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Application process - debt disputes

Before you make an application

Please read about debt disputes before you make an application.

Making an application

You can save time and complete and pay for your minor debt application online.

OR you can complete and lodge Form 3 - Application for minor civil dispute - minor debt (PDF, 306.9 KB).

When lodging a debt dispute you can make a claim against a person who lives interstate if the debt occurred in Queensland.

If your claim is against a trader or company, it is important their correct business details (including full name and address) are completed on the application form. This ensures you take action against the right organisation.

Contact the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) for business name and company information. A search fee may be charged.

eLodgement - online lodgement for approved entities

eLodgement is an online application service available to approved entities and solicitors for minor debt applications (including QCAT approved forms 4 and 5) and requests for decisions by default.

Please see eLodgement - online application for minor debts (PDF, 26.1 KB).

QCAT Practice Direction 2 of 2011 Electronic filing of applications and other documents in minor debt proceedings (PDF, 175.6 KB) prescribes the forms that may be used for electronic filing, pursuant to the QCAT Rules.

What happens next?

QCAT will review your application and return to you copies of your application and forms which have been stamped with the QCAT seal (official stamp).

You must serve the application within 28 days of filing.

You may use the services of a Magistrates Court bailiff, commercial agent or process server to serve the documents on your behalf. You can find their contact details in the phone book.

Responding to the application

When served with the stamped documents, the other party (called the respondent) may file a response to the using Form 7 - Response to minor civil dispute – minor debt (PDF, 415.8 KB)
In a response, the other party outlines facts which try to disprove the original claims. For example, if you say "the contract is a written document dated 1 July 2008", the other party may say "I deny that the contract was a written document dated 1 July 2008 because the copy of the contract is signed and dated 1 July 2007".

The other party has 28 days from being served to file a response. It is up to the other party to send you a copy of the sealed response after it is lodged at QCAT.

All parties will then receive a notice to attend mediation including the date, time and location of mediation. The aim of mediation is to get all parties to reach an agreement.

If no agreement is reached at mediation, generally the matter will proceed to a hearing and a final decision will be made.

Please note: If your application concerns an amount up to $3000, your dispute will be listed for hearing without first being referred for mediation, unless otherwise ordered by the tribunal. For more information read Practice Direction 2011-4 Arrangements for the mediation and determination of minor civil disputes (PDF, 139.9 KB). A practice direction is a guideline which provides more information about a Tribunal process.

When no response is received - default decisions

If the other party fails to lodge a response within 28 days of being served with the application, you can apply to QCAT to make a decision by default.

Interest on a debt

As part of its final decision QCAT may order a party to pay the other party interest on the debt. If interest is ordered, it will be:

Any claim for interest must be included in the application to QCAT.

Any description of QCAT's jurisdiction on this website is general information only and is not intended to precisely define the types of applications that QCAT has the power to decide. QCAT's jurisdiction is determined by the relevant legislation. If you are unsure about your legal rights you should seek legal advice. Any actions taken to resolve your dispute should be determined by your individual circumstances.
Last reviewed
15 December 2015
Last updated
15 December 2015

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