A ‘Garnishee Order’ is a type of enforcement action for a debt (the Judgment Debt) which a person or company (the Judgment Debtor) owes to you as a result of a Judgment being granted in your favour. According to our NSW Dispute Lawyers, a Garnishee Order can take the form of a payment from the Judgment Debtor’s wages or salary, bank account or from a third party. 

Garnishee Order for Wages or Salary and for Debts

Garnishee Orders are separated into two main types. A Garnishee Order for Wages or Salary is the first type. A Garnishee Order for Debts is the second type.

A Garnishee Order for Wages or Salary requires an employer to pay a portion of the Judgment Debtor’s wage or salary to you. The Judgment Debtor is entitled to a minimum wage or salary, however, which as of April 2015 was $470.20 per week. A Garnishee Order for Debts requires either:

  • a bank or other financial institution to give you money held in the Judgment Debtor’s bank account; or
  • a third party to pay you money which they owe to the Judgment Debtor (for example rent a real estate agent collects on behalf of the Judgment Debtor for a property which the Judgment Debtor owns).

In circumstances where a single payment may not satisfy the Judgment Debt, the Order can require multiple (or instalments) payments be made to satisfy the Judgment Debt.

Advantages and Disadvantages

From our NSW Dispute Lawyer’s experience, depending upon the size of the Judgment Debt and the personal circumstances of the Judgment Debtor, a Garnishee Order can take a long time for the full Judgment Debt to be repaid. The advantage is that it ensures that your Judgment Debt is eventually paid. 

How Do I Get One?

To obtain a Garnishee Order, a Form 69 – Notice of Motion must be completed. Depending upon the type, Form 70 – Garnishee Order for Debts OR Form 71 – Garnishee Order for Wages or Salary must also be completed. You will also need to complete an Affidavit. You can get a copy of the forms here.

Depending upon the type of Order you will need to include the following information:

  • your case number;
  • the date of the Judgment;
  • name of the Judgment Debtor;
  • the name and address of the proposed garnishee (employer, bank or third party);
  • the total amount of the Judgment; and
  • any interest that has accrued.

Please note that depending upon your particular circumstances, you may need to include additional information. You will then need to file the forms with the Court (there is no service fee) and formally serve the Order to the garnishee (i.e. the employer, bank or third party).

Conclusion

If you are owed a Judgment Debt and want to enforce the Judgment Debt by a Garnishee Order please contact us and we will be happy to have our NSW Dispute Lawyers assist you.

Emma Jervis

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