An instalment order allows a debt to be repaid in weekly, fortnightly or monthly intervals. Debtors and creditors can both apply for instalment orders.
Once the court grants an application for an instalment order, no further action can be taken to enforce payment unless:
there is a change in the debtor’s ability to pay
it can be proved that the debtor gave inaccurate information to the court.
A debtor cannot be forced onto an instalment order if their only income is from Centrelink.
See the Victoria Legal Aid website for more information about instalment orders.
Court can be a complex and costly process and you should seek legal advice before applying for an instalment order. 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 form
If you are the debtor, you must also complete a statement of affairs individual - Form 61B or statement of affairs by an officer of a corporation - Form 61C. If you are unsure what form to use, seek legal advice.
You should make a copy of your completed application for instalment order form and statement of affairs form – if applicable. You will need to serve a copy on the other party or their lawyer.
STEP 2 - Serve forms
There are legal rules about the way in which you must give documents to the other party. This is called service. Information about service can be found on the service of court documents page.
You must serve a copy of the application for instalment order form on the other party or their lawyer.
If you are the debtor, you must also serve a copy of your completed statement of affairs form.
If you are the creditor, you must also serve a blank copy of a statement of affairs individual - Form 61B or statement of affairs by an officer of a corporation - Form 61C. If you are unsure what form to serve, seek legal advice.
The debtor should return a statement of affairs and application for instalment order form to the relevant Magistrates’ Court.
The person who served the documents must complete an affidavit of service - Form 6A. This provides information to the court about how and when the documents were served.
If documents are not served correctly, it may cause delays.
STEP 3: File the forms and pay the court fee
Once a copy of the relevant forms are served on the other party, file the original copies with the Magistrates’ Court. The forms 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 4 – The court’s decision
A registrar will consider the application and advise of the outcome.
If you disagree with the registrar’s decision, you can file a notice of objection – Form 61D within 14 days of receiving the outcome. An objection can be raised by either party. You should get legal advice before you file a notice of objection.
You will be required to attend a court hearing where a magistrate will review the registrar’s decision. The Magistrates’ Court will notify you of the date and location of the hearing in writing.
What happens next?
If a notice of objection is filed, it is important you attend court of the hearing date. Your application may be dismissed if you do not go. You should plan to be at court all day.
If an instalment order isn’t being complied with, the creditor may apply to the Magistrates’ Court to enforce the judgment in another way. Before judgement can be enforced in another way, the debtor will be examined by a judicial officer as to their financial position. Contact the Magistrates Court for more information.
This is not a full list of legislation associated with this topic. See the Victorian Government's legislation website for more information.