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Legal Procedure for
Debt Collection in New Zealand

How to get your debts collected for Free

Debt collection starts the day you give your customer credit.

When you give someone credit you are effectively lending them your money.
Can you borrow money off a money lender without filling in some forms or reading their terms and conditions?

No of course you canít.
A money lender will most likely do a credit check on you as well.

If your customer is slow in paying then you will also need to be able to pass on to them any collection costs you may incur in waiting for your money.

Fair Trading Act

We want to collect your debts at the least possible cost to you.
To do this the Fair Trading Act requires you to disclose to your customers your Terms of Trade at the time that credit is given. Your Terms of Trade must include provision for the recovery of collection fees.

If you do your homework first and disclose your Terms of Trade to your customer then when we collect the debt for you we can also insist that your Debtor pays the collection costs.

Credit Application forms

A credit application form is by far the best way of disclosing to your customers all of the clauses in your Terms of Trade. It should cover things like the terms of repayment, the Privacy Act, Personal Guarantees etc.

These forms are also available from us under Notices & Forms click here

Terms of Trade Notice

For those who are unable to provide a credit application form then the Commerce Commission recommends that you display a notice in your place of business setting out your Terms of Trade.

The notice should include a clause stating that collection fees and or late payment fees may be added to your customers account if not paid by the due date.

If you donít have one of these notices then we also supply these under Notices & Forms  click here.

Cheque Stamps

Cheque stamps are a must for any business who accepts a lot of cheques.

These stamps are available from us so that you can add a collection fee to recover the funds from a bounced cheque and also get information about the person from their local bank.

For cheque stamps supplied by us see notices & forms
click here.

Tradesman Call Cards

Some businesses take orders for work by phone and it is not always appropriate to discuss your Terms of Trade over the phone.
To overcome this we have designed a Tradesmanís call card which discloses the Terms of Trade of the business. The card can be that can be left on the premises with the job or in the letterbox at the address where the job was done.

It not only discloses your Terms of Trade but also acts as an advertising tool when left to inform your customers of your visit.
They are ideal for jobs where the owner is not present.

These cards are ideal for tradesmen such as Plumbers, Electricians, Glaziers, etc.

We will specially design these cards to meet your requirements. click here.

Stationery Products.

To make sure our clients are able to get the paper work right we have designed the appropriate forms and notices for them.

For a description and prices of all these valuable tools. 

click here.

 

Legal Action

Some people will not respond to requests for payment and the only means left is to take legal action through the District Court.

There are several steps involved in the process and the one most commonly used is termed Notice of Proceedings. This document together with a Statement of Claim is drafted and served upon the Defendant.

The Defendant has 30 days to respond or defend the action and if nothing happens then Judgment by Default is normally granted.

The Defendant is then summonsed to appear at an Examination Hearing in the District Court which establishes their ability to pay.
The Court will normally make an order of how much and when to pay.

In some cases it may be necessary to enforce the order via the recovery of goods (Distress Warrant), deduction from wages (Attachment Order) or as a last resort Periodic Detention.

The Debtor Communications head office in association with our Solicitor carries out all of the above documentation.

If any of the proceedings are defended then the file is passed on to the Creditors Solicitor who has the authority to represent the Creditor in Court.

Most Court fees are recoverable from the Debtor if awarded by the Court.

The legal costs and court filing fees are set by the court and are standard for New Zealand

For a copy of the fees click here.
 

Disputes

Many people who find they are unable to pay an account will often use a dispute to delay payment.

 The dispute is often not known to the Creditor until a collection agency becomes involved.

We can act as a third party Mediator in the dispute and by hearing both sides of the story we often get it resolved.

Where agreement cannot be reached then it is best resolved in the Disputes Tribunal.

The referee in the Tribunal has the power to make a decision based on the evidence presented. His decision becomes binding in law.

 Filing fees are set by the court and are as follows click here.

For more detailed information visit www.courts.govt.nz

 

 

 

Contact Debtor Communications

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