Collecting debt in West Africa presents a big challenge for companies unfamiliar with the local laws, languages and customs. Having local experts on your side is essential for success. Cedar Financial offers:
See why Fortune 500 companies trust us with their accounts in Nigeria.
Get an instant quote today!
In Nigeria, there is no requirement for collectors to be licensed in collections. This has made room for questionable characters and practices in the collection industry in the country. There is growing need for Nigeria to regulate the business.
Legally, apart from the Bankruptcy Act, general winding-up rules under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, and the recent Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, there is no legislation regulating insolvency and debt collection in the private sector. Hopefully, with the institution of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, which established the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria for resolving non-performing loan debts of banks, other legislation will soon follow.
Cedar Financial can help you recover your funds in Nigeria without compromising your business’ integrity.
A member of TCM Group and ACA International, our local Nigeria collections offices hold to the highest ethical, professional and customer service standards possible for a fair, but firm collections approach. Contact Us for a quote today.
Poor record keeping in Nigerian business and public registries alike makes tracking down debtors and resolving accounts difficult.
Basic information like name, contact info and payment status may be inaccurate, and many registries still store information manually, making it a hassle to find new info. Additionally, there is no single record of the persons living in Nigeria.
Some businesses have recently tried to institute training on record keeping in house, and the government is beginning to take steps towards new electronic record keeping methods, instead of manual ones. But there remains a lot of work to be done.
If you’re having trouble reaching a debtor in Nigeria, Cedar Financial offers professional skip tracing services, business credit reports and in-person field visits to your debtor’s location.
Our on-the-ground representatives enable us to succeed where other Nigerian collection agencies fail. For more information about all our services, call +1-818-224-3357.
For businesses wishing to collect debts in Nigeria, the first step is to gather documentary evidence, including written agreements, invoices, letters and emails. Then, issue a demand letter to the debtor stating the actions that will be taken if the debt is not paid within a certain time period (usually seven days).
If your debtor is a company, you may serve a Statutory Letter of Demand to start the process for winding up (dissolution) of the company. After the statutory period (three weeks) expires, winding up proceedings will commence, and the court will appoint a receiver to liquidate the insolvent company’s assets.
While it can be tempting to attempt to recover debt in Nigeria yourself, there has been an overreliance on in-house collection efforts in Nigeria, which has led to a decrease in overall recovered funds. With debt collection growing more challenging and expensive, more businesses, banks and agencies are seeing increased benefits in hiring a professional Nigeria debt collection agency familiar with the legal process and rules.
If you have unpaid invoices in Nigeria, request a quote today to see how Cedar Financial can help you lower collections costs while recovering more of the money owed to you. With our competitive, “No Win – No Fee” contingency rates, you only pay when we collect.
While every effort is made to resolve accounts amicably, sometimes a firmer approach is needed. Here’s what you need to know about legal collections in Nigeria.
In the event that amicable collections efforts are unsuccessful, you or your collection agency or Nigeria law firm may begin a summary judgment proceeding, which takes an average of 6-12 months to receive a judgment or 9-15 months if the debtor has a defense or civil action with a full trial is taken.
Need a debt collection lawyer in Nigeria?
Cedar Financial offers a vetted network of top Nigeria debt collection attorneys. Plus, we’ll manage your claim for you from start to finish, so you can get back to what you do best: running your business.
Once a judgment is received and a writ of fifa granted, your Nigeria collection agency or law firm can apply for law enforcement officers through the court to enforce by attachment of the moveable property of the debtor. This usually takes about 14 days.
If there is insufficient movable property within the court’s jurisdiction to resolve the debt, the collection agency may apply for attachment of the debtor’s immoveable property. This usually takes 4-6 weeks.
If the debt collection agency has information about money from a third party, it may apply to begin garnishee proceedings and the debtor must appear in court to defend themselves if they have reason to dispute their wages being garnished. This takes about 4-8 weeks.
At Cedar Financial, we don’t stop at obtaining a judgment. We will follow through with your claim at every stage to collect the maximum amount available on every claim.
Foreign judgments can be enforced in Nigeria if the judgment is monetary and from a superior court of a foreign country with reciprocal treatment with Nigeria.
Judgments can be enforced through registration, which must be applied for within 12 months of the date the foreign court delivered the judgment. If the court orders that the debtor be put on notice, the application shall be served in the same way as a writ of summons, and the debtor shall have 14 days to respond if located in the jurisdiction of the court.
