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Legislative Amendments Passed by NSW Parliament

Monday, October 30, 2017 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

In our September 2016 and December 2016 editions of Debt Collection News we reported that the NSW State Government were introducing several changes to the debt collection industry in NSW.

You can read these articles here and here.

We have now been advised by the NSW Debt Recovery Working Group ("DRWG") that as part of the overall changes being made several legislative amendments were passed by NSW Parliament on 20 September 2017. These legislative amendments include:

1. To bring the items protected from seizure under a Writ for Levy of Property in line with the items protected under the Bankruptcy Act;

2. To provide the Office of the Sheriff discretion when exercising their power to execute a Writ for Levy of Property where the cost of seizing, removing, storing and selling the seized property will likely exceed the total sale price;

3. To further codify the Office of the Sheriff's practice of sending a letter to the debtor before attempting execution of a Writ for Levy of Property;

4. To ensure that where a Garnishee Order for Debts is issued that the onus is on the financial institution issued with the Order to leave a minimum balance that aligns with the net weekly compensation amount (the same amount currently protected under a Garnishee Order for Wages or Salary); and

5. To clarify that the Local Court of NSW has the power to vary or suspend a Garnishee Order.

Department of Justice have advised that item 1 will commence within 3 months from the date of the legislation passing to ensure that the Office of the Sheriff have sufficient guidance and training material and items 4 and 5 will commence at a later date to allow the financial sector sufficient time to make changes to their internal procedures and processes. The remaining items have come into force immediately.

The relevant amendments to the Justice Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2) 2017 can be read online.

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