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​Garnishee orders 

AlertYou need a judgment from the court before you can apply for a garnishee order.

A garnishee order is a court order that allows you to recover the judgment debt from: 

  • ​​the other party's bank account
  • the other party's wages
  • someone else who owes money to the other party. 

The person the order is addressed to (the employer, bank or person who owes money to the other party) is known as 'the garnishee'.

There are two types of garnishee orders: 

    ​Garnishee order for wages or salary

    You can serve an order on the other party's employer that requires them to pay some of the other party's pay (their wages or salary) to you until the debt is paid off. This is called a garnishee order for wages or salary. 

    When the other party's wages are garnished, they must be left with a minimum amount of money to live on, currently $494.30 per week (as at 1 October 2017). The amount left for the other party is based on a weekly compensa​tion amount adjusted in April and October each year. You can check the current amount on the Local Court​ website.

    Before paying you, the garnishee is allowed to deduct up to $13.00 for administration expenses. This doesn't come out of the money owed to you. 

    The order remains in force until the whole of the judgment debt has been paid or until the court makes other orders. 

    For more information, see Garnishee order for wages or salary

    Garnishee order for debts

    This order tells the garnishee to pay money they hold on behalf of the other party to you. 

    A garnishee order for debts can be addressed to: 

    • ​a bank or financial institution where the other party has an account or 
    • ​the person who holds money on behalf of the other party, such as a real estate agent who collects rent for them.

    If you apply for the other party's bank account to be garnished, all the money held in the account at the date of the order will be taken from the account and sent to you unless the account has less than $20.00 in it. If the other party's bank account has a balance of less than $20.00, the bank does not have to comply with the order.

    If the money in the other party's bank account does not cover the whole judgment debt, you can apply for another garnishee order. 

    Before paying you, the garnishee is allowed to deduct up to $13.00 for administration expenses. This doesn't come out of the money owed to you.

    If the other party receives a government pension or benefit, it can be difficult to recover your money from a garnishee order sent to their bank account. This is because all or part of the money in their bank account may be protected from the garnishee order. If you want to garnish the bank account of a person that receives government benefits you should get legal advice

    For more information, see Garnishee order for debts​.