Civil Disputes/Debt Claims

It can be difficult to know what to do when you are owed money and the debtor is refusing to pay. It can be equally disturbing if a debt is being pursued against you.

Mott and Associates, Solicitors provide extensive service in relation to debt recovery and civil disputes such as:

  1. Debt Collection Services:

a. Debt Recovery: We assist creditors (individuals or businesses) recover money owed to them. This may include sending formal demand letters, negotiating with debtors, and taking legal action if necessary to collect the debt.

b. Legal Proceedings: If informal methods fail to recover the debt, we can initiate legal proceedings, which can include filing a lawsuit against the debtor. We would then represent the creditor in court, seeking a judgment in their favor.

c. Enforcement of Judgments: If a court judgment is obtained, we can assist in enforcing the judgment, which may involve garnishing wages, seizing assets, or other methods to collect the owed debt.

d. Creditors' Rights: We can provide advice on creditors' rights, including how to protect their interests during bankruptcy proceedings.

  1. Civil Dispute Resolution Services:

a. Mediation and Negotiation: We can assist parties in a civil dispute reach a resolution through mediation or negotiation, without the need for litigation. This can be a cost-effective and efficient way to resolve disputes.

b. Litigation: If mediation or negotiation fails or is not suitable, we often represent our clients in civil litigation. This includes filing lawsuits on behalf of clients or defending them against legal claims brought by others.

c. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): We can assist in ADR methods such as arbitration and conciliation, which can provide an alternative to traditional courtroom litigation.

d. Contract Disputes: We often handle disputes related to contracts, including breach of contract claims, interpretation issues, and contract enforcement.

Statutory Demands

A statutory demand in Australian law is a formal written demand for the payment of a debt owed by a company to a creditor. It is governed by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and is typically used when a company owes a creditor a significant sum of money, usually at least $2,000, and has not paid or made any effort to negotiate a payment arrangement.

Here are some key points about statutory demands in Australian law:

  1. Formal Demand: A statutory demand must be in writing and must specify the debt amount, the name and address of the creditor, and a statement that the debt is due and payable.
  2. Minimum Debt Amount: The debt being claimed must be at least $2,000.
  3. Company Responds: When a company receives a statutory demand, it has 21 days to either pay the debt or reach a satisfactory arrangement with the creditor. If the company does not comply with the demand within this period, it is deemed to be insolvent.
  4. Presumption of Insolvency: If the company fails to comply with the statutory demand within the 21-day period, there is a legal presumption that the company is insolvent. This can lead to the creditor initiating winding-up proceedings against the company.
  5. Winding-Up Proceedings: After the 21-day period expires, if the debt remains unpaid, the creditor can apply to the court to wind up the company. If the court grants the winding-up order, the company's assets may be sold to pay off its debts, and the company may be liquidated.
  6. Setting Aside a Demand: In certain situations, a company may apply to the court to set aside a statutory demand. For example, if there is a genuine dispute about the debt or if the company has an offsetting claim against the creditor, the court may set aside the demand.

Statutory demands are a serious matter in Australian corporate law, as they can lead to the winding up of a company if not handled properly. It is essential for both creditors and companies to understand their rights and obligations under the Corporations Act when dealing with statutory demands. Legal advice is often sought by both parties to navigate this process.

Recent experience

Mott and Associates, Solicitors recently acted for a client who sought repayment of a debt.  The debtor in the matter made various arguments that the debt was set off against amounts owing. We were able to successfully show that the offsetting claim did not reach the minimum bar required. 

A synopsis of the judgement was published in the Queensland Law Reporter here or you can access the full judgment here.


Please enquire with any questions that you may have.

Please enquire with any questions that you may have.

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All we need is a few details and we'll be in touch. Note: If your matter is urgent please contact us on (07) 3180 3580.
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