Attachment of debt
An order that allows a person to recover money from a third party. The third party is called a garnishee. Money may be taken from anyone that owes the debtor money.
See the Victoria Legal Aid website for more information about attachment of debt.
Court can be a complex and costly process. You should seek legal advice before applying for an attachment of debt. The steps below provide general information about the application process. It does not cover all scenarios.
STEP 1: Complete the forms
Fill in a garnishee order form. By completing this form, you are informing the Magistrates’ Court and the garnishee of the application.
There are two garnishee order forms.
- Form 71A - when the garnishee debt is less than the money ordered by the court
- Form 71B - when the garnishee debt is more than the money owed by the court.
An affidavit in support of application must accompany the garnishee order form.
The affidavit must be sworn and signed in the presence of an authorised person before it is filed with the Magistrates’ Court. See the witnessing documents page for more information.
It is a criminal offence to provide false or incorrect information in an affidavit. You should seek legal advice if you have any questions about the process.
STEP 2: File the forms and pay the court fee
File the garnishee order form and affidavit in support of application with the Magistrates’ Court. The forms can be filed in person or by post. A filing fee is also payable upon lodgement.
The court will notify you of the outcome.
An appeal against the court’s decision can be made by the debtor, creditor or garnishee. See the appeals and rehearing’s page for more information.
STEP 3: Serve court documents
There are legal rules about the way in which you must give documents to the garnishee. This is called service. More Information can be found on the service of court documents page.
To complete service, a copy of the garnishee order must be served on the garnishee within seven days of the making of an order.
The person who served the documents must complete an affidavit of service - Form 6A. This provides information about how and when the documents were served.
The affidavit must be witnessed and sworn or affirmed in the presence of an authorised person. You may also need to file the affidavit to prove service. See the witnessing documents page for more information.
If documents are not served correctly, it may cause delays.
What happens next?
If an attachment of debt order isn’t being complied with, you may apply to the Magistrates’ Court to enforce the judgment in another way. You should seek legal advice if an attachment debt isn’t being complied with.
The affidavit must be signed in presence of an authorised person
File with the Magistrates’ Court the completed:
- garnishee order form
- affidavit in support of application form.
A filing fee is payable upon the lodgement of the forms.
- If the application is granted, serve the garnishee with a copy of the garnishee order form.
- Complete an affidavit of service, sign in the presence of an authorised person and file with the Magistrates’ Court.
This is not a full list of legislation associated with this topic. See the Victorian Government's legislation website for more information.