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Debt Recovery

You are in business to make a profit. When clients do the wrong thing by you — in delaying or not paying you — then you need to know your legal rights.

Debt Recovery Articles

Thinking of buying or selling property during COVID-19? If so, keep these hard learned lessons in mind…

7-May-2020By Jamal Bakalian

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of New South Wales released on 23 April 2020, Deligiannidou v Sundarjee [2020] NSW SC437, provides us all with a timely reminder that more than ever, we need to be hypervigilant about the clauses in our Contracts when buying or selling property. Due to the increased use of technology amid the COVID-19 pandemic, purchasers are at their most vulnerable when buying property. Read on to find out how one purchaser was royally duped during the conveyancing process earlier this year. The Facts of the...

How a Balanced Mediation May Tip the Scales in your Favour…

13-May-2019By Simone Green

Mediation is an alternate dispute resolution process that offers a non-litigated pathway to resolving disputes. Mediation attempts to reach mutually beneficial outcomes for those involved in a dispute (‘the parties’). Mediation is generally voluntary and undertaken prior to court proceedings but a matter may be referred to mediation by a Judge prior to a final Court hearing. The decision to engage in Mediation, is often made to avoid the substantial costs and time-consuming nature of ongoing litigation. The main advantages of Mediation...

When there seems nowhere to turn

24-May-2018By Mark Streeter

Fraudulent behaviour in the guise of blackmail was halted and a client’s peace of mind restored when Streeterlaw’s Fraud Recovery Team acted swiftly to nullify a serious situation. The client, a man of standing in the community, had received numerous threats that personal and sensitive information would be publicly aired if hefty payments were not made. He was bombarded with telephone and text messages, and given intimate details of his whereabouts and day-to-day movements. The man succumbed to the threats and discreet...

Entrepreneurs to benefit from new bankruptcy laws

29-November-2017By Mark Streeter

Bankruptcy period to be reduced from three years to one year As part of the Federal Government's initiative to promote entrepreneurship and innovation and to reduce the stigma associated with bankruptcy, a proposed law – the Bankruptcy Bill – was introduced and passed by both houses of Federal Parliament a month ago. As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Bankruptcy Amendment (Enterprise Incentives) Bill 2017, which reduces the bankruptcy period to just one year, will take effect within 12 months. While this is a...

The Creditor’s Petition: what all CFOs need to know

30-May-2017By Mark Streeter

This article details the use of Bankruptcy Notices, Creditor’s Petitions and the impact these have on the estate of the debtor and, particularly, the recovery of a Judgment Debt. Chief Financial Officers and small to medium-sized enterprises also need to understand how this recovery process impacts their personal guarantees in their terms and conditions of trade with corporate entities. Involuntary Personal Insolvency The Bankruptcy Notice is the mechanism by which creditors petition the court that an act of bankruptcy has occurred. This...

Never ignore an Administrative Notice from a Trustee

28-May-2017By Mark Streeter

Business owners who have been involved in transactions, commercial deals or transfers with a person who may have recently become bankrupt need to know where they stand and how to respond to an Administrative Notice. What is the importance of an Administrative Notice? A Section 139ZQ Administrative Notice is a demand by the official receiver (Trustee) in relation to a money or property transaction which is void. The Administrative Notice sets out the facts and circumstances of the transaction and provides an amount of time for that to be...

Bankruptcy notices – the last resort of enforcement

16-March-2017By Mark Streeter

Issuing a bankruptcy notice is often the last resort enforcement mechanism used by creditors to recover assets from a debtor. However, the knock-on effect can impact creditors and debtors alike. The issuing of a bankruptcy notice should not be taken lightly. Streeterlaw shares some useful tips for creditors seeking recovery (and a warning regarding issuing bankruptcy notices for the purposes of retribution only). Why issue a bankruptcy notice? The decision to issue a bankruptcy notice is often made when a debtor fails to pay a judgment...

Revenge porn perpetrators to be criminally prosecuted in NSW

16-December-2016By Mark Streeter

The widespread use of smartphones and social media has led to an increasing number of cases of ‘revenge porn’ in recent years. Revenge porn is the term used for the internet distribution (usually via texting or social media, eg. Instagram, Facebook and SnapChat) of intimate and sexually explicit images or videos without the consent of those involved. The rise in this kind of serious invasion of privacy led the NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton to recommend last September that NSW create laws to criminalise revenge porn. This...

