Let’s talk: Why mediation can be better than court

Chasing a payment you are owed can be a time-consuming and stressful business.

If your debtor is refusing to pay or even respond to phone calls, emails and letters then you might feel you have no choice but to launch court action.

In those circumstances, mediation by an independent negotiator might be the answer.

The mediator can take time to listen to both parties, hearing the debtor’s side as well as yours. There may well be a good reason why the person is unable to pay which they are embarrassed or unwilling to admit.

In our experience here at Philip Elliott Associates, most people don’t start out intending not to pay their bills!

Good mediation and negotiation requires a particular set of skills – it’s not just a question of having a chat.

It entails building up trust and gaining the confidence of the person in debt. So a mediator should be able to listen properly to someone in difficulties without appearing to judge them.

It demands patience to tease out the truth.

It means empathising while remaining professionally objective and staying within ethical boundaries.

And someone doing the mediation also has to be able to spot when the solution being offered is realistic and when it’s not – for example, when a person in debt might be agreeing to make a payment or series of payments that they cannot afford.

If it sounds like a soft option, it isn’t. Remember that the mediator is there to bring about a resolution to problems that may have dragged on for a long time.

And from a business perspective, time is money so anything that can expedite the process has to be good for your company.

Key benefits of mediation:

  • Avoids costly court action
  • Speedy resolution
  • Updates on progress if negotiations are drawn out
  • Better outcome – in our experience, it is surprising how many cases resolved through mediation produce not only the original payment but also costs and interest payments

Mediation is one of the specialist services we provide to businesses throughout Nottingham and the East Midlands. If you’d like to discuss using our mediation services, contact us.