What is a default judgment?
If a debtor does not respond to a Statement of Claim you have filed and served upon them, you may apply to the Court for default judgment. Default judgment may be granted by the Court without the need for a hearing or further attendance in Court.
A Judgment is enforceable for a period of 12 years from the date the Judgment has been entered by the Court. Therefore, it is very beneficial to proceed to obtain Judgment where possible to provide protection of the debt owed to you.
How do I obtain default judgment against a debtor?
Once you have filed a Statement of Claim, the debtor has 28 days to either:
- Pay the debt;
- Respond to you in order to negotiate a payment arrangement or settlement option;
- File and serve a defence; or
- File a form acknowledging the debt.
If the debtor does not undertake any of the above steps, you may than apply for default judgment in order to seek for the Court to enter Judgment against the debtor in your favour for the amount of the remaining amount of debt plus interest and costs incurred. Once default judgment has been granted, you may then take steps to enforce the Judgment in order to recover the debt.
What if I recover some of the debt before I obtain default judgment?
If you recover some of the debt from the debtor before you obtain a default judgment, you can still apply for a default judgment if some of the debt remains outstanding. Further, if the debtor pays the original debt but does not pay you any fees or interest, you can still obtain default judgement in the amount of these outstanding fees and interest.
What do I do once I have obtained default judgment?
Once you have obtained default judgment you will need to consider what judgment debt recovery options will be suitable for you. For more information regarding enforcing your default judgment click here.
Debt Collection – Default Judgment
If you would need assistance with collecting money owed by a debtor, obtaining a default judgment against the debtor or enforcing a default judgment, contact Matthews Folbigg for specialist advice as to what debt recovery options will be most effective for you.