Nigeria recently implemented a new law that makes it much easier for creditors and collectors to recover past-due amounts from debtors. The Act entitles creditors to exercise their right to collect the amount owed without any judicial process, if there is an agreement in place between the creditor and debtor detailing the terms of the contract.
Creditors can present the agreement and confirmation statement to the police in the debtor’s location for enforcement of amicable collection.
In the case that legal action is taken, the chances of recovering the debt are essentially 100% with an agreement in place and documentary evidence. That’s why it is so important to have a solid credit policy in place.
Need help refining your credit policies?
Our experienced Credit Risk Consultants can work with you identify weak spots and shore up your practices to improve your cash flow. Call +1-818-224-3357 today for a free consultation.
|Unpaid Invoice Interest Rate||For defaulters, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) places a maximum of 1% flat per month of unpaid amount in addition to charging current rate of interest on outstanding debt.|
|Can Collection Fees be added?||Yes|
|Statute of Limitations/Prescription||6 years for simple debts.|
|Post Judgment Interest Rate||Up to 5%, at the discretion of the Nigerian courts.|
|Judgment Expiration||Judgments don’t expire and can be enforced anytime until the full judgment sum is paid.|
|Can judgment be renewed?||Judgments can only be renewed on appeal.|
We offer on-the-ground representatives in Nigeria who understand the debt collection practices that work to support full recovery of your funds.
Results: $3.25M recovered for our client
Client sold two helicopters to the debtor, which defaulted on the repayments. The helicopters were stored and never handed over to the debtor.
The debtor was bought out by EcoBank and claimed to have not known about this matter.
Cedar Financial, in tandem with our local office, filed a lawsuit in Nigeria in 2014 to domesticate the US judgment the client had obtained back in 2013.
Once the summons was issued, the debtor began to enter a settlement discussion with Cedar and our local office. The delays resulted in one of the decision makers being located outside of Nigeria.
After 11 months of intensive discussions and legal motions, the debtor and client came to a compromised settlement amount of $3.25M to consider this matter settled in full.
Despite having a US judgment, the client couldn’t enforce payment until Cedar stepped in. Having an on-the-ground presence in Nigeria made all the difference in this case, as our experienced local office was able to effectively navigate the legal system to get the job done.
We significantly increase the chances of recovering the debt because as soon as the debtor understands that there is a local collector on hand, the game changes. We know the debtors, we can do on-site visits and meet with them face-to-face. Because of our knowledge of the local terrain, we can advise on the fastest, most effective way to recover the debt. For debtors who are willing to pay, but have local logistical challenges, we can solve those issues. We are also a law firm and, if necessary, can litigate in the local courts to ensure debt recovery.
For pre-legal services, we work on a “no collection – no fee” basis, so you will only pay when your funds are recovered. For legal services, we offer low-cost options.
We have no minimum value or volume that is required to place accounts.
We service consumer and commercial debts, large or small, across many industries.
Normal debt collection proceedings can take up to one year. If the debtor begins paying, then we try to keep a pre-agreed payment schedule. On the average, if a debtor has not paid within six months, he or she is not likely to pay without court action.
The first step is to locate the debtor at an address. A letter of demand or phone call is then made. We can then follow up with site visits and further letters. All these are geared towards reminding the debtor of the ultimate consequence of not paying the debt. If all efforts do not lead to payment, we may suggest a legal filing.
The statute of limitations in Nigeria is 6 years from the default date.
Yes, we provide on-the-ground representatives to visit your debtor in person at their location. We trace and contact evasive debtors and investigate assets for potential legal action.
Documentation is necessary, especially if the debtor denies the debt. It also helps us to understand the nature of the debt, which helps in our dialogue with the debtor.
Yes. In the event all amicable efforts are exhausted, our in-house legal team will conduct a thorough review of the file to determine collectability in litigation. If the file qualifies and you approve, we will work with the local attorney in your debtor’s jurisdiction to file suit and pursue the claim, including asset location, arbitration, trial representation, obtainment of a judgment and post-judgment enforcement.
It is legal to add costs of collection in Nigeria, but because there is no credit reporting, most debtors get away with just paying the principal. Interest and costs are only paid if awarded by the court.
* The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.