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Interest, filing and service fees

On the Statement of Claim form you will find a heading called 'Relief Claimed'. Under this heading, there is space for you to fill in the amount you are claiming from the defendant. There is also space for you to fill in the amounts you are claiming for interest, filing fees, service fees and solicitor's fees. If your case is successful, the court may add these amounts to the amount that it orders the defendant to pay you.

The amount the court orders the defendant to pay you is called the 'judgment debt'. Interest can also be paid on the judgment debt.

    ​Interest for ​​your Statement of Claim form (pre judgment interest)

    When you prepare your Statement of Claim, the interest included in the form is called 'pre-judgment interest'. You can only claim pre-judgment interest from the defendant if the amount of the debt is $1000 or more.

    There are two kinds of pre-judgment interest:

    • Interest based on an agreement between you and the defendant.
      The most common example is a loan agreement where the borrower agreed to pay interest on the loan at a certain interest rate.
    • Interest based on the court rules.
      This applies when there has been no agreement between the plaintiff and defendant about the payment of interest on the debt.

    Calculating pre-judgment interest

    The pre-judgment interest rates under the court rules may change on 1 January and 1 July each year. You can find the pre- judgment interest rates for different periods on the Local Court website. For the period 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017 the pre- judgment interest rate is 5.50%.

    To work out the amount of pre-judgment interest for your Statement of Claim form you will need:

    • the interest rate - either from an agreement or from the Local Court website. If you are using the court rules interest rate, more than one rate may cover the period over which you are claiming interest
    • the start and end dates for the period you are claiming interest. The start date is usually the date that the debt should have been paid. The end date is the date when you filed your Statement of Claim at court
    • the amount of your claim. 

    Manual Calculation

    If you want to work out the amount of interest owed for yourself, you can follow these six steps listed below. We have used Charlie's case as an example.

    Charlie claims Kylie owes him $2000 and that she should have paid him by 25 December 2008. Charlie filed his Statement of Claim on 19 November 2009.

    1. Work out the start and end dates for the period you are claiming interest.

    Charlie is claiming interest from 26 December 2008, the day after the loan should have been repaid, until 19 November 2009, the date he filed his Statement of Claim at the Local Court.

    2. Find out the interest rate or rates. If there is no agreement about interest payments look at pre-judgment interest rates on the Local Court website.

    There was no agreement between Charlie and Kylie about interest. Charlie checks the Local Court website and finds the court pre-judgment interest rates for the period 26 December 2008 to 19 November 2009. These are:

    1 January 2007 - 5 March 2009 10% 

    From 6 March 2009 9%

    3. Work out the number of days you are claiming interest.

    In Charlie's case there are two interest rates in the period he is claiming interest, so he will have to count the number of days when the interest rate was 10% and the number of days when the interest rate was 9%.

    Charli
    e works out that:

    Between 26 December 2008 and 5 March 2009 = 70 days

    Between 6 March 2009 and 19 November 2009 = 259 days

    4. Multiply the interest rate by the amount of your claim. This will give you the yearly amount of interest. If there is more than one interest rate for the period you are claiming interest, you need to do this for each interest rate.

    Charlie does these calculations to work out the yearly interest:

    10%
    x $2000 = $200

    9% x $2000 = $180

    5. Divide the yearly amount of interest by 365. This will give you the daily amount of interest.

    Charlie does these calculations to work out the daily interest:

    $200 divided by 365 = 55c

    $180 divided by 365 = 49c

    6. Multiply the number of days by the daily interest rate.

    There were 70 days when the interest rate was 10% and 259 days when the interest rate was 9%.

    The daily interest amount at 10% is 55c per day and at 9% it is 49c per day.

    70
    days x 55c = $38.50

    259 days x 49c = $126.91

    The total amount of interest Charlie can claim in his Statement of Claim form is $38.50 + $126.91 = $165.4
    1

    Alert IconIf you are claiming interest in the 'Relief Claimed' section, you need to put details about interest in the 'Pleadings and Particulars' section of the Statement of Claim. See Sample Statement of Claim 1 and Sample Statement of Claim 2.

    Car iconIf the claim is about a car accident, see Sample Statement of Claim 1 -car accidents and Sample Statement of Claim 2 - car accidents.

    Interest on unpaid judgment debts (post judgment interest)

    If you get a court judgment that the defendant has to pay you money, the money owed to you is called a judgment debt. If the defendant does not pay all of the judgment debt within 28 days of the date of the judgment, they have to pay interest on the unpaid amount of the judgment debt until it is paid. This is called 'post judgment interest'. The post judgment interest rate for the period 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017 is 7.50%.

    The rates of post judgment interest are found on the Local Court website.

    Filing fees on the Statement of Claim

    When you file a Statement of Claim in the Small Claims Division, you will have to pay a filing fee or apply to have the filing fee waived or postponed. The filing fees as at 1 J​uly 2016 are:

    • For an individual and a corporation with a turnover of less than $200 000 per year - $97.00.
    • For a corporation with a turnover of more than $200 000 per year - $194.00.

    Court fees generally increase on 1 July each year. To check if these amounts have changed go to the Local Court website.

    If you want to ask the court to waive or postpone the filing fee, you need to fill in a form - Application to postpone, waive or remit fees. You can get a copy of this form from the Local Court website.

    You should attach copies of documents that support your application, such as Centrelink letters, payslips, bank statements, tax returns and evidence of debts you owe. You can take or mail the application form with attachments to the court when you file your Statement of Claim.

    Service fees on the Statement of Claim

    The service fee is the amount you pay for the court or process server to serve the Statement of Claim.

    The court can serve the Statement of Claim on a defendant by post. If you ask the court to serve the Statement of Claim, the fee is $41.00 (as at 1 July 2016) for each address to which the court mails the Statement of Claim. Only the Court can serve individuals by post. However, if the defendant is a company or registered business, you can post the claim yourself. To check if the fee has changed, look up fees on the Local Court website.

    The maximum amount you can claim as a 'Service Fee' on your Statement of Claim is $65.00 (as at July 2016​). A private process server could charge more or less than this amount.

    For the different service options, see Serving the Statement of Claim.

    Solicitor's fees on the Statement of Claim

    ​If you are representing yourself, you cannot claim for solicitor's fees and you should leave this line blank in the 'Relief Claimed' section of the Statement of Claim. ​