Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law

Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers has a diverse and expanding practice which delivers quality legal services in debt recovery, bankruptcy and insolvency law.   Our team of senior litigators, headed by Julian van Leer, can provide sound, practical advice on potential remedies, the costs and the risks involved in protecting your legal rights.

Debt recovery
As a provider of debt collection services to major corporations, insurers, government departments, company liquidators, bankruptcy trustees and private litigants, we have conducted thousands of matters in the Local, District, Supreme and Federal Courts and numerous bankruptcy and company liquidation actions - from relatively simple debt recovery matters through to complex money claims arising from building disputes, taxation liabilities,  insurance premium disputes, consumer law claims, money-lending transactions, claims for work done, damages claims etc.
We have also acted for clients who are the subject of Independent Commission Against Corruption (“ICAC”) hearings in which large debt recovery actions have followed, sometimes involving out-of-jurisdiction assets.
Bankruptcy and Insolvency
In addition to our extensive debt recovery practice we also provide expert advice to people and organisations regarding bankruptcy and insolvency. We have significant experience in this field of law and have acted in numerous matters for debtors and for creditors.
Our services include:
  • obtaining default judgments
  • conducting defended hearings
  • covering costs
  • drafting and enforcing
    • deeds of release,
    • security documentation, e.g. mortgages, guarantees, fixed and floating charges
  • enforcing judgments (writs, garnishees, examinations, instalment orders etc)
  • litigation over guarantees, mortgages, charges, property interests
  • insolvency law:
    • company winding up
    • bankruptcy
    • post-liquidation/bankruptcy actions e.g. creditor’s meetings, voting, proofs of debt, examination of bankrupts and company officers
    • making and defending claims for “clawing back” assets, preferences, void dispositions and insolvent transactions ASIC investigations
    • recovery of assets
    • setting aside voidable transactions
    • acting for liquidators and trustees in relation to examinations of directors and bankrupts
  • if you are in business or are facing creditors, advising you on your risks and liabilities;
  • obtaining urgent Court orders to preserve assets/”Mareva” Injunctions
  • litigation over breaches of directors duties
  • Trade Practices and Fair Trading Acts claims
  • Industrial Relations Act matters including re-writing unfair contracts
  • negotiated settlements/mediations.

Further information

Contact Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers on (02) 8268 4000 for friendly professional service.
Setting aside sequestration order - Trustee’s costs
Date: Nov 16, 2015

Quite often, a sequestration order is made by the Registrar of the Court in the absence of the debtor. As a result of the sequestration order, a trustee is appointed to the Bankrupt Estate of the debtor.

Trusts and family law disputes
Date: Jul 06, 2015

Many family law disputes involve issues relating to various trusts. Family lawyers are often approached by clients who are either trustees and/or beneficiaries of a trust. Often their children and other family members are beneficiaries as well.

Contract: the rules of the game
Date: Jun 15, 2015

The traditionally accepted view of law is that it is an independent set of rules governing society routinely applied by reference to existing precedent. The law is considered autonomous and distinct from custom, morality, religion and politics. In western civilisations, legal systems are built on liberal foundations.

Private contractual arrangements and government intervention
Date: Jun 12, 2015

The law was not constructed on a bare canvas, but on value-laden foundations. Ordinarily, when a house is built on a sloping block, the nature of that slope determines the type of structure erected upon it. The structure is changed to suit the conditions of the landscape, not vice-versa. It is no different with the law.

Religious officers, contracts and legal relations
Date: Jun 11, 2015

In commercial transactions, the onus of proving (on the balance of probabilities) that a contract does not exist rests with the party disputing what courts presume to be an agreement intended to have legal force. For disputes concerning family members, courts take the viewpoint that “each house is a domain into which the King's writ does not seek to run, and to which his officers do not seek to be admitted”.

Consideration in contract law
Date: Jun 10, 2015

The doctrine of Consideration is concerned with the price paid for a promise. Consideration is something of legal value given in exchange for a promise.

A contract that is not a contract
Date: Jun 09, 2015

Equitable Estoppel is a cause of action that protects parties’ reliance on promises which have the appearance of a contract, but which do not satisfy the elements needed to create binding legal relations, that result in detriment to one party. The case of Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd v Maher is a landmark case which has greatly affected the common law of contract.

Penniless partner: bankruptcy and family law property disputes
Date: Jun 08, 2015

In certain circumstances in the past, a situation could arise where a spouse facing family law property proceedings would file for bankruptcy or be declared bankrupt (the Bankrupt), with the result of becoming a “penniless partner” of a non-bankrupt spouse (the Spouse), whose claim might then be defeated in the Family Court property settlement proceedings. The only salvation for the Spouse was to apply to the Federal Court for annulment of bankruptcy on the grounds of some abuse of process.

Why It Pays to be a Stickler for Service of Court Documents
Date: Jun 04, 2015

Natural justice requires that a person be made aware of the claim or charge brought against him or her, and be given an opportunity to defend such a claim. For this reason, the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) (UCPR) set out precise guidelines for service of court documents.

Statutory Demands, Winding Up Applications and the Issue of Solvency: why a company served with a Statutory Demand should raise any dispute within 21 days of service of the Demand
Date: Jun 03, 2015

Insolvency law, in particular that part of insolvency law covered by Part 5.4 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Act), demands strict compliance with specific timeframes and legislative provisions.

