The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

7.2.6 Debt recovery by legal proceedings

Recovery by legal proceedings

A debt (1.1.D.60) may be recovered by legal proceedings in some circumstances. A recommendation is obtained from the Director of Public Prosecutions as to whether legal action is appropriate.

If a debt is recoverable by legal proceedings, then the debt is recoverable by the Commonwealth in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 88 Legal proceedings

Policy reference: FA Guide 7.2.1 Debt recovery - general provisions

Reparation order

When an individual is convicted of an offence, the court may issue a reparation order for the amount covered by the charges. This is an order that the individual must repay the money to the Commonwealth.

Reparation orders may not always cover the full amount of the debt.

Forfeiture order

When an individual is prosecuted for an indictable offence and the individual holds assets acquired as a result of committing the offence, the court may issue a forfeiture order. The order provides that the assets become the property of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth cannot dispose of the assets until the individual has been convicted of the offence/s and the appeal period has elapsed.

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