I OFTEN receive inquiries from businesses or individuals that are owed a debt. Generally, by the time I receive a call, they have made numerous unsuccessful attempts to recover the debt. At that point, they are looking for legal options.
There are many different types of debt, including unpaid accounts and invoices, money lent but not repaid and work done that has not been paid for (to name but a few).
The legal options depend primarily on the type and value of the debt. Debts up to $25,000 can be pursued through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal provided the debt meets the definition of a minor civil dispute under the relevant legislation.
Larger debts of up to $150,000 are dealt with in the Magistrates Court. The District and Supreme Courts also have jurisdiction for debt claims of more significant amounts.
There are advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a debt through a tribunal or courts. In some cases, the legal costs to pursue a debt through the court may outweigh the value of the debt itself.
Of course, there are also cases where legal proceedings are commercially justified. Whatever the case, reasonable efforts should always be made to resolve a debt dispute by means of alternate dispute resolution (i.e. resolution other than by tribunal or court order).
You should seek legal advice regarding debt recovery options, including the commercial context of each dispute resolution option as it relates to your particular circumstances.
Until next week – Keep it Legal!
*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon.