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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5420
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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I was ordered to pay restitution as part of my sentence. The

Customer Question

I was ordered to pay restitution as part of my sentence. The payment is due this week but I cannot afford it. What are my options? I'm in Vic
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

Was your sentence suspended or otherwise qualified subject to you paying the restitution or was resitution simply part of the order?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was just part of the order. I received a CCO as well.
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

The restitution order is effectively a judgment debt, so if you don't pay it the person you were ordered to pay can take out any enforcement action available to a judgment debtor. This includes garnisheeing your wages or bank accounts (i.e. the court orders your employer or bank to pay funds out of your wages or account directly to the person) or alternately can take action to bankrupt you. Essentially it is treated like an ordinary debt.

The best way to deal with such situation is simply to try to negotiate a suitable payment arrangement with the subject so you can gradually pay off the debt, recognising that you can only pay what you can realistically afford. It is also possible that they will not pursue payment from you as even the above steps will cost them money up front, and whilst they can in theory add their costs of such action to your debt to them, if you don't have any money or means to repay them, they may feel they would be wasting their time.

The only other comment I would make is that if you are later subject to futher criminal proceedings, it may be relevant to sentencing that you did or did not make a genuine effort to pay off the previous restitution order.

I trust the above assists.