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Using the Legal System to collect debts in New South Wales

Friday, April 01, 2011 - Posted by Philip Harvey

This is the second article in a series where we will go through using the Legal System to Collect Debts in all States and Territories. Previously we have compared specific legal actions between states and territories. 

Included in this is a workflow to assist in the understanding of the process. The workflow is located after the article. You may also like to download a copy of this workflow for you own records. A link for the download is at the end of this article.

Statement of Liquidated Claim 

After expiry of default notice the initiating action in the Local Court is a Statement of Liquidated Claim (also referred to as a SLC).

  • Can be served via post or in person

  • Can apply for Judgment 28 days after service

*Costs between $434.60 to $1,029.00  depending on amount

This can be compared against the other states and territories here.



  • This action formally registers the debt with the court and allows further collection action.
  • Judgment stands for 12 years.
*Obtaining Judgment costs between $105.20 to $263.00 depending on amount of claim (undefended)

This can be compared against the other states and territories 

Once Judgment granted then 4 choices of enforcement proceeding are possible.

Oral Examination

  • This is used where you are unaware of Debtors Assets, Employment.

  • Examination Notice must be issued first and not returned for 28 days prior to applying for an Oral Examination.

  • Documents are personally served on the debtor to attend court.

  • Hearing is conducted by the Registrar and debtor must provide details of income expenses and assets.

  • If debtor doesn’t attend then you can apply for an arrest warrant.

This can be compared against the other states and territories here.

*Cost is $482 for the Court Application + preparation and attendance charges (unable to quantify)  (undefended).

Garnishee Order.

  • Two types - Garnishee Order for Debts or Garnishee for Salary / Wages

  • Must know the financial institution details or employers details

  • documents are served on the financial institution or employer

  • Garnishee for Debts - Financial institution advises of amount garnished (if any). There are protected monies (Centrelink Benefits) that you may not received. This is a one off payment unlike a Garnishee for Salary / Wages

  • Garnishee for Salary / Wages - Employer remits all amounts over the Weekly Workers Compensation Amount ($409.10 as at January 2011) within 14 days and for as long as debtor remains employed / debt satisfied.

  • Garnishee for Salary / Wages - Debtor can attend their nearest local court and lodge a Garnishee Instalment order to reduce the amount paid. Needs to justify this to the registrar with supporting income, expenses, assets & liabilities.

*Cost can vary from company to company. LCollect charge under $100.

This can be compared against the other states and territories here.


  • Sheriff attends property of debtor to demand payment and tag any assets of value.
  • If payment cannot be made goods to the value of the debt are seized and sold.

  • Debtor can lodge an instalment order to stay the action

*Cost is $305.00 depending on amount of Claim (undefended)

This can be compared against the other states and territories here


  • Judgment must be obtained then a bankruptcy notice served.

  • Once Bankruptcy notice has expired then Bankruptcy can be applied.

  • Once bankruptcy obtained all debts owed by the debtor are captured under the Bankruptcy.

*Cost is a minimum of $2500.00 if matter is undefended (after Judgment costs)


* Important Note: All costs are estimates as at 20/04/2011 and do not include costs of counsel and preparation for hearing.

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