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Garnishee Orders

There are several legal enforcement mechanisms which can be used to obtain a debt that you are owed.  An important enforcement mechanism in debt recovery are garnishee orders. This article gives a brief overview.

What are Garnishee Orders?

Garnishee orders are an effective way to enforce a court judgement regarding the repayment of a debt.  They are  particularly useful where a debtor refuses to pay a debt contrary to a court decision.  In general terms, these orders compel third parties that control funds of the debtor (the person who owes money) to pay money directly to the creditor (the person who is owed money).  Examples of third parties include the debtor’s bank and employer.  It is important to note that time limits apply to payments from garnishee orders.  These time limits change depending on the circumstances in which the order was made.  The process and rules governing  applications for garnishee orders in NSW are found in the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW).


When a garnishee order has not been complied with a creditor can seek assistance from the court.  The court can determine the liability of a party to pay the money sought under a garnishee order.  Upon determination of the party’s liability, the court may choose to order the party to pay the creditor the appropriate amount or may refuse to do so at it’s own discretion.  The debt recovery lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight are able to represent and advocate for you in court.

Debtor Applications

Debtors can make certain applications in response to a garnishee order made by a court for a debt that they owe a creditor.  Debtors can apply to have the court vary or suspend payments made under a garnishee order.

Relevant Legislation

In NSW this is largely governed by the Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW).  The above information is a generalised summary of key sections in Part 8 Division a of the Act.

BSM Lawyers

The team at Brander Smith McKnight are highly experienced in debt recovery at all levels.  We will represent you and negotiate aggressively using all of the available legal mechanisms to recover your debt.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

We are conveniently located with offices in Sutherland, Paramatta, Wollongong and Sydney CBD.

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