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If you do not pay the judgment debt or return the goods according to the judgment, the other party can take enforcement action to force you to pay or return the goods.
If you need more time to pay the debt or return the goods you can apply for a stay of enforcement. This is an order of the court that stops the other party from enforcing the judgment debt for a period of time. For more information, see Stay of enforcement.
The other party has up to 12 years from the date of the judgment to enforce it. They can use more than one type of enforcement action at a time.
The other party can ask you to provide information about your income, assets, debts and employment. This is done with an examination notice or an examination order.
For more information, see Responding to an examination notice or order.
The other party can ask the court to issue a writ for the levy of property. The sheriff can then come to your home and take and sell some of your belongings, including your car to pay the judgment debt.
For more information, see Responding to a writ for the levy of property.
If the claim was about the recovery of goods, they can ask the court to issue a writ for the delivery of goods to authorise the sheriff to take the goods from you and return them to the other party.
If the court ordered that you pay the other party for the value of the goods instead, for example, if the goods were lost or destroyed, the sheriff can take and sell other property which belongs to you to recover the value of the goods. The other party may also use the other enforcement options to recover the money.
For more information, see Responding to a writ for the delivery of goods.
The other party can ask the court to issue your employer with a garnishee order for wages or salary. This order forces your employer to take money from your wages and send it to the other party.
The other party can also get a garnishee order for debts. This kind of garnishee order forces your bank or credit union to take money from your account and pay it to the other party. It can also be used to order anyone else who owes you money, or holds money on your behalf, to pay that money to the other party.
For more information, see Responding to garnishee orders.
If you owe more than $5,000, a judgment creditor may apply to have you declared bankrupt. If you receive a bankruptcy notice you have 21 days to respond. You should get legal advice.
It is also possible to become bankrupt voluntarily. There are important consequences of becoming bankrupt. Before taking this option, you should speak to a financial counsellor. To find a free financial counsellor, go to the Financial Counsellors' Association of NSW (FCAN) website.
You should get legal advice:
If the judgment debt was made against your company, the other party may be able to file an application for a winding up order. If you receive a 'Statutory Demand' you should immediately get legal advice.