Have you ever been put off trying to recover a debt because of the legal costs involved? The payment claims and payment schedules regime under the Construction Contracts Act (CCA) may just have the answer for you.

A payment claim is a special kind of invoice. The CCA has rules around what is required for a valid payment claim. A payment schedule is the only way to contest it. The CCA also has rules which explain what a valid payment schedule requires.

If a payment claim is valid and no payment schedule has been issued in time, the amount claimed in that payment claim becomes a "due debt". This debt can then be enforced in court or by adjudication under the CCA very easily.

The only defences to the issue of a valid payment claim are the issue of a valid payment schedule as defined by the CCA, or payment of the amount claimed, within a defined period.

The CCA allows for claiming back actual and reasonable legal costs for recovery of a payment claim. This means that you lose no money in enforcing it.

In terms of enforcement via adjudication, given that the defences are low, the costs of enforcement via adjudication are low as well.