Terms & conditions
HARMER COLLECTION SERVICES LIMITED T/A HARMER UK
Terms and Conditions of Business and for the use of this website
By accessing our website you indicate that you accept and agree to abide by these terms and conditions. We reserve the right to withdraw or amend the service we provide on our website without notice and we will not be liable if for any reason our website is unavailable at any time or for any period.
You are also responsible for ensuring that all persons who access our website through your internet connection are aware of these terms, and that they comply with them.
If you disagree with any part of these terms and conditions, please do not use our website.
Information on this website is provided without warranty or term of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties or terms of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. All such implied terms and warranties are hereby excluded.
By accessing this web site you agree that Harmer Collection Services Ltd will not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from the use of the information and material contained in this web site, or any other linked website, including, without limitation, any lost profits, business interruption, loss of programs or other, even if we are expressly advised of the possibility of such damages.
Under no circumstances will we be responsible for any losses which arise in connection with an event or series of events which is/are outside of our reasonable control.
This website contains material which is owned by or licensed to us. This material includes, but is not limited to, the design, layout, look, appearance and graphics. Reproduction is prohibited other than in accordance with the copyright notice, which forms part of these terms and conditions.
Other organisations websites that are listed or linked in this website are not under the control of Harmer Collection Services Ltd or our trading entity Harmer UK. Accordingly, we cannot make any representation concerning the content of these sites to you, neither can we give an endorsement for any of these sites, they are there purely for your convenience. Furthermore we accept no responsibility for any statements, information, products or services that have been published or may be accessible through third party websites, or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them.
With regard to information provided to Harmer Collection Services Ltd by the user of the website – generally only via our ‘Contact Us’ page – By submitting your data you agree that the data shall be processed and stored for the duration of the purpose indicated therein and held after initial processing as long as it would be required. The data collected will not be transferred to third parties.
It is your legal right to have access to any such data and you shall be entitled at any time to require an update of your data, information regarding use of your personal data, to object to processing, to request transfer of your data as well as to require deletion of your data by contacting us on the details provided. We will not collect your personally identifiable information without your knowledge and permission, nor will we sell or publish any such data. In order to provide you with a specific product, service, or information or to process a transaction, we may request your personally identifiable information.
This information may for example include your name, position in your organisation, business address, e-mail address, and main & mobile telephone numbers. Personally identifiable information is only collected when necessary to provide a quote or to provide a service as detailed in our services page.
You agree to use the website for lawful purposes only and in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of, or restrict the use of the website by, any third party.
The English courts will have non-exclusive jurisdiction over any claim arising from, or related to, a visit to our website, although we retain the right to bring proceedings against you for breach of these conditions in your country of residence or any other relevant country.
Section 2 – Debt Recovery & Cash-flow Management Terms and Conditions
- For purposes of clarity and ease of use, henceforth Harmer UK and Harmer Collection Services Ltd will be known as the ‘Agency’, while the instructing entity, will be known as the Client. Where brevity is more appropriate Harmer will be referred to as ‘Us’ or ‘We’, and the client as ‘You’.
- Once a debt is submitted to the Agency by the Client, the Agency is authorised to collect money on behalf of the Client. This is a binding contractual agreement between the Agency and the Client, and the agreed Terms and Conditions are to be complied with in all stages of the collection process by both parties.
- Once the Agency has been instructed, all monies collected are subject to commission at the agreed rate, whether the monies are paid directly to the Client or the Agency. The agreed commission will only be taken by the Agency as a percentage of the recovered amount and not as a percentage of the original submitted amount where a lesser amount is paid.
- We do not charge upfront administration fees for our commission related services. Any fees outside of the commission structure will always be agreed before the client incurs them.
- Every effort is made by the Agency to recover all outstanding monies on behalf of the Client, however, we cannot guarantee that your money will be recovered.
- The Client may not make any communication with the debtor after the debt is passed on to the Agency. If the debtor attempts to contact the Client, the Client must immediately revert the debtor directly to the Agency as their appointed representatives in the matter. If the client prejudices the Agency’s ability to collect the debt by way of such a communication, the Agency reserves the right to charge that commission which would normally be levied as if this had been a successful collection action.
- Once the Agency has been appointed to act on the Client’s behalf, if the debt is withdrawn by the Client prior to the Agency recommending termination of action, or where due to lack of requested information or cooperation from the Client, or where goods and services are subsequently returned to the Client and/or the balance is written off by way of a credit by the Client, the account has to be returned to the Client, the Agency reserves the right to charge that commission which would normally be levied as if this had been a full successful collection.
