Are You Owed Money?


Have you loaned money or provided goods or services to someone without payment?

Have you tried to provide friendly reminders and the debt is still not paid?

Many businesses and individuals are in the same position.

So, what should you do?


Letter of Demand


Write a letter of demand to put the debtor on notice that you are prepared to go to court.

This letter should set out the basis of your claim and the amount of the debt.

The debtor may then offer to pay your debt in instalments or negotiate the debt amount.

In some cases, this letter clicks the debtor into gear to pay their debts.

If you do not hear from the debtor within 21 days of sending this letter, you escalate the matter.


Start a Claim


In South Australia, if the debt owed to you is $12,000 or less, you may commence a minor civil claim in the Magistrates’ Court.

If the debt is between $12,000 and $100,000, you may commence a general civil claim in the Magistrates’ Court.

Your claim must include the amount that you want to claim, the name and address of the defendant, and the reason you believe you are owed money.

It is important to keep documents that prove the debt, such as your invoices, agreements/contracts, emails and bank records.

After your claim is filed with the Court, it must be served on the defendant.

The defendant will then either admit the money is owed to you, file a defence and/or counter-claim, or not respond.

If a defence and/or counterclaim is filed, you will receive a copy and a notice of a directions hearing.

The defendant has only 21 days in which to file a defence.

If the defendant has not responded within 21 days of receiving your claim, you may make an application for default judgment (below).


Directions Hearing


At a directions hearing, the Court will try to resolve the dispute.

If your matter cannot be resolved, the Court may decide a trial is necessary.




A trial will only occur if the debt is disputed by the defendant.

You and the defendant will have an opportunity to present your arguments, evidence and any witnesses.

If you are successful, the Court will ask the defendant to make arrangements to pay you.


Default Judgment


If the defendant has failed to file a defence, you may make a request to the Court for Judgment in Default.

Essentially, default judgment means the defendant is considered to have accepted your claim.




There are a number of ways you can enforce judgment:


Contact Us


For more information, contact us at Bambrick Legal today:

You can also read more about our Dispute Resolution and Litigation services here.

Related Blog – Dispute Resolution & Litigation

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