Debts are a very common legal problem that most people experience at some stage in their life. This top​ic explains what you can do if you are owed money, or if someone is chasing you for money.​

    What's a debt?

    Debts can arise in lots of different ways. In this section you will find information about:

    • ​Contracts
    • Gifts and private loans
    • Loans and credit cards
    • Electricity, gas, water and phone bills.

    For more information, see What's a debt?

    Making a claim

    If someone owes you money, you can make a claim asking them to repay the money to you. You can​ phone them, send them an email or sms, or write them a letter. A common way to make a claim for money owed is to send a letter of demand.

    For more information, see Making a claim.

    Responding to a claim​

    If someone is chasing you for money, they may send you a letter of demand, or they might phone you, or send you an email or sms. There are different ways that you can respond to their claim, including writing a response to their letter of demand.

    For more information, see Responding to a claim.

    Resolving your dispute

    If you have a dispute with someone about a debt, it is really important to try to resolve that dispute without going to court. Talk to the other person, negotiate with them, or try mediation.

    For more information, see Resolving your dispute​.

    Going to court

    If you can't resolve your dispute, you may end up in court. If you are owed money, you will need to decide whether to start a case. If someone is chasing you for money and they start a case against you, you will need to decide how to respond to the court case. However, it is a good idea to try to avoid going to court by settling your dispute, if possible. 

    For more information, see Going to court.


    If you want a visual overview of how to make or respond to a claim about a debt, see Flowcharts.

    Frequently asked ​​questions

    This section has answers to common questions that you may have about debts – when someone owes you money, or someone is chasing you for money. This is a good starting point if you're not sure where to begin your search for information.

    For more information, see Frequently asked questions

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