Debt Recovery and Insolvency Lawyers Melbourne 

Get help recovering or repaying debt as an individual or as a Victorian small business. 

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Recovering and repaying debt can be stressful, especially when repayments become urgent. If you’re struggling to recover or repay debts, talk to our experienced debt recovery lawyer in Melbourne. 

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Debt Recovery 

Debt Recovery and Insolvency Lawyers Melbourne

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Personal Insolvency 

Debt Law

Navigating the Legal Pathway for Debt Recovery: Effective Strategies with Pentana Stanton Lawyers 

If traditional debt collection methods fail, pursuing legal action may be the necessary next step. When the debt exceeds $5,000.00 and the debtor or company possesses assets to satisfy the debt, legal action should be considered. While there are additional factors to consider, these two criteria are crucial. At Pentana Stanton Lawyers, we refer such cases to our expert insolvency and bankruptcy team of debt recovery lawyers in Melbourne to ensure that the necessary requirements for legal action have been met.

The question often arises: What is the legal process and how does it all begin? Small claims actions are lawsuits filed in court against individuals, partnerships, businesses, or corporations to recover small amounts of money owed. These procedures can be effective for recovering debts owed to you or your business.

Our debt recovery lawyers shed light on the process of small claims debt recovery in Victoria.

  • Determine the Legal Validity of Your Claim

For successful small claims debt recovery, the debt must be legally enforceable, and it should not be affected by the National Credit Code or the National Consumer Protection Act of 2009. These laws do not apply to the debts in question.

  • Write a Letter of Demand

Initiating a small claims case typically begins with a demand letter. This letter serves as the initial step before filing any paperwork with the court. While making a clear demand for the owed money, it is essential to avoid harassing the debtor. Transparency and honesty should be maintained throughout the letter, ensuring that it does not give the impression of being sent directly from the court.

  • Attempt to Reach an Agreement

At Pentana Stanton Lawyers, our first objective is to collect the debt without resorting to legal action. When the debtor responds to your letter, it is advisable to try to negotiate a payment agreement before pursuing further legal measures. Congratulations if the debtor pays the owed amount, as small claims recovery is no longer required. In cases where immediate payment is not made, you may consider working out a viable payment plan with the debtor. However, if no satisfactory resolution can be reached, it might be necessary to write off the debt. Notably, paying off the debt can provide you with a tax break, making it an appealing option for smaller bills.

  • Taking Your Case to the Small Claims Court

If a resolution cannot be reached through negotiation, filing a claim in the local small claims court becomes the next step to legally recover the owed money. In Melbourne Victoria, these claims can be filed in either the local Magistrates’ Court or the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

  • Choosing Between VCAT and the Magistrates’ Court

The Magistrates’ Court is suitable for hearing claims worth less than $100,000 that are within six years of the debt’s occurrence. It is an ideal choice for those seeking to recover modest debts outside of the Melbourne metropolitan region or those who do not fall under VCAT categories.

VCAT, on the other hand, handles claims that fall under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act of 2012 (ACLFTA). This primarily applies to debts related to goods or services. Filing under ACLFTA provides several potential remedies, but there are limitations, such as filing costs and no viable remedy for disputes prior to September 1, 1999.

  • Debt Recovery and Legal Binding

When pursuing legal action by debt collection lawyers in Melbourne, there is a high probability of recovering the owed money, whether through demand letters or by filing claims in the Magistrates’ Court or VCAT. If the magistrate or VCAT tribunal member orders the debtor to pay, their decision becomes legally binding. In some cases, the debtor may also be required to pay interest and a portion of your legal fees.

How We Operate 

  1. Review Your Claim

We assess your claim and the level of supporting documentation. 

  1. Letter of Demand

We send a formal letter of demand to the debtor. 

  1. Negotiation

If the debtor is unable to pay, negotiating a long-term payment plan might be necessary.  

  1. Legal Action

If the debtor refuses to respond or pay the debt, we’ll enforce your debt by taking them to court. 

Success Story  

Jashan was understanding and went above and beyond to help me. Thank you very much Jashan, much appreciated.

Kim Kilian

Invoice Notice 

Add our branded notice to your invoices to remind customers and suppliers to pay on time. 

Reminder Letter 

Send out a reminder letter backed by our brand before you contact a solicitor. 

