Debt Recovery & Litigation

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Prime Lawyers was built on debt recovery and litigation. We act for big and small business working with and assisting credit managers and financial officers take control of their accounts receivable and debtors. Our Debt Recovery and Litigation Lawyers work hand in hand with mercantile and debt recovery agencies to provide an efficient and cost effective solution to recover debt and manage credit. From small claims, caveat and security advice, to District Court, Supreme Court and Federal Court work including bankruptcy and corporate winding up. In litigation we are experienced in acting for both plaintiffs and defendants in all Courts in New South Wales including appellate jurisdictions.

what we can help you with

We cover a range of services

Bankruptcy

Section 40 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 sets out a number of different ways in which a person may commit an act of Bankruptcy. Only after an act of bankruptcy can a creditor petition the court for a sequestration order.

The most common way for a creditor to trigger an act of bankruptcy is to serve a Bankruptcy Notice issued by the Australian Financial Security Authority, formerly the Insolvency & Trustee Service Australia. Before a Bankruptcy Notice can be issued the creditor needs to have obtained a final judgment or order for the payment of a debt in excess of $5,000.00.

The debtor has 21 days from the date of service of the Bankruptcy Notice in which to comply with the Bankruptcy Notice. Compliance is by way of payment or satisfaction of the Court that the debtor has a set off or cross claim equal to or exceeding judgment debt. Failure to comply with the Bankruptcy Notice in this manner is an act of Bankruptcy pursuant to section 40(g).

Once an act of Bankruptcy has been committed a creditor may commence proceedings by filing a Creditor's Petition in the Federal Court of Australia. The petition is the formal application to the Court for a sequestration order to be made against the estate of the debtor. If a sequestration order is made the debtor's property, including certain pre-bankruptcy and post-bankruptcy property vests in the name of the the registered trustee. This is what is more generally known as being a bankrupt.

Because bankruptcy has an ongoing consequence to the debtor's property and earnings (during the term of the bankruptcy), credit rating and associated stigma Bankruptcy has become an effective tool for creditors to finalise recovery action against debtors. 

In order to obtain the sequestration order there are a number of legislative requirements as set out in the Bankruptcy Act and relevant Court rules which must be addressed before the Court will grant the order. 

Prime's Bankruptcy Lawyers Sydney & NSW have practised in the Bankruptcy Courts for a number of years. We are aware of practice and procedure and have the experience to advise you whether Bankruptcy is an appropriate avenue to collect your debt. 

If you are owed money and would like to speak with one of our debt recovery lawyers then get in touch with your nearest Prime Lawyers office.   

Call us to speak with one of our Bankruptcy Lawyers Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Sutherland or Wollongong.  
 

Corporate Insolvency

A company is insolvent if it is unable to pay its creditors as and when they fall due. A director of a company is responsible for it's corporate governance, and is under a duty to prevent insolvent trading. Failure to do so can result in the director being personally and criminally liable. 

It is not in the interests of the community to allow insolvent companies to continue to trade and incur debt. The Corporations Act 2001 provides a mechanism for creditors to apply to the Court for an order winding up the insolvent company. The most common method of doing so is by issuing a Statutory Demand in accordance with section 459E of the Act.

A Statutory Demand must be for an amount of more than $2,000.00, be in the required form, be signed by the creditor or someone authorised by the creditor and attach a judgment debt. If there is no judgment debt then the Statutory Demand must be accompanied with an affidavit in the prescribed form setting out details of the debt.

Depending on the circumstances giving rise to the debt it may be unwise to issue a Statutory Demand without a judgment debt, for such a demand may be set aside by the creditor on the basis that there exists a genuine dispute. This application is made to the Federal or Supreme Court pursuant to section 459G of the Act. If the Statutory Demand is set aside because of an existence of a genuine dispute, even if the debt is in fact owing, then the creditor issuing the demand will be subject to a significant adverse costs order. 

Once the Statutory Demand has been issued the debtor company has 21 days to pay the demand, or seek to set such aside in accordance with section 459G. If the debtor company does not do so the debtor company is presumed to be insolvent by reason of section 459C of the Act. The presumption of insolvency enables the creditor to commence winding up proceedings under section 459Q, and if the debtor company cannot overcome the presumption of insolvency, and provided the creditor complies with the rules of Court, the Court will order the company be wound up in insolvency and appoint an official liquidator. 

The liquidator takes charge of the company's unencumbered assets and will proceed to pay unsecured creditors in the order specified in the act and in an amount dependent on the funds realised from the liquidation. 