- In matters of debt recovery, whether disclosed to the debtor as a debt recovery agency or undisclosed and operating under the umbrella of the client as if for all intents and purposes an employee of the client, we operate on a No Collect, No Fee basis. Commissions vary based on a number of factors including but not exclusive to, ageing of debt, location of debtor (national or international) industry type, currency of debt, clarity of the debt, amount of debts being placed, regularity of debts being placed or, whether the debt is disputed or not. Rates start at 2.5%, however, there is a minimum commission for any amount recovered against any debtor in a given month of £49.50, thus if any amount is paid by a debtor under our control under the value of £1,980.00 you will pay £49.50 not 2.5%.
- The Agency will never commit a client to, or enter into, any form of legal action without the client’s express prior permission. Legal fees vary depending upon the specific action required. Current court fees can be found by reference to form EX50 (Civil and Family Court fees) via the Gov.uk website (easily accessed via Google or other search engine). Where solicitor intervention is required, fee structure and estimates will always be provided before any action is taken. We undertake certain activities internally but only to the extent that we are not in contravention of the Legal Services Act 2007 specifically pertaining to individuals who are duly authorised to carry out reserved legal activities within the scope of said act.
- Any agreed fees that are incurred but uncollectible from the debtor will be the responsibility of the client such as court fees incurred which the debtor does not include when making their payment, that the client decides not to pursue, for example.
- Where a payment plan is agreed, unless otherwise agreed between the Agency and the Client, the agency will set up the arrangement and take their commission from every payment unless the client elects to monitor all future payments after the initial instalment has been received. In such an event, should the debtor default on the arrangement, the onus shall be on the client to ensure that the debtor resumes and maintains the arrangement. Should the client refer the debt back to the agency the cycle will recommence and commission (to the value of the minimum commission as detailed above) will be payable as if it was a new placement.
- The Agency will endeavour to recover monies or reach a conclusion as to the necessary action required – including abortive action – in the shortest time period possible. Where the client requires a specific timeframe this would have to be agreed before services commence as the requisite fees would need to be charged in the event of the Client taking a debt back in house.
- A debt that is passed to the Agency by a Client must be an actual debt as we define such, I.E the amount must be legitimately owing and outstanding. If the debt is found to be legitimately disputed or paid prior to our appointment we will charge our commission as if we had collected the debt in full. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure all debts placed with the agency are outstanding, provable and justified.
- The client must advise of all payments received from debtor accounts held by the Agency within a reasonable timeframe. Whereby a debtor proves payment has been made and the Client has failed to confirm receipt of the payment, the full commission will become due and will be invoiced accordingly.
- Unless otherwise agreed, the Agency will invoice for all collections within a given month at the end of that month. Where the debtor has paid the client directly, the Agency will expect payment of their invoice within 15 days of issue. Where the debtor has paid the Agency directly, the commission invoice value will be debited before the funds are paid to the client (this will include the requisite VAT on the Agencies invoice)
- We are not solicitors and are therefore prohibited from providing legal services for financial reward under the provisions of the Legal Services Act 2007, however, where litigation is the best option we will provide our opinion as to matters such as the likely outcome of such action and in general terms what the procedures and requirements will be prior to any litigation – these opinions are always offered free of any fee or related financial reward.
Section 3 – Book Keeping & Credit Control Terms and Conditions
- Credit Control – Where credit control is contracted on a No Collect, No Fee basis, unless specifically agreed otherwise, such work will be subject to the same conditions as debt collection. Where such work is carried out on a fee basis the client is free to continue direct communication with their client, however, they must advise us of all such communications to avoid unnecessary conflict and miscommunication
- Professional Obligations: Our organisation is a member of the Association of Accounting Technician (AAT), the Credit Services Association (CSA) and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) and as such we are bound by all of their guidelines and professional codes of conduct. All of these organisations have high standards and expectations of their members, the full details of which are available upon request.
- Anti-money Laundering – Most if not all companies involved in the financial sector are bound by the Anti-Money Laundering regulations 2007 and as such where we have reason to suspect any activity likely to be in contravention of the laws relating to money laundering, either by a client or a third party, we have a duty to report such suspicious activity and will do so. Where necessary, to the UK National Crime Agency (NCA).