Pentana Stanton Lawyers expert team of debt recovery lawyers based in Melbourne ensures that the necessary requirements for legal action are met. Navigating debt recovery can be a stressful process, but it is reassuring to know that Victoria has established procedures to assist creditors in reclaiming what is owed to them. By understanding the available legal options and partnering with experienced debt recovery lawyers like Pentana Stanton, you can pursue your debts while ensuring a smooth legal process and the best possible outcome

Criminal Lawyers

Business Insolvency Options 

Debt Recovery and Insolvency Lawyers Melbourne


Pre-packing through voluntary administration can be a way to legally resurrect your company. 

Debt Recovery and Insolvency Lawyers Melbourne


For businesses with under $1 million in liabilities, a restructuring plan can provide a path forward.  

Debt Recovery and Insolvency Lawyers Melbourne

Voluntary Administration 

Voluntary administration involves handing control of your company over to an administrator. 

Debt Recovery and Insolvency Lawyers Melbourne


A receiver’s duty is to repay a specific secured creditor and report infringements to ASIC, which may involve selling assets or even the business.

Debt Recovery and Insolvency Lawyers Melbourne


A liquidator has a duty to repay all creditors by winding the company up. 

Personal Insolvency Options 

Negotiating with your creditors is the best way to navigate personal insolvency. Talk to an insolvency lawyer about how they can help. 

Debt Recovery and Insolvency Lawyers Melbourne

Temporary Debt Protection 

Get protection for 21 days from unsecured creditors as you seek advice from a lawyer or financial adviser. 

Debt Recovery Lawyers Melbourne

Debt Agreement

Make a binding agreement with creditors to pay off your debts over time. 

Personal Insolvency Lawyers Melbourne

Personal Insolvency Agreement  

You agree to appoint a trustee to take control of your estate to pay your debts. 

Debt Recovery Lawyers Melbourne


An AFSA trustee manages your bankruptcy – after three years and one day of bankruptcy, you will be released from most debts. 

Your Law Team 

Jesse LaGreca
Partner | Principal Solicitor 

Jesse is a highly experienced commercial solicitor admitted at both the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia. 

He excels at partnering with growing organisations to help drive sustainable growth. 

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Practical Guides to Debt Recovery and Insolvency 

When you’re preparing for your consultation with one of our team, reading up on the basics of debt recovery and insolvency can be helpful. 

Get started with our library of easy-to-read articles and guides. 

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Debt Recovery and Insolvency FAQs 

What is a bad debt?

A bad debt is money that can’t be recovered from a borrower. You can claim a deduction for bad debt in your tax return. 

What is illegal phoenix activity?

Illegal phoenix activity is the act of transferring Company A’s assets to Company B at a cost below market value, liquidating Company A to wipe Company A’s debts, then continuing Company A’s business as Company B, using the same business structure, assets and staff. 

In other words, illegal phoenix activity uses the debt protections afforded by a company structure to defeat creditors, with the company’s directors then continuing the business via a different entity. Illegal phoenix activity is taken very seriously by ASIC, and directors and advisers who participate in it can face serious penalties. 

When can’t I collect a debt?

There are some situations in which you may be unable to collect a debt. 

  • If the debtor (an individual) has declared bankruptcy 
  • If the debtor (a company) has been liquidated 
  • If you can’t prove how much you’re owed 
  • If the debt belongs to someone other than the person you’re contacting 
  • If six years have passed since the debtor last paid or confirmed the debt, and there’s no court judgment against them 

The best way to make sure your debtors pay what they owe is to regularly contact them about payments and keep clear, consistent records that prove who owes what.  If you’re struggling to collect a debt or the debtor is threatening to complain to regulators, talk to our team. 

How long does personal insolvency last in Victoria?

In Victoria, bankruptcy lasts for three years and one day, starting from either: 

  • the day AFSA accepts your bankruptcy application; or 
  • if a creditor bankrupts you, the day you file a statement of affairs that is accepted by AFSA. 

Your trustee can, in some situations, apply to extend your bankruptcy period to eight years.  

What debts are not extinguished in bankruptcy?

While declaring bankruptcy can help you discharge certain types of debt, there are some debts that survive bankruptcy.  These include debts incurred by fraud, child support debts, and debts to secured creditors (subject to conditions under s 153 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth)). 

It’s also important to be aware that, by declaring bankruptcy, you aren’t freeing other responsible parties from their obligations to your creditors. For example, anyone who was in a partnership or was a co-trustee with you at the time of bankruptcy – or anyone who acted as surety for you – is still liable even if your debts are extinguished through bankruptcy. 

Expert debt recovery and insolvency advice from leading Melbourne lawyers. 

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