When a person who owes you money becomes bankrupt, it may become a lot more difficult for you to recover your debt. A trustee (being a person or entity) steps in to manage the bankrupt’s affairs. The trustee works with the bankrupt individual and the bankrupt’s creditors to achieve a fair outcome for all. While the trustee will endeavour to ensure all creditors receive due payment for the amounts owing to them, creditors may have to commercially accept ‘cents in the dollar’ to ensure they receive some payment for their debt.
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?’.