What is an Examination Notice?7-March-2013 Commercial Disputes Debt Recovery By Jodie Rodrigues
Although this is not a method to enforce payment of a debt, an Examination Notice can be a useful tool if you know little or nothing about your debtor. It will allow you to obtain information about a debtor’s financial position, including assets and liabilities, income and expenditure.
An Examination Notice is served on a judgment debtor. It asks the debtor to provide answers to specific questions and to forward certain documents to the creditor. The debtor has 28 days to respond with answers and supply the requested documents.
You may wish to ask the debtor questions about:
- Current employment;
- Current income;
- Property owned in the debtor’s name, including real estate, shares, motor vehicles, art and jewellery;
- Details of funds held in bank accounts and credit union accounts;
- Current liabilities including mortgage repayments per month;
- Number of dependants;
- Weekly expenses such as petrol, food, fares, school fees, motor vehicle expenses, gas, electricity, water.
Documents you may wish to request as part of an Examination Notice are:
- Recent bank statements evidencing bank balances for the last six months;
- Cheque books;
- Mortgage or charge documents;
- Wage slips or group certificates for the 12 months prior;
- Income tax returns for the past two years;
- All partnership agreements;
- Deeds or other documents evidencing the ownership of motor vehicles, real estate, shares, or any other property such as jewellery or art;
- Registration papers for motor vehicles or boats;
- Insurance policy over goods or land;
- Loan agreements and repayments books;
- Lease agreements.
If the debtor fails to respond to the Examination Notice within 28 days, you can apply to the Court for the issue of an Examination Order, which requires the person served with the Examination Notice to attend Court to answer your solicitor’s questions.
The Examination Order is required to be filed in the Local Court and attracts a filing fee of $152.
The debtor, if he/she shows up, is examined as to their financial position and an offer to pay by instalments is usually made.
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