PPSA Protection and Perfection
Date: May 25, 2015

Despite the transitional periods having expired last year, the requirements (and existence) of the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR), created pursuant to the Personal Property Security Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA), remain unknown to many consumers and suppliers. If you are involved in business or personal transactions regarding the provision of goods on any terms other than a cash on delivery basis, or you have a line of credit with suppliers, or provide a line of credit to others, you should familiarise yourself with the PPSR and PPSA.

Declarations of Intention to Present Debtor’s Petition – Are They Worth It?
Date: May 21, 2015

For debtors who need a little breathing space to consider their options – voluntary bankruptcy? payment arrangements? defended proceedings? - section 54A of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) (the Act) gives certain debtors the opportunity essentially to freeze unsecured debts for 21 days. But are the potential benefits worth it? Or does filing a declaration of intention simply prolong the inevitable?

Offsetting Claims in Statutory Demands: Time is of the Essence
Date: May 18, 2015

Opening the mail to find a creditor’s statutory demand, threatening to wind up your company if a debt is not paid within 21 days, is not a pleasant occurrence for any director. The task becomes even more repugnant if the creditor listed in the demand actually owes your company money too. This is known as an offsetting claim, and is dealt with in section 459H of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Act).

Why are some guarantees unenforceable?
Date: Nov 12, 2014

A guarantee is a promise by a third party to be liable to a lender for the obligations of a debtor, if the debtor defaults on their obligations. These are serious undertakings as they can render a guarantor liable for the whole amount owed by the debtor. Guarantees become enforceable when the debtor has defaulted on their obligations. However, there are numerous reasons why a guarantee may be unenforceable.

What is a guarantee?
Date: Nov 10, 2014

When a creditor provides a party with a loan or the provision of goods or services on credit, a sincere promise by the debtor to repay the loan is rarely satisfactory. Such a promise will be no good to a creditor if the debtor goes bankrupt, no matter how much they wanted to honour their obligations. Therefore it is normal for a creditor to require some other source of repayment they can look to if the worst should happen. This is known as a guarantee.

Voidable transactions due to insolvency – uncommercial transactions
Date: Sep 14, 2014

When a company becomes insolvent, the liquidator is entitled to all of the assets that belonged to the company at the commencement of the winding up, so they can manage and distribute that property equally amongst the company’s creditors.

Costs orders - who pays the costs of legal proceedings?
Date: Aug 25, 2014

The Court has power under Section 98 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 to determine by whom, to whom and to what extent the costs of the proceedings are to be paid.

Caveats, interests in property and contracts – does my contract give me a caveatable interest?
Date: Aug 18, 2014

Section 74F of the Real Property Act 1900 (NSW) permits a person who claims to be entitled to a “legal or equitable estate or interest in land” to lodge with the Registrar-General a caveat, prohibiting the recording of any dealing affecting the estate or interest to which the person claims to be entitled.

What are the requirements to be a licenced credit provider?
Date: Aug 15, 2014

The recent introduction of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and related National Credit Code, have increased the regulation of credit providers in Australia. If your business engages in credit activities for personal, household or domestic purposes such as directly providing credit, making related suggestions or acting as an intermediary between a lender and a consumer, then you will probably need an Australian credit license to carry on your business. The licenses are administered and enforced by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Voidable transactions due to insolvency - unfair loans
Date: Jun 04, 2014

When a company becomes insolvent, the liquidator is entitled to all of the assets that belonged to the company at the commencement of the winding up, so they can manage and distribute that property equally amongst the company’s creditors.

Voidable transactions due to insolvency - unfair preferences
Date: Jun 03, 2014

When a company becomes insolvent, the liquidator is entitled to all of the assets that belonged to the company at the commencement of the winding up, so they can manage and distribute that property equally amongst the company’s creditors.

Director’s Duties – Duty not to trade whilst insolvent
Date: May 16, 2014

As a director of a company, you have many duties and obligations arising from common law and statute. It is important to be aware of these duties regardless of how large the company is or how much involvement you have in the company.

LITIGATION - Frequently Asked Questions
Date: Dec 04, 2012

Deciding how to settle a dispute - Choosing a process - Commencing litigation - Pre-trial procedures - Discontinuance or withdrawal - Enforcement of judgments - Costs of Litigation - Time limits - Lawyers

Recovering School Fees From Defaulting Parents
Date: Jan 17, 2012

For any school, recovering unpaid school fees can be difficult task.

You do not have to be rude or violent to collect a debt
Date: Sep 19, 2011

People often think of debt collectors as professional bullies or “stand-over” men who break debtor’s arms to make them pay. Whilst these methods might occasionally be effective, they are usually highly illegal, and no self-respecting business would ever want to be associated with these sorts of tactics.

When must a receiver perform a pre receivership contract?
Date: Sep 02, 2011

A Receiver enjoys a unique position in modern corporations law. While a receiver is appointed as the agent of a corporation, the receiver’s primary purpose is to act in the interests of their appointer in realising the assets of the corporation for the benefit of a secured creditor who has usually appointed the receiver under a contractual right in a debenture.

Strata Levies: Options for Recovery
Date: Sep 20, 2010

Each lot owner in a strata plan is required to pay levies (usually due quarterly) which make up the administrative fund and sinking fund of the strata scheme.

Security for Costs
Date: Aug 08, 2010

The general rule is that everyone should be able to enforce their rights in the Courts – poverty should be no bar to justice.

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