Debt collection versus going to court

One of the most common questions we are asked is 'do we take people to court'

Generally speaking, the people who come to our agency wanting the court process to be used to collect a debt are emotional, this emotion clouds good judgment and usually doesn’t turn out how they expected it to. After years of experience in this, our team has come to the conclusion that they need to clarify the true intent a client has around pursuing a debt through court.

The language often used by the person gives away their intent, using statements like ‘it's the principle of the matter’ or ‘will it affect their credit rating’. Yes, I agree that if you have done a job or provided a service that has been completed to the agreed standard you should be paid and people shouldn’t get away without paying.

Obviously, there are pros and cons to taking someone to court, and usually, the first question we ask the client is; do you want to take them to court to get your money back? You may think this is a weird question but honestly, at times that is not the intention. The answer to this question gives us a place to start a better conversation with the client and go over our perspective of the court process.

First up…

At BCA Debt our goal is to help people sort out their money problems and want to help our clients work through these problems as quickly as possible. The last thing we want to see is clients throwing good money after bad.

Our perspective on using the court process to get a debt paid is to use it as a last resort and our reasons are as follows.

Going through the court is a long process and it often doesn’t get the desired outcome, often the defendants don’t bother to turn up to the hearing, while you may think this is great as you get a default judgement it still has not got you any money and now you have to go back to the court to proceed to the next stage adding more costs to the loss.

There is no support when taking this approach, you are on your own working through the process by yourself, unless you have a solicitor… more cost added to the loss. Yes, you may be able to add a portion of these costs to the debt but you still have to get it paid.


You need to 100% certain your debtor has the means to pay before taking them to court.

Even if the person does turn up, you need to be 100% certain the person you are pursuing has the assets or means to pay the debt. A magistrate can award the case to you only to allow the person to make minimum payments depending on their income statement. We have seen minimum payments of $5 per month for sizable debts and because this is based on the income statement at court you have to accept it.

Unless you have either a collection agency or solicitor working on your behalf there is no support from the court, it is time-consuming and still doesn't guarantee you will get your money back.

The benefit of using debt collection as opposed to going to court is, a collector will get to the bottom of any issues and then act as a mediator between the client and the debtor. Often all that needs to be done is for someone to contact the debtor and listen to their side of the story, once this is done mediation can begin, when using a skilled debt collector this can happen very quickly. Once they get to the bottom of what is going on they then negotiate between both parties. This can take less than 24 hours depending on the situation.

You would never get as quick results through the court.

By using a debt collector you get to tap into their vast experience, you are fully supported as they work on your behalf to sort the issues. They will be able to give you valuable information throughout the process of getting your debts paid, it is a ‘fully done for you service’.

The debt collector will monitor the debtor's behaviour and their payment history or plans by maintaining contact and checking in with them to see if their situation has changed.

Once a skilled debt collector has monitored your debtors' behaviour and is not getting the desired result, the court may be the right option. We are not saying don't use the court, what we recommend is using it as a last resort.


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6/8 Edward Street
Bunbury West Australia 6230
(08) 9721 8440

24/77 St Georges Terrace
Perth West Australia 6000
(08) 9221 6098