Collection of Debt
If you are running your own business, you most probably have had an experience of a client not paying you for the supply of material/s or service/s rendered. The unfortunate occurrence in any type of a private enterprise is that some people think that they can take the benefit of one’s services without paying for them.
Hassall’s Litigation Services have developed a very efficient way of collecting such debt. It starts with a simple letter of demand. All we need is your details, the details of the party who owes you money, and a copy of the outstanding invoice/s. This letter will cost you $77.00. More often than not it produces either payment in full, or some proposal to pay the debt in instalments.
On those occasions however, that the letter of demand does not produce the required result, the process of collection is to proceed to file a Statement of Claim with the Court (issue a proceeding).
Once a proceeding is issued and the relevant papers are served, the Defendant will have 21 days to file their Defence. It is important to know that it is only possible to file a Defence if the Defendant has proper basis, upon which they can defend your claim. An excuse “I do not have any funds to pay you” is not a legal defence.
If a Defence is not filed, we can apply to the Court for an order against the Defendant for a judgment in your favour. That order will specify the amount claimed, plus interest and legal costs. We can then proceed with enforcement steps to recover the amount ordered. Such steps will include Summons for Oral Examination, Garnishee Order, Order for Seizure and Sale, and others.
If the Defence is filed, we will need to assess whether we need to serve the Defendant with a Notice of Discovery (to receive all documents related to the matter in dispute), and then the matter will be listed for a Pre-Hearing Conference (mediation). Most disputes are settled at that stage however, if the proceeding is not resolved, then the Court will list it for a hearing.
In some disputes we will need to retain experts, to provide their opinion.
Another way to recover a debt is to serve a debtor with a Statutory Demand. This option is only available if your debtor is a company, and there is no dispute as to the amount owed. The company will have 21 days to either pay the amount stated in the Statutory Demand or to make an application to have it set aside.
Please contact us on 9555 7233 to discuss which option is suitable to your situation.