Cases of ‘revenge porn’ rising

7-December-2015By Mark Streeter

In an era where smartphones and posting on social media have became commonplace, the risk of intimidation or a breach of privacy through the posting of inappropriate or embarrassing digital content has escalated. “Revenge porn” is one emerging trend that is on the rise, in circumstances where a couple experiences an acrimonious split. The typical scenario is that one partner releases or shares with members of the public illicit photos or videos of his former partner in an attempt to humiliate or damage him or her. But what forms of...

Blackmail cases rising in online era, where invasions of privacy abound

2-December-2015By Mark Streeter

What should you do when your confidential details have been fraudulently exposed? And are website privacy statements trustworthy? In June 2015, the NSW Legislative Council called for an inquiry into serious invasions of privacy in NSW. This follows an increasing number of high-profile online privacy breaches, including the Ashley Maddison case in the USA. In July 2015, online hackers released the membership details of over 39 million users of Ashley Maddison, an extra-marital affair website that encourages members to join to meet other...

Streeterlaw wins significant Supreme Court of NSW decision

18-March-2015By Mark Streeter

A recent Supreme Court of NSW case has found that internal fraud litigation proceedings within an Australian company must be heard in an Australian court, even though the parent company is from New Zealand. The decision is now one of only two recent case law decisions to decide what happens with litigation proceedings in Australia and New Zealand as a result of the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 (Cth). Case background – Douglas Webber Events Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 1544 The plaintiff (our client) and the defendant were both residents of...

Streeterlaw instigates urgent freezing order to recover client’s money

By Mark Streeter

When we were first retained by our clients, they were small business owners, who had spent two years in legal proceedings attempting to recover money from the defendant who had failed to rectify a number of building defects and non-performance under a Contract for the Sale of Land (between the defendant vendor and our client as purchasers). While the defendant was halfway through a bankruptcy process, our client discovered that the defendant had put his property up for sale. Our client was obviously concerned that the assets (and...

Landlords entitled to disclaim leases in insolvency cases

5-May-2014By Mark Streeter

In December 2013, the High Court confirmed that a liquidator of a corporate landlord may disclaim a lease that the company had granted to a tenant, leaving the tenant to prove they have suffered loss in the winding up. Broadly speaking, it is common for the liquidator of an insolvent lesee to repudiate the lessee’s tenancy obligations. It is now clear that a corporate landlord may similarly avoid unfavourable leases to which it is committed, simply by renouncing those leases in liquidation. Streeterlaw explained the implications of the...

Blackmail cases on rise

30-January-2014By Mark Streeter

The Streeterlaw Fraud Department had a surge of extortion/blackmail cases in 2013. One of these cases involved a victim receiving threats from an anonymous source, whereby private and intimate information was to be “withheld” by an anonymous blackmailer, providing the victim made regular cash payments to an undisclosed location. The case advanced to the Supreme Court of NSW on 4 June 2013 where Justice Ball found in favour of the victim of the blackmail threats. The Court made the following orders: the Defendant must restrain...

Directors need to learn from James Hardie case

5-June-2013By Mark Streeter

   The James Hardie proceedings in the NSW Court of Appeal last November saw penalties imposed against the company's former non-executive directors and former company secretary and general counsel for their roles in providing the market with incorrect information, which breached the Corporations Act.     There are several important lessons from the decision:    1(a) as a general rule, boards which make decisions by consensus need to consider whether to hold formal votes on specific resolutions, especially those involving...

Take cautious approach to ACCC voluntary interviews

26-April-2013By Mark Streeter

If you are the director of a company, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) may at some point request you attend a “voluntary interview”. If a breach of what was known as the Trade Practices Act is alleged, the ACCC now has a range of investigatory powers it can use to discover potential breaches. The ACCC also has the power to seek new penalties for breaches. Streeterlaw principal Mark Streeter said company directors need to understand their rights if requested by the ACCC to attend a “voluntary...

Debt recovery: What is a Creditor’s Petition?

