Everything you need to know about serving statutory demands

What is a statutory demand? 

A statutory demand is a written warning from a creditor. It will state that if a person owing debt doesn't pay their debt or come to another arrangement that is acceptable to the creditor, the creditor can apply to start court proceedings to bankrupt their debtor. 

Once the debtor has been served with the statutory demand, they have 21 days to pay their debt in full or come up with an acceptable arrangement. 

Examples of a statutory demand for payment?

A statutory demand for payment can be made by anyone who is owed money by someone. Whether you are a landlord who has not been paid their rent on time, or you have loaned money to an acquaintance who has not paid you back within the agreed upon timeframe, you are able to make a statutory demand for payment. However, there are stipulations to be met in order for you to qualify to make a statutory demand. 

If you are an individual entity (not a business or corporation) you can only make a statutory demand for payment if you are owed £5,000 or more. So if your brother owes you £3,000, this does not qualify for a statutory demand. 

However, if a company owes you over £750, you can make a statutory demand. If you are owed a hefty refund for a shoddy or disappointing service and you spent over £750 on whatever you bought, you are able to make a statutory demand for payment from a company. 

When can you make a statutory demand? 

You can make a statutory demand to ask for payment of a debt from an individual or a company. Anyone owed money can make a statutory demand, without needing a lawyer. 

If the debt is outstanding for longer than six years, you usually cannot make a statutory demand, but you can seek legal advice. 

Statutory demand forms

As with any other situation that requires someone to be served documents, there are a couple forms that need to be filled out. There are three different forms to choose from, depending on the type of debt you are collecting: 

  • Debt that is payable now 
  • Debt that is payable now following a judgement or court order
  • Debt that is payable in the future

You can find the downloadable documents on the government website here

How to serve a statutory demand 

There are various ways you can serve a statutory demand depending on who the demand is going to. If it is an individual, you can either 

  • Hand it to them personally 
  • Hire professional process servers, like Vilcol, to serve their documents for you 

If you are serving a company, you can 

  • Leave the documents at their registered office 
  • Hire a process server to give it to the company’s director, company secretary, manager or principal officer 

Once the papers have been served, it is important to keep a record that the statutory demand has been served, and that the debtor has received the documents, 

You have to keep a copy of the statutory demand and anything that confirms;

  • The time and date you served the statutory demand (this could be a postage receipt or confirmation from your process server) 
  • That the debtor has received the statutory demand.

You need this information in case your demand is ignored. If your demand is ignored, and the debt is not settled within 21 days you are able to start bankruptcy proceedings against any individuals who owe you £5,000 or more, or you can wind up a company that owes you £750 or more. 

Process servers for serving statutory demands 

While you could technically serve the statutory demands yourself, it is often recommended to go through professional process servers to do the job for you. Process servers are trained professionals that are able to efficiently serve all sorts of legal documents including divorce papers, injunctions, eviction notices, witness summons, and any other documents that signal someone’s presence being required in court. 

Serving legal documents can at times be dangerous due to highly emotionally charged situations. Our process servers are trained to professionally handle all situations and deliver your papers. 

We also provide written confirmation of document delivery, which will be useful for you in court should your request go ignored or you need to file further documentation. 

Contact us and speak to our team of licensed process servers to handle your statutory demand today!