The Debt Recovery Process Explained

Once you submit your debt, Woods & Day Solicitors will issue a targeted legal letter demanding payment of the debt within seven (7) days. We charge a fixed rate from $125 (excluding GST) for a standard letter of demand. If legal consideration needs to be given to circumstances surrounding the debt, including any agreement, whether oral or written, our costs will range from $250 to $500 depending on the complexity, which will be discussed prior to proceeding with the letter.

As soon as we confirm receipt of payment, we will be able to prepare the letter of demand.

Any subsequent correspondence following the issue of the letter of demand will be charged in accordance with our hourly rates, which ranges from $350 (plus GST) to $550 (plus GST) per hour.

In the event the debt is not recovered by the letter of demand we will seek your instructions to commence legal proceedings to recover the debt by way of Statement of Claim.

We charge the following fixed fees for preparing, filing and serving a Statement of Claim for straightforward debts:

Amount of Debt

Professional Costs (plus GST)

Filing Fee

Service Fee


Debts under $1,000





Debts $1,001 to $5,000





Debts $5,001 to $10,000





Debts $10,001 to $15,000





Debts $15,001 to $20,000





Debts $20,0001 +

TBA (To be Advised))




We note that a portion of the above costs are recoverable from the debtor in addition to the debtor (excluding the ASIC fees) in the event that we obtain judgment against the debtor.

Please note that, in the event that your matter involves more complex legal or factual matters or requires review of extensive documentation, our costs for the Statement of Claim will be charged in accordance with our hourly rates, which range from $350 (plus GST) to $550 (plus GST) per hour, and we will provide a costs estimate prior to preparing the Statement of Claim.

If the debtor does not pay the debt or file a defence within 28 days of service of the Statement of Claim we can file an application to enter default judgment against the debtor. Entry of default judgment will affect the debtor’s credit rating and allow you take action to enforce the debt.

All legal costs of obtaining default judgment will be in accordance with the Court Scale at the time and are recoverable from the debtor as part of the judgment debt. The current Court Scale for entry of default judgment is:

Amount of Debt

Professional Costs (inc GST)

$0 to $1,000


$1,001 to $5,000


$5,001 to $20,000


$20,001 to $100,000


Once judgment has been entered against the debtor the following methods can be used to recover the debt:

1.1 Writ for the Levy of Property:

The sheriff will attempt to seize and sell the debtor’s property to satisfy the judgment debt. Our costs for drafting and lodging the writ are $320 (including GST) plus a Local Court filing fee of $86 (which covers one attempt at execution of the writ). A further sheriff’s fee of $86 will be charged for each additional execution attempt. A sheriff’s fee of $50 is also payable upon seizure of the debtor’s property. These costs are recoverable as part of the judgment debt.

1.2 Garnishee Order:

A garnishee order is an order that the debtor’s bank or employer pay money held in their account or wages owed to them directly to you. Our costs of preparing, lodging and serving the garnishee order are $320 (including GST).

1.3 Examination Order:

An examination order is an order that the debtor attend court to be examined on their ability to pay the debt (including details of any bank accounts and property owned by them). If the debtor fails to attend the examination hearing an arrest warrant can be issued against them requiring them to attend court to be examined.

Our costs are as follows:

(a) Examination Order: $450 (including GST) plus a filing fee of $176 and a service fee of approximately $67;

(b) Attendance at Examination Hearing: $350 (including GST);

(c) Arrest Warrant: $250, plus filing fee of $86 (including GST).

1.4 Winding Up proceedings and Bankruptcy proceedings

Woods & Day is capable of acting in winding up proceedings (for debts owed by companies that are over $2,000) and bankruptcy proceedings (for debts owed by individuals that are over $5,000). Details of the process and costs of these can be provided upon request.

If the debtor files a defence to the Statement of Claim we will need to discuss the matter further with you to determine the necessary response and the likely costs. In defended proceedings, our costs will be charged at our hourly rates, which ranges from $350 (plus GST) to $550 (plus GST) per hour.