Recovery of Debts in NZ


Who can help you to collect your debts legally in New Zealand?

In New Zealand enforcement steps can be taken up to six years after the judgement is obtained. Leave of the Court must be obtained to enforce a judgement older than six years.

Once a judgement has been obtained, a judgement creditor can apply for enforcement to collect your debts. So its always best to resolve debt issues in a timely way before the window for litigation closes.

Taking legal action demonstrates to the defaulting customer the seriousness of the situation and can often encourage immediate settlement of an outstanding account.

Step 1: Notice of Proceeding (NOP)

Issuing and serving a NOP is the first step in taking legal action against your customer. The NOP outlines details of the cause of action and is drafted by our team and then sent to Court for filing. Once filed, the Court returns it for service on the customer. A NOP must be served personally on the customer if an individual. If a company, it can be served on any person at the company’s registered place of business, or on a director at their personal address.

Step 2: Judgment

The customer has 25 days to file a statement of defence once the NOP is served. If a defence is not filed, you can apply to the court to have a Judgment sealed. Obtaining Judgment effectively means that the Court acknowledges that the debt exists. You will then have 90 days to proceed with judgment after the NOP has been served.

During this time the customer can make pay arrangements and if these payments continue there may no longer be a need to proceed with legal action. However, if judgment is sealed there are a number of legal enforcement actions that can be taken by a client.

Step 3: Consider appropriate enforcement option

Attachment Order

If the employer details are known an attachment order can be put against the customer’s wages, or at WINZ if the customer is on a benefit.  For benefit purposes the date of birth of the customer must be known.

Financial Assessment Hearing (FAH)

Financial Assessment Hearing (previously Order for Examination) can be applied for through the Court. A FAH is where a customer is summonsed to court for the purposes of having his/her financial situation examined. At this hearing the Registrar will make an order for your customer to pay a specified amount of money at a specified frequency, e.g. $20 per week. We recommend this option for cases where the income status of the customer is unknown.

Further Enforcement Options

There are also other courses of legal enforcement action that can be taken and enacted by us. These are as follows:

  • Charging Order: this is registered on the title of the customer’s property; and can prevent the property from being sold without payment of the debt that the charging order represents.
  • Applications for Warrant to Seize Property (previously called Distress Warrant): this is where we apply to the court to seize assets for the purposes of selling them to offset against the amount owed. The goods are seized by a court bailiff and proof of ownership is a requirement
  • Bankruptcy: a client can apply to have a customer made bankrupt. Once bankrupt, the Official Assignee (O/A) manages a customer’s finances. Bankruptees cannot be a director of a company, nor obtain goods on credit without the express permission of the O/A.
  • Liquidation Proceedings: are issued to wind up a company. Generally this course of action is only taken where it is believed that a company has assets that can be sold to settle any outstanding debts.
  • Attachment Order: if the employer details are known an attachment order can be put against the customer’s wages, or at WINZ if the customer is on a benefit.  For benefit purposes the date of birth of the customer must be known. To invoke an attachment order, an application form is required to be completed by our legal team and filed in court.

Find out more information on the enforcement or liquidation process.

We’re here to protect your interests and reputation because debts always need to be resolved. It’s also personal and sometimes it’s not about the money. Queen City Law can help you find a way for all parties to get closure with dignity.

We have complete legal services and have a network of subcontractors who use data analytics and field agents.  We can even get you in touch with one of NZ’s full debt management services – backed by one of the most experienced legal teams in Australasia.

Queen City law can help with litigation on behalf of our clients

  • Legal Services
  • Debt Reporting
  • Property Management
  • Coordination of Body Corporates
  • Insurance and Leaky Building Claims


qcl_china_whiteWho can help you to collect your debts legally in China?

In China, only licensed law firms and licensed lawyers can help you collect your debts from China.
In 1995, National Public Security Bureau and State Administration for Industry and Commerce issued together one regulation prohibiting organizations and individuals to set up Debt Collection Companies. The theory base of this regulation is, debt collection and recovery is a sort of law service, and only licensed Chinese lawyers are allowed to offer clients with Chinese law services. And in 2000, State Economic and Trade Commission (under National People’s Congress), National Public Security Bureau and State Administration for Industry and Commerce issued together another notice named “fighting against illegal debt collection companies severely”.

In fact, if according to the 1995 regulation, all debt collection companies in China are illegal.

qcl_china_whiteBefore this regulation of 1995 was issued, individuals and organizations may set up debt collection companies in China, and help clients with their debt recovery. However, some of their debt collection methods were not professional, and even illegal. One typical method is, to send several persons or to hire and send around 10 unemployed persons to the house or office-site of debtor, and sitting there to have a party, and they will not leave unless the debtor agree to manage to pay the debt. And some of their debt recovery methods are more violent, like threat, deceiving, extortion and even kidnapping.

2. How to recover your debt legally?

The standard operation procedure of debt collection via legal actions shall be:
a. Study the materials from debtee, and when in need the lawyer will do pre-investigations on the situation of the debtor, like whether and where it’s registered, whether one off-shore company, and registered capital, address and so on of the debtor.
b. Decide the nature of the case, if the case is a civil case (dispute) over nature, then come to step c. If the case is a criminal case over nature, then organize up the documents and help debtee to file one criminal case in a related police bureau in China.
c. Lawyer’s letters(claim before legal actions and/or final claim before legal action) to the debtor, and if the debtor opens to it, carry on further negotiations with him so as to reach one out-of-court agreement, requesting him to pay the debt.
d. In case the letter does not work, or negotiations do not lead to one out-of-court agreement, the lawyer will file one litigation or arbitration case on behalf of debtee.
3.Types of debts
a. Debt caused by Contracts. This is the most-often-seen type of debt. For example, when importer and exporter signed one sales/purchase agreement, the importer makes the payment fully, but the exporter does not deliver the cargos, or delivered defective cargos, when the importer will become debtee and exporter will become debtor. Or on the contrary, the exporter delivered the cargos, but the importer does not make the payment, when the exporter will become debtee and importer will become the debtor.
b. Debt caused by Unjust Enrichment. For example, A and B is negotiating a deal of sales/purchase via email and is coming to a deal, A is the buyer and B is the seller, a hacker hacked into the business email of B, or use a very-similar email to B’s email, and sent the bank account of C to A, requesting A to pay the money of deal between A and B to C. A accepts the instruction, and pays the money to C, (and later may find that the email was not from B at all, but a very-similar email) . In this situation, A may claim the money against C over civil law principle of Unjust Enrichment.
c. Debt caused by Management of Affairs without Mandate.
d. Debt caused by Infringement of legal rights.

f you have one commercial contract with a Chinese company or individual, selling them cargos/ services or buying cargos / services from them, or license them to use your IP(trademark, patent and/or copyright), and so on, and in one of below situations, you may hire us to work for you and protect your legal rights: