Pay civil debt

When you are ordered by the court to pay a civil debt to a creditor, you should make arrangements with the creditor to pay them directly.

If you pay the correct amount within the right timeframe, you won’t be contacted by the court.

If you don’t pay the correct amount, or if you don’t pay on time, the creditor can ask the court to take enforcement action against you. This is called civil enforcement.

Learn about civil debt

About the judgment or order

The judgment or order should explain how much you have to pay and when you have to pay it. It might also include:

  • specific instructions for paying the creditor or
  • an agreed attachment order, if you agree to one at the hearing. This can be filed in court the same day.

It is important to talk to the creditor (or their agent) about your ability to pay. If you can’t pay the debt as specified in the court order:

  • you may be able to organise with the creditor to pay by instalments or
  • you can apply for enforcement action on yourself, so the debt is being paid.

If you disagree with the decision made in a judgment order, you can contact the Court or Tribunal, where the original order was made, to file an appeal. Here are the links to the courts process around how to apply for an appeal:

Please note, filing an appeal does not always automatically stop any enforcement action being taken. Please visit the relevant page to confirm the requirements of the Court or Tribunal where the original order was made.

Enforcement can begin once the order is made

Once a court or tribunal has made an order or judgment that you must pay the creditor, enforcement can begin if you do not pay them on time.

Fees or costs from court enforcement action may be added to the amount you owe.

There are two enforcement options you can take:

As well as those options, the creditor can ask the court to:

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