Debt Collection Articles

Loan Agreements “Payable on Demand”


To the intelligent layman, the phrase in a loan agreement stating that the monies loaned are “payable on demand” suggests that the right to sue arises only after a demand is actually made. Naturally, a lawyer will tell you it is more complicated than that. For a variety of reasons, some purely historical, “payable on… Read more »

All businesses should have well written terms of trade.   It is just as important to make sure that they form part of your contract.  Notwithstanding that you have good terms of trade, they will do little to help in a Court dispute if they were first presented after the contract was formed. Good debtor… Read more »

How to Deal With a Statutory Demand


The Corporations Act allows a creditor to issue a statutory demand to a corporate debtor.  It is an extremely effective debt collection process where there is no dispute (other than payment).   The golden rule is to deal with a statutory demand immediately.  We often receive cries for help after a failure to address the… Read more »

Tendered in Full Satisfaction


In business, you may receive a cheque that is short of the amount you invoiced, with an accompanying note stating words to the effect “this amount is tendered in full and final satisfaction of your invoice numbered…” The suggestion is that by accepting the lesser amount in these circumstances, you ‘waive’ the rest or agree… Read more »

The law can help you in a number of ways when your rights have been violated.  When, for example, you pay for something and don’t get it delivered as agreed, or it isn’t what was agreed, or it is broken, you have contractual and statutory rights. But what about a case where you have no… Read more »

How to Keep Your Legal Costs to a Minimum


If you need to engage a lawyer you will be concerned about the cost.   Don’t be embarrassed – the likely cost of your matter is something that should be discussed up front.   It is important to you and needs to be carefully considered as part of your decision to proceed.  Sometimes it is… Read more »

Ordered to Pay Legal Costs


Sometimes one party to a Court action will be ordered to pay (all or part of) the other party’s legal costs.  This might be at an interlocutory hearing (a court process along the way to the resolution of a matter) or at trial (when the matter is finalised by the Court).  Sometimes a party may… Read more »

Magistrates Court Increases Claims Limits


The Statutes Amendment (Courts Efficiency Reforms) Act 2012 (No 43 of 2012) has passed and brings substantial changes to commercial litigation in SA when it commences effect on 1 July 2013. Some major reforms are: “Small claims” (disputes without legal representation in Court) limits go from $6,000 to $25,000; The limit on general civil claims… Read more »

Security for Costs as a Sword or Shield in Court Disputes


If you or your company take legal action against another person, they may ask you to provide ‘security for costs’. You might have to pay a sum of money into the Court or provide a bank guarantee or other form of assurance that if you lose, the other party can recover money towards its legal… Read more »

Can a Judgment Be Set Aside?


If someone gets a default judgment for a money sum against you, it means that, without a trial, a Court concluded that you got the summons but had no defence, or chose not to fight the claim. But what if you do have a defence and overlooked responding in time?  Or perhaps the summons went… Read more »

A Debt Doesn’t Entitle You to Lodge a Caveat


The fact that a debtor who owes you money owns land is a good thing but beware of lodging a caveat when you’re not entitled to do so.   A simple debt does not constitute a ‘caveatable interest‘ in land. The main situation where a caveat is apt arises when there is a contract to… Read more »

Time Limits Apply to Most Legal Actions!


You should be aware that there are time limits on certain Court actions.  If you fall outside those time limits, your ability to pursue a remedy in Court may be lost (‘statute barred’). Examples of certain claims and the time limits that apply in South Australia: Breach of contract: 6 years after the date of… Read more »

How to Secure Payment of a Judgement Debt


So you have finally got a judgment against a person for the sum of money that he owes you. The next step is to actually realise the money and often that can take time. The Problem: Say that while you negotiate a payment plan for your judgment sum to be paid to you, the debtor… Read more »

Imagine this: you engage a contractor to perform construction work.  You are issued with an invoice at the end of the job, but the work is defective or not what you asked for.  You do what you think is the right thing and try and talk to the contractor about fixing the work before you… Read more »

How to “Bullet-Proof” Your Guarantee & Indemnity


What can go Wrong? A landlord owned prime commercial premises that were leased to company B, the branch of a national retail chain, and payment of the rent was guaranteed by company C. B transferred the lease to another company; both went bust.  C didn’t have to pay the lost rent because the Guarantee only… Read more »