Skip to main content Skip to home page

Attachment of earnings order

A court order that helps creditors collect unpaid debt. An attachment of earnings order allows creditors to take money directly from a debtor’s income. If another enforceable action is already in place, an attachment of earnings application cannot be made.  

For screen reader users on mobile, if you are using a keyboard: type in the input field, then switch to Quick nav and move below the input field to access results. A result has to be clicked twice in order to submit the search. If you are not using a keyboard: type in the input field, then tap at the top of the screen and navigate down to the results below the input field. A result has to be clicked twice in order to submit the search.

A cannot be forced onto an attachment of earnings order if their only income is from Centrelink

See the Victoria Legal Aid website for more information about attachment of earnings. 

Court can be a complex and costly process and you should seek legal advice before applying for attachment of earnings. The steps below provide general information about the process. It does not cover all scenarios, nor does it constitute legal advice. 

STEP 1: Complete the forms

Fill in an attachment of earning summons - Form 72A and affidavit in support of attachment of earnings – Form 72B.

The must be witnessed and sworn or affirmed in the presence of an authorised person before it is filed with the Magistrates’ Court. See the witnessing documents page for more information.

It is a criminal offence to provide false or incorrect information in an affidavit. You should seek legal advice if you have any questions about the process.

STEP 2: File the forms and pay the court fee

File the original and two copies of the completed attachment of earnings and affidavit in support of attachment of earnings with the Magistrates’ Court where the complaint was made. The forms can be filed in person or by post. A filing fee is also payable upon lodgement.

If the summons is issued, the court will:

  • notify you of the hearing date and location
  • return two copies of the form

STEP 3: Serve court documents

There are legal rules about the way in which you must give documents to the debtor. This is called ‘service’. Information about service can be found on the service of court documents page.

You must the following documents on the debtor at least 14 days before the attachment of earnings hearing:

The debtor must complete the judgment debtors statement of financial position and return a copy to the court before or on the date of the hearing. An order for the debtor to attend court can be made if the statement of financial position isn’t returned.  

The person who served the documents must complete an affidavit of service - Form 6A. This provides information to the court about how the documents were served.

The affidavit must be witnessed and sworn or affirmed in the presence of an authorised person before it is filed with the Magistrates’ Court. There is no filing fee for an affidavit of service. See the witnessing documents page for more information.

If documents are not served correctly, it may cause delays.   

STEP 5 – Attend the hearing

It is important that you – the – go to court on the hearing date. If you don’t, the application may be dismissed – struck out. You should plan to be at court all day. The debtor can attend, but it is not mandatory. See the party in a civil matter page for more information

A or will consider the application and make a decision. If the judicial officer finds in favour of an order, go to Step 6. For information about appeals, see the appeals and rehearings page

STEP 6 - Apply for an attachment of earnings order

Fill in an attachment of earning order - Form 72FBy completing this form, you are asking the court for a formal copy of the order to be served on the debtor’s employer.

You must apply for a formal attachment of earnings order. This tells the debtor’s employer about the order and the earnings they must deduct from the debtor’s wage.

STEP 7 – File the order and pay the court fee

File the original and two copies of the completed attachment of earning order with the Magistrates’ Court were the order was made. The form can be filed in person or by post. A filing fee is also payable upon lodgement.

If documents are not completed correctly, it may cause delays. 

STEP 8 - Serve the order

There are legal rules about the way in which you must give documents to the debtor and their employer. This is called service. More information can be found on the service of court documents page.

You must serve a copy of the attachment of earning order - Form 72F on the debtor and their employer so they are aware of the order.

The person who served the documents must complete an affidavit of service - Form 6A. This provides information to the court about how the documents were served.

The affidavit must be witnessed and sworn or affirmed in the presence of an authorised person. You may also need to file the affidavit to prove service. See the witnessing documents page for more information.

If documents are not served correctly, it may cause delays.   

What happens next?

Once the debtors employer has been served, they should begin to pay you according to the terms of the order after seven days. 

If the order isn’t being complied with, you can apply to the Magistrates’ Court to enforce the judgment in another way.

Resources

Q. How do I find out the debtor’s income?

A.

The debtor may provide this information in the judgment debtors statement of financial position - Form 72C. You can also ask for the details from the debtor’s employer – if known.

If the employer and debtor refuse to provide employment details, you may subpoena the information from the employer. This is done by filling in a subpoena – Form 42A.

The subpoena, along with two copies, must be filed with the court. If the court accepts the form, a subpoena will be issued which must then be served on the debtor’s employer. 

Once service has occurred, an affidavit of service – Form 6A must be filed with the Magistrates' Court.   
 

Last updated on 13 Dec 2018
Back to top