The issuing of a company Statutory Demand can be a quick and cost effective method to recover debt owed by a company. If not done correctly, or if issued in circumstances where the company is not insolvent, or in dispute as to the debt, then there can be significant costs involved. 

Prime Lawyers have conducted hundreds of winding up applications in the Supreme Court and have advised and represented clients in all matters relating to the conduct of those proceedings, including applications to substitute a petitioning creditor, winding up during administration, setting aside statutory demands. We have appeared both for and against creditor companies.

If you would like assistance from one of our corporate insolvency lawyers then get in touch with your nearest Prime Lawyers office.

We have debt recovery and corporate insolvency lawyers located at Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Sutherland and Wollongong.    

Litigation & Commercial Disputes

Litigation is the result of one party exercising their legal rights in a Court of competent jurisdiction. Depending on the type of action the appropriate venue may be a Court, or a specialised tribunal. The monetary size of the claim will also determine the venue, with the Local Court hearing certain civil claims up to $100,000 and District Court $750,000. Finally, the remedy being sought will also have a bearing on the venue, with certain Court's such as the Supreme Court of New South Wales having the necessary power to dispense equitable and declaratory relief. 

Although almost all hearings at first instance are capable of being appeared to an appellate body, the presentation of a case at first instance must be thoroughly planned, meticulously executed and founded on solid law. A lawyer experienced in litigation will understand the Court rules, process and techniques to present your case in this manner to provide you with the best prospects of success. 

Prime Lawyers is experienced in conducting litigation at all levels of the New South Wales Courts up to the New South Wales Court of Appeal. We understand the risks and rewards which comes with litigation and take pride in achieving results for our clients. Our experience extends to cases founded in contract, tort (negligence), statute, equity (including injunctive relief) and common law duties, and any combination of these.

If you have suffered a legal wrong, or have received demand for payment, or claim against you then get in touch with one of our litigation lawyers by contacting your nearest Prime Lawyers office.            

We have debt recovery and litigation lawyers located at Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Sutherland and Wollongong.  
  

Mercantile and Debt Collection Agencies


Prime Lawyers is built on the relationships we develop with our clients. Central to our growth has been our relationships with mercantile and debt collection agencies.

We act for some of the leading collection agencies within New South Wales and interstate and offer a complete service to enable those agencies to provide a high level of service to their clients, both big and small. 

We understand that the recovery of legal costs as part of the collection process is of central importance to debt collection agencies and we employ systems which ensure costs are known at all stages and are tailored to the agency. 

We assist in all aspects of credit management including advice and assistance on contractual terms of trade through to security and recovery. We act as the chosen law firm to agencies seeking all or some of the following services:

- security management, caveat and mortgage lodgement

- small claims litigation and enforcement including by way of garnishee, sheriff writ and examination orders

- recovery of council and other statutory debts

- recovery of workers compensation premiums    

- District and Supreme Court litigation, including security for costs applications

- Bankruptcy and Winding up

If you are a mercantile or debt collection agency and would like to see if we can be part of your team then get in touch with your nearest Prime Lawyers office.

We have debt recovery and litigation lawyers located at Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Sutherland and Wollongong.    

Small Claims Debt Recovery

Civil claims under the amount of $10,000 are filed in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court of New South Wales. The conduct of those claims is governed by the Local Court Act 2007, the practice notes issued under the Act and the Local Court Rules 2009.

The conduct of proceedings in the small claims division are less formal than proceedings in other jurisdictions. The practice note of the Court stating as a general principle that the conduct of matters in the small claims division is to be conducted with as little formality and technicality as the proper consideration of the proceedings permit. Although the proceedings are conducted with as little formality and technically as the property consideration of the proceedings permit it should not be overlooked that the fundamental elements of a civil claim are not to be overlooked. 

A civil claim of whatever amount must be founded on a cause of action at law, whether that be breach of contract, quantum meriut, negligence or statute. The cause of action must be stated clearly so that the opponent can properly understand the case against them and be supported by credible evidence. A plaintiff, being the person who commencing the action, bears the onus of proof in the proceedings. It is a complete answer to the claim for a defendant to plead 'no evidence' to the cause of action.

Two further differences in proceedings commenced in the Small Claims Division as opposed to proceedings in the General Division, or other Courts, is the conduct of the hearing and costs.

Unlike many other forums the hearing of a Small Claims Division matter proceeds without the cross examination of witnesses. Instead each party is required to exchange written witness statements two weeks (or otherwise directed) before the hearing. Those statements must contain all the evidence to be relied on, for it is rare for the Assessor to permit additional or late statements. The reliability of those witness statements is a matter of the Assessor hearing the matter. Assessment hearings are often allocated 30-60 minutes to allow each party to state its case with a decision being given by the Assessor on the day, unless further consideration of the facts or law warrant otherwise. 

At the time of giving judgment it is also usual for the Court to order the unsuccessful party to pay the successful party's legal costs, but only if that party is legally represented, and only up to a maximum amount, which is quite different to the usual costs orders in higher Courts.

Prime Lawyers appears regularly in hearings before the Assessor in the Small Claims Division in various Courts of New South Wales. We understand the process and are acutely aware of the costs limitations to ensure the case is conducted as efficiently as possible. If you have a civil claim of any amount and would like to speak with one of our civil claims lawyers then get in touch with your nearest Prime Lawyers office.     

We have debt recovery and litigation lawyers located at Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Sutherland and Wollongong.    

Strata Levy Collection

The Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 requires the Owners Corporation in a Strata Scheme to maintain an Administration Fund, and save for limited exceptions, a Sinking Fund. 

The Administration and Sinking Fund are the accounts from which the Owners Corporation pays the day to day, and longer term, expenses and costs to maintain the building and other common property. To raise the money which form part of the Admin and Sinking funds the Owners Corporation resolves by resolution at general meetings to levy contributions against the owners of the Owners Corporations- being the lot owners in the scheme.

Section 80 of the Act provides that an Owners Corporation may recover as a debt a contribution not paid at the end of one month after it becomes due and payable, together with any interest payable and the expenses of the Owners Corporation incurred in recovering those amounts.

In 2008 the Supreme Court Court of Appeal held in the decision of Strata Plan 36131 v Dimitriou [2009] NSWCA 27 that the word 'expenses' within section 80 includes legal costs incurred in recovering contributions but only to the extent that such costs and disbursements are reasonably incurred and reasonably in amount. 

The Dimitriou judgment was a significant development in the recovery of levies as it meant that the recovery of levies, which for the most part, fall within the jurisdiction of the small claims division of the Local Court were no longer subject to the capped costs provisions within this jurisdiction by reason of the costs (reasonably incurred and reasonable in amount) being part of the claim. 

Prime Lawyers represents Strata Managers throughout Sydney in the recovery of outstanding levies for Owners Corporations. We also advise on all things strata on behalf of the owners including building maintenance, defects litigation against the builder and by-laws. If you are a Strata Manager and would like to speak with one of our strata debt recovery lawyers then get in touch with your nearest Prime Lawyers office to see what we can do for your scheme.  

We have debt recovery and litigation lawyers located at Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Sutherland and Wollongong.    

Which offices practise in Debt Recovery & Litigation

We cover a range of locations

Debt Recovery & Litigation Lawyers Chatswood

Prime Lawyers Chatswood is located within the Zenith Building on the Pacific Highway, Chatswood. We provide a range of legal services related to debt recovery and litigation to those living and working in and around Chatswood and the North Shore including bankruptcy, corporate winding up and insolvency, and all civil proceedings commenced in the Local, District and Supreme Courts of NSW. We act for a number of mercantile agents and know how to provide the legal advice and service to enable those agencies to look after their clients.    

Park at either of the Secure or Wilson parking stations located at the end of McIntosh Street or arrive by train at Chatswood Station located 200 metres away from the Zenith. 

Prime Lawyers Chatswood is staffed by debt recovery and litigation lawyers based out of our Sydney CBD office so attendance is by appointment only. Make an appointment by getting in touch on 9521 2222 or by completing an enquiry online.  


Debt Recovery & Litigation Lawyers Parramatta

Our debt recovery and litigation lawyers at Prime Lawyers Parramatta provide premium legal services to the people of Greater Western Sydney. We provide a range of legal services related to debt recovery and litigation to those living and working in and around Parramatta and Greater Western Sydney including bankruptcy, corporate winding up and insolvency, and all civil proceedings commenced in the Local, District and Supreme Courts of NSW. We act for a number of mercantile agents and know how to provide the legal advice and service to enable those agencies to look after their clients.    

We are located in the heart of the legal precinct in George Street, Parramatta, directly across from the Sydney West Trial Courts, and a minute's walk to the Local Court Parramatta. For those travelling by public transport we are a 10 minute walk from Parramatta train station (head up towards George Street through the mall), and we are also close to a number of parking stations if you are driving, including those accessible from Hunter Street and Erby Place.

