Check that the documentation you received has been issued by a court
Sometimes debt collectors will send you documents that look like formal court documents, but they're not actually issued by a court.
The first thing to do is to check that the formal documentation has:
- the name of the relevant court and a court stamp
- a court number
- a section telling you what will happen if you don't respond within a certain time
If the document has the above information, then a court has issued them.
If you're unsure whether the court has issued the document, ring them to check.
Depending on where you live, formal documents could be called a 'Claim', 'Statement of Claim', 'Complaint' or a 'Summons'.
There are different rules in different courts about how you must receive the documents. The court document can be:
- handed to you personally
- left at your address
- sent by certified mail
- sent by ordinary post
The document will tell you how long you have to respond. The time limit varies for different parts of Australia.
If you're a tenant and have received a notice to vacate, notice of hearing or similar, refer to Rent.