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Enforcement of civil debt

In a civil matter, a judicial officer may make a decision, known as a judgment, telling one party - the debtor - to pay the other party - the creditor - money. If the debtor does not pay, the creditor can apply to the Magistrates’ Court to enforce the debt. 

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You can only apply for enforcement if an order has been made in your favour.

The Magistrates’ Court does not automatically enforce civil judgments. If you are the and want to enforce a judgment, you must apply first. 

Court can be a complex and costly process and you should seek legal advice before starting an enforcement action. You may also wish to speak to the other party and try to resolve the dispute. 

There are five civil enforcement actions that can be applied for in the Magistrates’ Court:

A judgement from another jurisdiction must be registered with the Magistrates’ Court before enforcement can start.

See the registration of interstate judgments and registration of VCAT monetary orders pages for more information.

All court fees paid for enforcement action may be added to a debt and is recoverable from the .

Penalty interest rates

The Parliament of Victoria fixes an interest rate on all outstanding civil judgments enforced in the Magistrates’ Court.

The interest rate is calculated on the money ordered to be paid, usually backdated to the date the complaint was filed. 

Interest will apply until the outstanding debt is paid in full. 

Debt collection interest rate calculator

 

Penalty interest rates
Effective date Number of days in operation Interest rate
01/01/1988 91 13.20%
01/04/1988 183 12.50%
01/10/1988 92 11.80%
01/01/1989 110 11.90%
21/04/1989 71 13.60%
01/07/1989 123 13.70%
01/11/1989 92 23.50%
01/02/1990 161 19.60%
12/07/1990 160 18.50%
19/12/1990 133 16.10%
01/05/1991 182 15.00%
30/10/1991 2308 13.20%
23/02/1998 1149 12.30%
17/04/2001 382 11.50%
04/05/2002 113 12.25%
25/08/2002 115 12.00%
18/12/2002 96 11.50%
24/03/2003 94 11.00%
26/06/2003 371 11.25%
01/07/2004 274 12.00%
01/04/2005 183 11.50%
01/10/2005 365 11.00%
01/10/2006 701 12.00%
01/09/2008 175 11.00%
23/02/2009 343 10.00%
01/02/2010 1344 10.5%
07/10/2013 119 10.00%
03/02/2014 189 11.50%
11/08/2014 294 10.50%
01/06/2015 611 9.50%
01/02/2017   10.00%

 

Last updated on 20 Aug 2019
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