We are open 8:30am-5:30pm Monday to Friday (excluding Public holidays) but as all conferences with our debt recovery and litigation lawyers at Prime Lawyers Parramatta are by appointment only please get in touch with our office in Parramatta by calling on 9635 8100, dropping by and visiting Christina at the front desk or by submitting an enquiry online  

Debt Recovery & Litigation Lawyers Sutherland Shire

Our debt recovery & litigation lawyers at Prime Lawyers Sutherland service the great people of the Sutherland Shire and surrounds. We are located 200 metres west of the Sutherland Local Court and have become known as the law firm on the corner of Flora and Merton streets Sutherland. We provide a range of litigation and debt recovery services to those living and working in and around the Sutherland Shire in including bankruptcy, corporate winding up and insolvency, and all civil proceedings commenced in the Local, District and Supreme Courts of NSW. We act for a number of mercantile agents and know how to provide the legal advice and service to enable those agencies to look after their clients.   

Parking is free although parking times vary between 1, 2 and 4 hours, so take note of the posted signs. If travelling by public transport we are located a short walk east from Sutherland train station.

Conferences are by appointment only but you can get in touch with one of our debt recovery & litigation lawyers at Sutherland by calling 9521 2222, booking an appointment online or visiting Chelsa at our front desk 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday-Friday excluding Public Holidays.

All of our staff have either lived or worked locally for a number of years and we take pride in ensuring the people of the Sutherland Shire receive the best possible legal advice. We have experienced lawyers in debt recovery and litigation and we look forward to assisting you with your legal matter, big or small.


Debt Recovery & Litigation Lawyers Sydney

Our debt recovery & litigation lawyers at Prime Lawyers Sydney CBD service clients living or working in and around our beautiful city of Sydney. We also act for those clients living in the suburbs, country and interstate with legal requirements relating to the Sydney CBD. All of the superior Courts of New South Wales are located within the Sydney CBD including the Courts which hear civil disputes. 

We provide a range of legal services related to debt recovery and litigation to those living and working in and around Sydney including bankruptcy, corporate winding up and insolvency, and all civil proceedings commenced in the Local, District and Supreme Courts of NSW. We act for a number of mercantile agents and know how to provide the legal advice and service to enable those agencies to look after their clients.    

Travelling by public transport in the city is your best alternative and we are a short stroll east along Bathurst Street from Town Hall Station. If travelling by car the nearest parking station is the Secure parking station on the corner of Goulburn and Elizabeth Streets Sydney. 

If you have a legal matter which falls within our debt recovery & litigation practice area we can provide you with the best possible legal advice. Conferences are by appointment only so if you are in need of legal advice from one of our debt recovery or litigation lawyers in Sydney then get in touch 8:30am-5:30pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) by calling 9521 2222, completing an enquiry online or dropping by to make an appointment with Ashley at our front desk. We'll be pleased to hear from you.

Debt Recovery & Litigation Lawyers Wollongong

Our debt recovery and litigation lawyers at Prime Lawyers Wollongong service Wollongong & the Illawarra region. We provide a range of legal services in debt recovery and litigation to those living and working in and around the Wollongong including bankruptcy, corporate winding up and insolvency, and all civil proceedings commenced in the Local, District and Supreme Courts of NSW. We act for a number of mercantile agents and know how to provide the legal advice and service to enable those agencies to look after their clients.

We are located on the ground floor 70 Market Street Wollongong, which is on the left as you head east along Market Street (from Keira Street) towards the 'Church on the Hill'. Street parking is available by paid 'mobile app' parking meter, but for the traditional parking station try the GPT shopping centre parking located on the left as you pass the Wollongong Police Station. If travelling by public transport the free bus from Wollongong train station to Crown Street Mall is your best option.

Conferences with our debt recovery and litigation lawyers are by appointment only, but you can get in touch by calling us on 4228 7722, booking an appointment online, or visiting Elise or Lee at the front desk 8:30am-5:30pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. 


Happy Customers

I was impressed by the advice I was given. It was concise, easy to understand and would achieve my legal outcome in my favour.

Sharon - Debt Recovery Client

Recovering money through the Court requires an understanding of the law both in practice and theory. By understanding the history and facts of your case, the law and your end goal we are able to provide you with the various options open to you, weighing up the costs, risks and time involved in each action.  

Daniel Riedstra - Partner

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