Debt recovery firm DSL has launched a specialist service to help local authorities collect sundry debt after a recent pilot for a single Inner London council delivered a 54% success rate.

Sundry debt covers a range of commercial invoices, from bin collections and licensing fees to nursing home overpayments, service charge arrears and planning fees. These debts are not subject to County Court Judgements (CCJ), which often makes them more challenging to collect than other outstanding debts.

Mike Brooks, Director of DSL, said “Sundry debt is notoriously difficult to collect but, with conservative estimates suggesting these debts could amount to multi-millions of pounds across the country, there is a real incentive to recoup more of these monies.”

“In the past sundry debts have been bundled with other debts and outsourced to third-party collection agents. However, collecting these debts is often neglected in favour of more easily-enforceable parts of the debt bundle, meaning sundry debts are frequently returned unpaid.

“Our Local Authority Debt Collection team focuses exclusively on these more challenging debts, combining new technology with traditional investigation techniques honed over years in the industry to trace those who are liable and secure missed payments.

“At a time when local authority budgets are under increasing strain and services facing cuts, successfully collecting sundry debt could go a long way towards easing a little of that pressure.”

DSL are members of the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) and, as such, adhere to an exacting code of conduct.

“Collecting overdue payments, arrears and debts is always a sensitive issue and, as debts get older, it can be harder to identify who is liable. This means collection companies need to secure the co-operation of those liable for the debt if we’re to achieve the best possible outcome. At DSL we use a variety of tried and tested techniques to identify who debts belong to and pride ourselves on our pleasant but persistent approach to achieve this end.”

Dominic Cain, Director of Exchequer at Southwark Council, which worked with DSL on the sundry debt pilot, said: “We have been impressed with the results achieved by DSL, diligently tracing debtors and professionally recovering debt, all with the provision of excellent customer service. I have always found DSL to be a company that takes an interest in and cares about getting a result for their customer.”

Worcestershire based DSL has been offering debt collection and credit control services since 2006. For further information on its new sundry debt collection service, visit www.dsl-sundrydebt.co.uk