. Acting for both local and international clients, we have established a specialised unit dedicated to providing high volume debt recovery services through both the District and High Courts throughout New Zealand.
The volume of work performed in this field has resulted in efficiencies which we have been able to pass on to our clients in the form of considerable cost savings and reduced fees. Our charges vary depending on the volume and nature of work involved, and in many cases are no greater than those that become recoverable pursuant to the Court rules and regulations.
One advantage of a specialised unit dedicated to debt recovery proceedings has been the relationship developed between ourselves and the various District Court registries throughout New Zealand. This enables us to provide increased efficiencies and benefits to our clients in the form of obtaining Judgments, successfully obtaining Interlocutory Orders (substituted service and charging orders) and pursuing enforcement proceedings (including orders for examination, attachment orders, High Court bankruptcies, liquidations and writs of sale of property).
A further competitive advantage achieved by us has been the ability to negotiate and obtain process server’s charges and agency fees at the very lowest possible rate. Those savings can also be passed on directly to our clients.
In addition, and to further benefit our clients, we are able to conduct in house tracing of debtors in order to ascertain not only a party’s location but also other information that will be of benefit in determining the most appropriate manner to pursue any claim. Service of proceedings is often able to be achieved (by way of substituted service) through Facebook and/or other social media. In the most difficult of cases we are able to offer further private investigation tracing charged on a “success only” basis.
In support of our debt recovery division, we have established an online database allowing high volume clients to have online, real-time, access to their files in order that they may maintain up to date details of the state and process of each claim and, most importantly, the amount due and recoverable from the defendant including legal costs and disbursements.
The debt recovery department of Turner Hopkins is managed by Michael Robinson. Feel free to contact him should you wish to discuss the manner in which we may be able to assist you and your business or organisation.Get Started →
The main advantage of using a law firm to collect an outstanding debt is that a law firm will act in a highly regulated and professional manner and provide a genuine level of credibility and professionalism to the process of pursuing the outstanding amount. Of particular importance a law firm will generally charge on time and attendance basis (often at a significantly reduced rate based on the volume of work involved) as opposed to a traditional debt recovery firm which will normally charge a very large percentage of the debt for their services. (Debt recovery firms' charges often exceed 20% of the amount recovered!)
It is a common myth that law firms should only be consulted when a very large debt is involved. It can often be worthwhile instructing a law firm to pursue debts for even modest amounts (often no more than $1,000). Of particular relevance is the fact that the court-sanctioned recoverable amount as well as all the disbursement incurred will be added to the debt in the course of the legal action provided by the law firm and therefore, if successful, the debtor will end up paying most or all of the costs incurred in pursing the claim.
A specialised debt recovery unit allows a client to benefit from the significant experience of the lawyers and legal professionals working in that area of practice. In addition, significantly reduced cost structures can lead to real cost savings by clients. Specialisation in this type of work allows us to provide comprehensive reporting keeping clients update (in real time) on all aspects of a file and provide useful return on investment analysis.
The enforcement options most normally exercised are the registration of a charging order (where the judgment debtor owns real estate) bankruptcy and attachment requiring the debtors employer or benefit payer to pay a certain portion of their wages or benefit to the judgment creditor on a weekly or regular in order to satisfy the debt.
Yes, it is quite feasible to pursue judgment debtors who have moved away from New Zealand. Our relationship with law firms in other jurisdictions (including Australia, the United States, Europe and Asia) mean that we can readily assist clients seeking to enforce judgments outside New Zealand.
Debt recovery usually involves breaches of contractual arrangements by a customer or client or debtor who has failed to make payment for goods or services supplied by a client who is the creditor. A very common example is failure by a bank customer to pay their bank loan or credit card debts. Other examples include trade customers failing to pay suppliers or customers of professional service suppliers who have reneged on their commitment to pay for the services they have received.
“John is very easy to talk to, he never makes you feel dumb, and never makes you feel like you are wasting his time for asking questions. He explains everything very clearly, every time. John's support staff are also very efficient and so easy to deal with. No detail is missed when dealing with them. My husband and I are fans of them all :)”~ Jess
“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to John Stirling and Kathryn Wynd for their patience and understanding. We are so honored to have John and Kathryn looking after us. Whenever someone asks if I know of legal firm, I always say Turner Hopkins.”~ Manaia
“I can't speak highly enough of Jenny. She got everything done in a timely manner and when my ex-husband threw a spanner in the works at the eleventh hour she got the required documentation to his lawyers and settlement back on track.”~ Tracey