How can I recover a debt that is owing to me?

If you are owed money, prior to commencing proceedings you should first consider sending a letter of demand to the debtor requesting payment of the amount owing to you.

If after sending the letter of demand you are still not paid, you can commence legal proceedings to recover the amount owing. Legal proceedings are commenced by filing a statement of claim in either the Local Court, District Court or the Supreme Court, depending on the amount that is owing. You can also commence proceedings to recover a debt by filing an application in the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal ("NCAT").

Different procedures apply in different Courts and Tribunals but generally, if the claim is disputed there will eventually be a hearing and a judicial officer will decide the case.

If the defendant does not file a Defence within 28 days of being served with the statement of claim, you can apply for default judgment to be entered against the defendant in Courts; but you may still have to prove the amount owed. In the NCAT there is no default judgment procedure.

Once judgment is entered against a defendant you can take steps to enforce it.