8-March-2013By Jamal Bakalian

  A Creditor’s Petition is the formal document filed in the Federal Court or Federal Magistrates Court seeking orders for the bankruptcy of the judgment debtor. The fee for a company to file a Creditor’s Petition is $2,915. For an individual, the fee is $1,215. Once the Creditor’s Petition is filed and served personally on the judgment debtor, a Court hearing date is allocated. At the hearing, the creditor must prove the facts relating to the act of bankruptcy and Creditor’s Petition and also that the debt remains...

Issuing a bankruptcy notice to an individual

By Mark Streeter

  If the judgment debt is for a substantial amount and the debtor is an individual, the creditor is entitled to enter a Bankruptcy Notice against the debtor. At present, a Bankruptcy Notice can be issued for any debt over $5,000. It is issued by Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia. The costs and fees associated with issuing a Bankruptcy Notice are not added to the Bankruptcy Notice and are only claimed if a Creditors Petition is issued. The Bankruptcy Notice has a copy of the judgment or order of the Court attached to it....

Credit card fraud by former employee

30-November-2010By Mark Streeter

Some corporate fraud by employees is not premeditated. it is opportunistic. Sometimes temptation overrides common sense. It is important that businesses have in place mechanisms to prevent fraud. In this video it explains a simple scenario. A laid off employee didn’t have his corporate credit card canceled. So he took advantage of it and went shopping and paid for a family holiday. Clearly it is illegal but the recovery of the money can be a distraction and expense your business could do without. This video has some simple tips for...

Corporate fraud is stealing from the workplace

By Mark Streeter

Business fraud costs everyone in a company. Policies and procedures for businesses help prevent and identify fraud. This American news report gives some insight into the problem. The video includes a case of a former trusted book keeper of a restaurant who defrauded their employer of thousands of dollars. Do you suspect Corporate Fraud? Ask for a free White Paper: Workplace Fraud Investigation. How to uncover it, prevent it, stop...

Contempt of Court brings Fine

By Mark Streeter

Mark Bouris raises Contempt of Court case against former directors The Situation - Ignoring Interim Freezing Order In June 2009, Mr Mark Bouris became the chairman of TZ Ltd. Mr Bouris is well known as the star of The Apprentice reality TV show and as founder of Wizard Home Loans. TZ Ltd commenced action to recover monies from former directors of the company.  One of the proceedings commenced was against an entity called ZMS Investments Pty Ltd (‘ZMS’).  On 16 September 2009 the Supreme Court of New South Wales made interim freezing...

Contempt involving Luna Park and Daily Telegraph

By Mark Streeter

Luna Park Sydney has had a long and sometimes turbulent history in Sydney. The Amusement park is located on the north side of Sydney Harbour at Milsons Point. It's smiling face has been part of Sydney landscape for much of the park's life since it opened in 1935. When information gathered for a court case was released to Sydney's The Daily Telegraph for an article it was considered to be "contempt" - a misuse of the information. The Facts - Hearne v Street [2008] HCA 36 (6 August 2008) After being closed for a period of time Luna Park...

Bank told to compensate for selling shares in low market

By Mark Streeter

Macquarie Bank's sale of loan book creates problems for clients The facts behind the case Mr Goodridge (the Borrower) entered into a margin lending loan arrangement with Macquarie Bank in May 2003.  On 8 January 2009 Macquarie Bank sold their “loan book” (which included Mr Goodridge’s margin lending account) to a subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Banks – Leveraged Equities Ltd (the Second Defendant in these proceedings).  Notices were issued on 19 January 2009 purporting to notify all customers of the Bank of the transfer and the...

Desperate employees can do desperate things

By Mark Streeter

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) have a free report Occupational Fraud: A Study of the Impact of an Economic Recession available from their website. ACFE President James D. Ratley, CFE says "Desperate people do desperate things. Loyal employees have bills to pay and families to feed. In a good economy, they would never think of committing fraud against their employers. But especially now, organizations must be vigilant during these turbulent times by ensuring proper fraud prevention procedures are in place." The...

