Debt Recovery and Disputes
Gibbs Wright Lawyers are here to assist you in debt disputes to get you back on track as quickly, easily, and efficiently as possible.
We offer a streamlined and proven method of recovering debts for private and commercial matters. We also have a fantastic track record in defending and negotiating debt disputes.
Defending and recovering debts
Our aim is to deliver a swift resolution, whether your matter can be dealt with in a pre-court settlement, whether you can have the matter dealt with by way of a simple application to the court, or whether it is necessary to proceed to trial.
We know that debt disputes can impact on personal, financial, and professional well-being, which is why so many of our clients turn to us for excellent advice, strategy and legal assistance.
What our clients say
…turned our crazy situation into positive new beginnings… We would highly recommend their services to anyone who is in need of professional property lawyers who have your best interests at heart. Thank you Mitchell and Melany!
During the first phone call with Spencer I knew immediately that I was in competent hands. Spencer and his troops moved into position akin to military action… I would strongly recommend contacting Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers…
How We Can Help You
Recover a Debt
Whether you are an individual or a business, having an unpaid debt can be a headache. It also doesn’t help that debt recovery can sometimes appear to be costly and you may not be sure about how the debtor will pay.
Gibbs Wright’s debt recovery lawyers deal with recovery of debt $30,000 and higher. The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal may deal with debt disputes valued up to and including $25,000.
You can recover up to 100% of our fees by making the debtor pay for your legal costs. Ask us how we can streamline your debt recovery matters.
Debts often arise because of overdue loan payments or unpaid invoices for products or services.
Most genuine debt claims are never defended.
If you bring an action against a debtor and they do not defend the matter within 28 days of service (and they do not pay you), you can ask the court for a default judgment in your favour.
What happens if the claim is defended?
Just because a defence is filed with the court does not mean that the defence is valid.
In circumstances where the defence is invalid, we will consider whether you can be awarded a default judgment, which usually does not require your attendance in court.
Alternatively, we can engage in settlement negotiations or press for a trial.
If the debtor defends the claim, we will discuss with you how to maximise the chance of recovering your legal costs.
Once I get judgement, how do I recover my money?
Each of these options has its pros and cons, but often we see the most advantage in enforcement proceedings.
The issue we find with bankruptcy or wind up applications is that the trustee in bankruptcy or liquidator will take a significant portion of the debtor’s assets to pay their fees.
With enforcement proceedings you can usually seize and sell assets or redirect a person’s wages or salary (among other things) for a fraction of the cost (much of which is paid by the debtor).
Further, you can continue to enforce the judgement on the person (assuming they don’t pay you) for up to six years without permission from the court, and that timeframe may be extended in appropriate circumstances.
By default, the court will almost always award some of your legal fees.
How We Can Help You
Defend a Debt
If you are being sued for a debt, then we can usually help by identifying defences or negotiating a resolution to the debt claim.
At Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers, we will vigorously protect your rights and negotiate with the other party (when and if necessary) to resolve your debt dispute.
If someone has filed a claim and statement of claim with the court about a debt you (allegedly) owe them, then you need to act quickly. If you do nothing, then the plaintiff will usually be able to apply for a default judgment.
If someone obtains a judgment against you, it may be possible that they are able to:
- compel you to come to court;
- require you to complete on oath a Statement of Financial Position with supporting documentations (bank statements, pay slips etc.);
- have a bailiff seize and sell your property;
- obtain an order of the court requiring your employer to redirect some or all of your earnings to them until the debt is paid;
- obtain an order to take money out of your bank account; or
- bankrupt you or wind up your business.
A judgement is enforceable for six to 12 years depending on the circumstances. Even if you do not have the money now, the creditor may wait until you do, or until you obtain employment.
One of the most critical issues we find debtors face is the loss of their home. A common misconception is that a house with joint tenants cannot be sold, or that having the house in someone else’s name is always sufficient to protect it (for example, a husband or wife).
Although many debtors simply do not defend a matter, this may only delay the bailiff knocking on your door for two or three months. Filing a defence, however, can put you in a great position to defend the claim or negotiate a more reasonable payment plan.
Some common defences and ways to reduce the amount you owe may include showing:
- the product or service was not delivered as expected;
- the business engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct which resulted in you entering into the contract;
- you have a counterclaim or set off;
- the claim is commenced outside of the limitation period; or
- the claim is poorly drafted or is otherwise defective.
How long do I have to file a defence?
You should act urgently because usually you only have 28 days to file a defence.
You are also entitled to ask for particulars (such as how did the claimant calculate the debt) and to request any documents mentioned in the Statement of Claim.
Why choose Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers
Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers have experience in negotiating debts, whether pursuing debts or defending them. We also have experience in negotiating debts owed to “debt buyers”, including against Credit Corp Group, the largest debt-buying company in Australia.
Whether you owe money, or are owed money, Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers Brisbane, can help.
- Commercially viable outcomes
- Dedicated litigation firm
- Outstanding client satisfaction
- High success rate
- Direct contact with your lawyer
- Brisbane-based litigation team
Frequently Asked Questions
Who WE Help
Who and Where We Can Help
Sometimes a debt is black and white, and sometimes there is room for negotiation and compromise.
We are skilled negotiators and can assist you in facilitated discussions and position-based negotiation to ensure that the interests of all parties are managed appropriately.
Our debt recovery and dispute services are available for both commercial and personal matters and we can assist clients all over Australia from our Brisbane-based office.
*Complimentary consultations are reserved for disputes over $250,000 and are subject to approval.