- Conflicts of interest – Should a conflict of interest arise after you have instructed us we will let you know. If this occurs, we may not be able to continue to represent you, however, each matter will be evaluated on its own merits.
- Confidentiality – All communications between the parties to any arrangement you have with us will be deemed confidential. We shall take all reasonable steps to keep confidential your information unless we are authorised by you to disclose information on your behalf or where we are required to disclose it by law.
- Ethical Conduct – As well as the requirements of statutory law we are bound by the code of ethics of the Association of Accounting Technicians and as such are held to a tight regime of high quality service and professional ethics. Related statutory laws include Criminal Finances Act 2017, Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Anti-money Laundering Regulations of 2007 and the Anti-Bribery Act of 2007 the provisions of which will at all times be strictly adhered to.
- Client Monies – In conducting business on behalf of our clients we may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf – particularly where we are recovering monies for unpaid invoices/debts. Such monies will be held in a client bank account, which is held completely separately from the agency’s funds. The account is operated, in accordance with the Anti-money Laundering Regulations of 2007 and the AAT’s code of conduct.
- Fees and Payment – Credit control – If agreed on a No Collect No Fee basis the provisions align with debt collection above. If fee based, we charge £35.00 per hour, or an agreed monthly/annual fee set, estimating the amount of time that will be required to complete the duties in the agreed period based on £35.00 per estimated hour. – Bookkeeping – In general bookkeeping is charged at £35.00 per hour which will cover most services. If and where the duties become more complex and accountancy based, additional charges will be levied. All additional fees would be agreed before they were incurred. Accountancy duties would need to be undertaken by one of our associate accountancy firms but again, this would also be agreed before being undertaken. Other fees include tracing absconded debtors – this varies dependent upon the level of investigation required but usually cost £55.00. If this amount is inadequate, an alternative will be suggested prior to any cost being incurred. This is a No Find, No Fee service unless expressly excluded from being so. Payment of all HCS Ltd invoices must be made within the period specifically agreed or within 15 days of issue where there is no agreed specific time period. Failure to comply will result in the issue of statutory collection charges as laid down in the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Rules 2002 and interest at 4% above the bank of England base rate at the time of the infraction.
- Retention of Records – Whilst we are under service agreement with you, we will hold copies of any records we receive or produce unless we have agreed specifically that you will hold all such records and that we are not to do so. Where we hold records that HMRC require to held for the statutory time requirement, we will keep such records in our possession for 6 years after which they will be securely disposed of (shredded if paper based). Where they are non-statutory regulated or copies of documents we know you to hold the originals of, we will dispose of them as soon as they are no longer required.
- Provision of Data – Where, under the terms of our specific agreement, we request certain documents to enable us to undertake our duties and to comply with statutory requirements and filings, you are required to provide us with all such documents in a reasonable period of time. Where a time period has not been specified in our communication to you, it is expected that you will provide any information required for statutory filing at least 2 weeks before said filing is due. We will not accept any liability for fines or other Penalties you receive as a result of your failure to meet our requests for information or for your failure to provide any information that is required for statutory filing.
- Limitation of Liability – In addition to the last sentence in the above paragraph (Provision of data) there are further limitations to our liability. We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows and do not seek to do otherwise. We will provide our professional services with reasonable care and skill. However, we will not be held responsible for any losses arising from the supply by you or others of incorrect or incomplete information, or your or others’ failure to supply any appropriate information or your failure to act on our advice or respond promptly to communications from us or other relevant authorities. Furthermore we will not be liable to you for any costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities.
- Letters of Engagement – Once terms have been formally agreed we will issue a Letter of Engagement – in duplicate – for both parties to sign. Each party will keep a copy. The full terms of the particular arrangement will be detailed in said letter. Where any term or condition that is detailed on this website, but is not referred to in the letter of engagement, the terms included in the website shall prevail unless in conflict with statutory law wherein the statutory law will prevail.
- Termination – Unless terms of termination are specified in the letter of engagement a suitable period of notice will be required by the service provider. In general we would expect at least 60 days’ notice of your intention to terminate the agreement. Failure to comply would result in a penalty at the rate of the cost of at least 60 days service dependent upon the situation that has led to the termination. Where we are required by statute to make a filing after termination we reserve the right to charge the full cost of our services as if termination had not taken place.
- Applicable Law – Our terms and conditions are governed by UK law, and should be construed in accordance with UK law. Each party agrees that the courts of the United Kingdom will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any dispute or conflict concerning our engagement.