ASIC sues North Sydney Solicitor for Phoenix companies

By Mark Streeter

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has found a North Sydney Solicitor guilty of advising eight of his clients engage in activity which breached the Corporations Act. This significant case sends a warning to all business advisors. These two judgments of Acting Justice Windeyer are very important decisions of the Court in considering Section 79 of the Corporations Act 2001 (CTH). The Facts - ASIC v Somerville & Ors (No 2) [2009] NSWSC 998 & ASIC v Somerville & Ors [2009] NSWSC 934 The First Defendant was a...

ASIC releases Insolvent Trading Act

By Mark Streeter

Insolvent Trading is a serious issue. As a director of a business you have a responsibility to not let your organisation engage in insolvent trading. This occurs when debts are incurred but at the time it is know they will not be able to be paid as and when they are due. ASIC has released a booklet to help directors better understand their responsibilities with Insolvent Trading. The Insolvent Trading report is a result of ASIC's visits to over 1,530 Australian companies displaying solvency concerns during the period from 2005–06 to...

Protect your business from staff who may steal intellectual property

By Mark Streeter

How to protect your business from departing staff set on stealing from you The Australian Financial Review, on 15 October 2010, published a very helpful and insightful article called “Bosses’ Byte Back to Protect Secrets”. The article noted that the increased availability of USB memory sticks and mobile electronic storage devices (including IPODS, smart phones and portable hard drives) made it easier for employees to “steal” intellectual property, data and information and this is particularly more prevalent at or about the time that...

Preventing corporate fraud is good business

By Mark Streeter

When USA based WorldCom Inc fell victim to an $11 billion accounting scandal it resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy. In 2002 it was the largest bankruptcy in US history. Corporate fraud occurs in Australian businesses.  Most business fraud is opportunistic so could be prevented. Some of the lessons learned in the WorldCom collapse are explained in a video called Fraud and the tone at the top . This is a training video designed to help business owners prevent corporate fraud. The video includes interviews with one of those...

Norco uses freezing order against employee in fraud case

By Mark Streeter

The Facts of Norco Co-Operative Limited v Kelly [2010] NSWSC 719 Employee HK worked for Norco from 26 March 2001 to 10 February 2009.  In the course of her employment she fraudulently and dishonourably misappropriated amounts totalling at least $316,657.98. These funds were used to pay off mortgages on properties she owned and also mortgages on properties she jointly owned with her life partner. Upon discovery of the misappropriation, Norco made an urgent application for a “freezing order” which was granted on 19 March 2009. ...

No Right of Silence with ASIC Notice of Examination

By Mark Streeter

When ASIC investigators give you a notice of examination it means they believe you have information which will help them in an investigation. You do not have the "right of silence". The Situation A businessman who had had dealings with a particular Company and had purchased a substantial amount of goods and services from it and was then issued a notice under Section 19 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (the ‘ASIC Act’) requiring the businessman to appear for examination on oath and answer questions put to...

Motorola dealer causes loss of goodwill in business

By Mark Streeter

Breach of employment contract turns into an expensive lesson for employee When you hire someone to do a job it is natural to expect the employee to do their job and to be loyal to their employer and not help a direct competitor. Failure to do this proved to be an expensive error on the part of the employee. The Facts of Dinte v. Hales & Anor [2009] QSC 63 (25 March 2009) Dinte, the plaintiff in this action, hired Hales and Campbell to provide services to his business trading as Skycomm.  Hales held the position of “Service...

Most common business fraud schemes

By Mark Streeter

Business fraud is an increasing problem not only in Australia. In this American video, forensic accountant and anti-fraud director, Lance Randolph of CBIZ MHM, discusses the two most common fraud schemes facing corporate America today. The situation in Australia is similar with corporate fraud conducted by a company's own staff a serious issue.   Protecting your business from fraud can be a matter of having simple procedures in place. It is amazing that simply "writing a cheque" is the easiest way for businesses to be de-frauded by their...

Legal and illegal insider trading

By Mark Streeter

The reason insider trading is illegal is that one person, or group of people have an unfair advantage over others. In the perfect world no one would know more than anyone else. Obviously the world is not perfect. Naturally some people must know information before it is made public. Businesses are continually evaluating opportunities and discussing strategies behind closed doors. This is not illegal. The reason insider trading las have been created is to help ensure that those who are part of these discussions cannot unfairly profit from...

