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Payment by instalments - Debtor

If the debt is a mortgage, loan or credit card you should get legal advice. You may have other options.

There may be a judgment against you if you acknowledged the plaintiff's claim, did nothing to defend the claim, settled the case or lost the case after a hearing.

The judgment will say that you have to pay money to the plaintiff. The amount of money will be the debt, plus filing and service fees, professional costs if the plaintiff had a lawyer, and interest (if the debt is more than $1,000). It is called the 'judgment debt'.

After judgment, you are called the 'judgment debtor' and the plaintiff is called the 'judgment creditor'.

If you cannot afford to pay the judgment debt in a lump sum and you want to avoid enforcement action against you, you can:

  • make an agreement with the judgment creditor to pay the debt in instalments or
  • make an application to the court to pay the judgment debt by instalments.

If you don't pay the judgment debt, the judgment creditor can take action to try to force you to pay the debt. This is called enforcement. Once an order that you pay by instalments is made, the creditor will not be able to take any enforcement action. For more information on enforcement, see Responding to enforcement action.

To apply to pay by instalments, you will need to fill in some forms and then file them with the court. For information on how to do this, see Payment by instalments - Step by step guide.

Agreement to pay by instalments

If you are able to make an agreement with the judgment creditor to pay the judgment debt by instalments, you need to file a Consent Order form that has been signed by you and the judgment creditor. You need to use Form 44 Consent Judgment/Order

You should set out your instalment agreement in the Consent Order form. It should state how much you will pay for each instalment, how often you will pay the instalment, when you will pay the first instalment, and how you will pay the instalments.

For more information, see Sample Consent Order - payment by instalments.

If you are unable to make an agreement with the judgment creditor you can apply to the court for an order to pay by instalments. For information on how to do this, see Payment by instalments - Step by step guide.