Small Debt Recovery and Enforcement of Monetary Court Orders
Do you have a small debt owing to you? If the debt is less than $25,000 you can make an Application to QCAT to recover the money from the person or entity that owes you. Once the Application is filed with QCAT and served on the Respondent (that is, the person/entity that owes you money), the Respondent has 28 days to file and serve a Defence.
Defence to Claim
If the Respondent files a Defence, the matter will then be set down for hearing before a Magistrate or QCAT member, and a Decision will be made.
If no Defence is filed, you can seek a Default Decision from QCAT for the amount of money you are owed. You can also seek that your costs involved in making the application (such as the QCAT filing fee and service fees) be paid by the Respondent.
Enforcement of Claim
When QCAT makes a Decision in your favour, the next step to enforce the Decision is to register a copy of the Decision with the Court. An Order of the Court is required to take further enforcement action. For instance, if the Debtor is the registered owner of any real estate or personal property (eg a home, a vehicle, or jewellery) you may apply for an enforcement warrant for seizure and sale of the Respondent’s property to pay the debt. Another enforcement option may be to apply for a warrant for redirection of earnings so that an amount is deducted from the debtor’s pay by their employer and redirected to you until the debt is paid.
A monetary court order also affects the Debtor’s credit rating. In addition, each step of the enforcement process can incur further costs against the debtor such as further filing fees, bailiff service fees, and solicitor costs. The consequences of a monetary order are serious.
If you are owed money, or if you owe money to another, it is important that you seek legal advice in relation to your rights and obligations.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form should you have any queries.