Insider trading suspected in company mergers in the US

By Mark Streeter

Insider trading is difficult to prove without a paper trail but sometimes the signs are obvious. Studying the stock prices of major corporations over a one year period helped highlight that insider trading was taking place. In this Insider Trading video below it states 40% of stock prices leading up to mergers over $1b USA experience spikes BEFORE the announcement was made. The continued policing and prosecuting of insider trading is seen as improving the credibility of the market and creating a more level the playing field for...

Insider Trading Stock Tips at Family Reunion

By Mark Streeter

Insider trading laws in Australia have become far more relevant to the majority of the population. Traditionally insider trading was considered a white collar crime of a select few wealthy individuals with "inside" knowledge of businesses. Australia now has one of the highest ownership of investment shares in the world. Therefore many Australians take an active interest in stock prices and follow the Australian share market closely. Good trading tips always seem welcome but be warned. Insider trading is illegal in Australia. It is...

Initiating Workplace Fraud Investigations

By Mark Streeter

Preventing or dealing with workplace fraud or theft takes work. Preparation is a big part of this. Even just saying you will be doing background checks during an interview process may help weed out some people from ever being hired. Business owners should consider the level of risk their business is exposed to. Always presume innocence of staff. However ensure you have policies in place. Breach of these policies may allow you to dismiss staff much easier than simply suspecting them of theft or fraud. The American video below includes some...

Decriminalising Insider Trading Proposal

By Mark Streeter

Insider trading only became illegal in 1960s when it was felt some individuals had an unfair advantage over others with the buying and selling of stocks. In 2009 an article was published supporting a fairly radical idea for insider trading to be decriminalised again. It is a very controversial idea. Since the 1960s insider trading regulations have continued to be expanded. The video includes a discussion that fraud and insider trading are often linked. The article's author believes that allowing markets to drive stock prices to realistic...

Financial Fraud in Non-Profit Organisations

By Mark Streeter

Fraud can happen in any business. However non-profit organisations sometimes have looser controls so may be more susceptible to fraud. The statistics about fraud are also interesting. More men commit corporate fraud than women. It can be relatively easy for employees to take advantage of a lack of business controls. Simple things like no double signing of cheques, not checking bank statements - or simply having too much control by only a few staff members. Comment from Mark Streeter - Sydney fraud lawyer Fraud is not always...

What is insider trading?

By Mark Streeter

Insider trading is illegal in Australia … but what is the definition of insider trading? The simplest definition of insider trading is taking advantage of information that is not public. This 'inside' information is most often seen as being used to give someone an unfair advantage in the buying or selling of shares or stocks. Australians are now more likely to personally own shares in companies in which we work or where a member of our family or close friends work. When you include superannuation even more Australians own stocks and...

Serious effects of bankruptcy on an Individual

By Mark Streeter

    Many people wonder what limitations are placed upon an individual after they are declared bankrupt. Upon becoming bankrupt almost all of their property goes to (‘vests in’) the person's Trustee in Bankruptcy.    It is then an offense for an undischarged bankrupt person to engage in the following: Obtain credit or enter a commercial transaction with a value in excess of $4,623 without disclosing that they are bankrupt. To carry on a business under an assumed name without disclosing the true name and status of...

Bankruptcy minimum raised from $2,000 to $5,000

29-November-2010By Mark Streeter

Higher minimum debt for bankrupt individuals will reduce bankrupcty notices On 24 June 2010 the Federal Parliament passed amendments to the Bankruptcy Act 1966. There were a number of technical “restructuring” type changes to the Bankruptcy Act which included a restructure of the organisation of the “Districts” for Bankruptcy, a streamlined process for remuneration of trustees and increase in penalties for non-complying individuals. One of the changes was an increase of the minimum debt amount a creditor may issue a bankruptcy...

Family business fraud in marriage separation

By Simone Green

Attempt to reduce family business profit backfires Fraud may occur in any jurisdiction and unfortunately the area of Family Law is no exception. The situation A family company was controlled by one party in a marriage separation. The company engaged in a complicated arrangement with a foreign company in Asia. The company bought services from this foreign company at inflated prices, with the aim of decreasing the profitability of the domestic company. This consequentially reduced the value for the purposes of the Family Law proceeding...

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