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Debt Collection & Centrelink Recipients

Monday, November 01, 2010 - Posted by Philip Harvey

The quick answer is not without the debtors consent.

The law states 

Social Security Administration Act 1991 (Cth)

Section 60(1) of the Social Security Administration Act 1991 (Cth) (“the Commonwealth Act”) provides that:


“A social security payment is absolutely inalienable, whether by way of, or in consequence of, sale, assignment, charge, execution, bankruptcy or otherwise.”


Section 60(2) of the Commonwealth Act provides for a number of exceptions which apply to the collection of certain Commonwealth debts and therefore are not relevant to any consideration of a debt owing to an Financial Services Provider by a Centrelink recipient.


Legal action against a centrelink recipient ?


Legal action is certainly possible against a debtor receiving Centrelink and Judgment will be entered against them.

However action to recover is limited. As the debtor is not employed a garnishee against wages is not an option.

A bank garnishee is possible however only funds in excess of the Centrelink payment that are held in the account for a period are  claimable .  As most Centrelink receivers do not hold large balances in their accounts this is generally not successful.

A writ to take goods and property can be successful if debtor has goods of value to take.


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