Communication with the person who owes you money is important. Most debts can be resolved if both parties remain courteous and reasonable. Keep in regular contact with the debtor by mail, email or telephone so the debt does not fall to the back of their mind. Keep a copy of any correspondence and a record of phone calls, including the date and time they were made and what was said.
Find out if there is a reason the debtor cannot pay you. Perhaps they can afford to pay you part of the debt each month. Remember, a court will never place a person under severe financial hardship to pay a debt, so there is no point asking for more than the debtor can afford. Debtors are more willing to pay their debts if the creditor is polite and does not make unreasonable demands. If the debtor feels they are being treated rudely or unfairly, they will often ignore requests for payment or pay other debts before yours. A debtor who genuinely cannot afford to pay will be honest with you so long as you treat them fairly.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.