If you decide to commence court proceedings to sue a debtor for an amount they owe to you, the first step is to draft and serve your originating process. ‘Originating process’ are the documents used to commence legal proceedings and to notify the defendant of the case against them. This usually takes the form of a Summons or Statement of Claim, which must be served personally on the debtor to ensure they are aware of the proceedings. The court will not hear the case until they are satisfied that the defendant is aware of the proceedings and that the documents have been personally served.
Unlike wine, debts don’t improve with age. Once you have made a decision to take action to recover a debt, it is important to move quickly in deciding the means by which you will pursue repayment.
If someone owes a debt to you that they refuse to pay, you may wish to take legal action to pursue them for payment of the amount owing. If you decide to sue someone for the debt, the first question you must consider is the applicable jurisdiction. In other words, you need to ask yourself the question, ‘In which jurisdiction should I pursue my debt?’.
All of us have been in a situation at one point or another where we owe someone money. Whether it’s paying someone back for dinner or obtaining a loan from a multinational financial institution, the burden of debt can be crippling for individuals and businesses alike.
The Australian family law system is currently undergoing many changes, leading to a highly politicised and uncertain environment that has only exacerbated issues with the court system. While it may seem that governments and lawyers alike are the only beneficiaries of the inefficiencies of the family law jurisdiction, one form of alternative dispute resolution is on the verge of making a great resurgence that may make clients the real winner.