Can I chase foreign overdue accounts via CPA?

Yes you can with just a slight change to the entry method. Letters are sent via airmail and of course the email copy gets there immediately. Our results are similar to UK based debtors.

How far back can I go to chase an old overdue account?

An overdue/debt is live for six years after they were last contacted. Of course they may have moved during that time and the address may need to be checked.

My customer base are mostly restaurants, will this be a problem?

Not at all, the key issue is to get the invoicing correct from the beginning. Use our commercial credit application form to ascertain exactly who the owners are and invoice accordingly.

Can I chase private individuals on CPA for an overdue account?

Yes you can, we even have a separate Final Demand for non-Limited or PLCs overdue debts to comply with Data Protection legislation.

If a debtor has ‘gone away’ can CPA help me find them?

Of course we can. We have professional tracing agents who are extremely good at what they do and act on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. Any action they take complies with all legislation and professional conduct regulations.

Why should I always take a credit report on my commercial customers/clients?

Whenever you grant credit to a new or existing customer you take a risk that you may not get paid on time or at all. However mostly you will need to deal with companies on credit to grow and secure your own business. It is sensible to check to see if your prospective customer is in a good financial state and has the ability to pay you. If they can’t why would you want to deal with them on credit? Remember no-one has the right to demand you extend credit terms to them. Our reports on Limited and PLC companies are updated daily and we can even send you an email alert when there is a change in their circumstances.

How do you arrive at the credit limit and rating on your reports?

We generate our corporate and non-corporate credit reports using information from a variety of sources including our award winning credit information partners who use their in-house developed algorithms to arrive at a credit score and credit limit for each subject. These are reviewed and updated daily to take account of any changing circumstances, such as new accounts being analysed or any adverse information coming to light such as a CCJ.

What does it mean if a company has a County Court Judgement (CCJ) registered against them?

Generally this is not good news, for a CCJ to be registered it means that a Judgement remains unpaid 28 days after the company was found liable for the outstanding debt amount. This is the most straightforward confirmation that they could be suffering cashflow issues and dealing with them on credit should be avoided.

The credit limit shown on your report is less than the potential customer has requested, what should I do?

Firstly no-one can demand you give them credit terms, so it is your judgement call if you wish to proceed at all under these circumstances. If you do want to consider dealing with them then perhaps ask for a payment up front or stage payments to reduce your exposure to them. But remember they have a specific limit/score for a reason and you should always exercise caution if they want more. Also, the limits given are for your total exposure to them and not a monthly account level.

Can I download a report on a sole trader/partnership/someone trading as a non-corporate name?

Yes you can, we call it a Business Owner’s report. However because the subjects of these reports are individuals, they are governed by Data Protection legislation and you must get the written consent of all applicants before accessing these reports. You can use our Credit Application forms to obtain permission. If the applicant is registered on the electoral roll at their given home address, a report should be available. If you have any queries on this report it is important you ask before downloading one as they leave a ‘foot-print’ on the applicants credit record.

What is Late Payment Compensation?

Late payment Compensation is the statutory right to compensation if your invoice to another business is paid late. It does not apply to debts owed by consumers. If you are paid late you are entitled to interest at 8% over the Bank of England base rate and for compensation. The compensation comes in three tiers:- £40.00 compensation can be claimed for debts under £1000.00, £70.00 for debts under 10,000 and £100.00 for debts over £10,000. In England & Wales you are entitled to reasonable third party collection costs if these exceed the compensation (more information can be found here).

A director has been disqualified, what does this mean?

A director of a company can be disqualified for a number of reasons, including fraudulent trading, wrongful trading, or ‘unfit’ conduct. If disqualified, a director may not act as a director or manager during the disqualification period, if they do, it is a criminal offence. The penalties are imprisonment and personal liability for the relevant debts of the company. If a director of a company you are trading with is disqualified then this is a major red flag and you should seriously consider whether you can continue to trade with them.

Why should I monitor my customers?

If you monitor your customers then we will notify you by email if there is any significant change to the company’s profile that could impact their credit score or credit limit.

When can I put my debt on to the Overdue Account Recovery Service?

You can input your debt on the Overdue Account Recovery Service as soon as it is due but do not enter it before then. Most members give some leeway or have their own in-house collection such as a statement or their own email, letter or phone call process before they instruct us but the CPA service can be implemented as you wish within your own credit strategy.

Why do you send thank you letters to debtors when they have paid?

One of the many unique features we offer our Members/clients is the ability to send a letter to a commercial debtor who has paid their overdue account saying ‘Thank you’. This has the dual purpose of helping to keep a relationship going with your customer and reassuring them that you have notified us of their payment. These are sent out automatically once you tell us you have been paid and at no additional cost to you.

Why do you ask for their email address?

If you activate the email service in global settings and provide your customers email address, then both an email and physical letter will be sent. This makes it harder for your customer to ignore the reminders which achieves better results. It makes sense to always ask for email addresses when an account is opened and be sure to regularly update these.  We find it best to get the MD or owners email address as a generic address such as info@, sales@ or accounts@ might not get seen by the correct decision maker. We quite often come across instances where senior management were unaware invoices were not being paid and an email from us is an excellent way of bringing it to their attention!

Why should I notify CPA when I have been paid by my debtor?

This will prevent us continuing to chase payment which may damage the goodwill you have with your customers. It will also stop us recording your customer as a debt defaulter.

If my customers have multiple overdue invoices, do I need to enter each invoice separately in the Overdue Account Recovery system?

No. It is not necessary to enter each invoice separately. You only need to enter the total outstanding sum as one entry and you can use the account number as a reference. If you enter the invoices separately then the customer will receive multiple letters all at once and it could cause confusion.


All CPA members receive a full written money-back guarantee, underwriting the cost effectiveness of the Overdue Accounts Recovery service.

Bad Debt Prevention

Protect your profits by avoiding write-offs

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Overdue Account Recovery

Maximise cash flow by obtaining prompt payment whilst maintaining goodwill

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Escalation to Debt Recovery

CPA can take whatever action is needed to reach a conclusion

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0330 053 9263