A member asked over 7 years ago

Recovering debt

I am a hobbyist photographer. I provided a service to a person and now cannot get them to pay me. Only half of the agreed amount has been paid, the rest remains outstanding. There are no formal contracts, only Facebook messages. What are my rights? How can I recover the rest of my money?

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. Even though you did not put your agreement in writing, the law may still recognise that a contract has been formed between you and the other person. Your Facebook messages may contain evidence of the terms of the agreement, such as the fee for your services. The law will recognise a contract where the parties were sufficiently serious about their arrangement and intended to be legally bound by the agreement.

In your situation, whether your contract is binding will depend on a number of factors, particularly your correspondence with the other person. If you can prove a contract existed, and the other party understood their payment obligations, you may have a legal right to recover the debt.

Recovering a debt from another person can be a difficult and time-consuming task. In NSW, there are Community Justice Centres (CJC) that offer assistance in resolving disputes such as your current one. CJCs regularly mediate in the area of money and debt, helping parties reach an agreement that is fair and likely to be honoured by both sides. You should consider resolving your dispute via a CJC. You can find more information on CJCs on their website (www.cjc.justice.nsw.gov.au) or by calling 1800 990 777.

If the CJC option is not successful or viable, your next option is to try to recover the debt through court proceedings. Going to court can be expensive, and requires a lot of time and effort to reach an outcome. Depending on how much money is owed to you, you may find that this option will cost you more than the value of the debt.

Suggested way forward

It sounds like you may have a right to recover the outstanding debt from the other party. Start by contacting your local CJC or a lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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