Attachment orders

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An attachment order tells an employer or Work and Income to transfer money from the debtor’s wages or benefit to the creditor. An attachment order can be set up at two different times:

  1. if the creditor and debtor agree at the hearing when the judgment order is made
  2. after the judgment order has been made.

You can agree to an attachment order at the hearing

If the creditor and debtor agree at the hearing when the judgment order is made, details of the attachment order can be recorded in the order or judgment. 

You must both agree on:

  • how much will be deducted
  • how often it will be deducted: weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

The agreed attachment order forms part of your judgment order

You can file the judgment order with the agreed attachment order as soon as possible after the hearing, before the 48 hour stand-down period, by:

  • filing it at the district court and paying the fee in person
  • posting it to the Ministry of Justice's Central Processing Unit, SX10042, Wellington and paying the fee by cheque, or by credit card using this form:
    Credit/debit card payment form [PDF, 200 KB]

Write the address as written above and send it the same way as any other mail. You can use a NZ Post mail box. If you use a DX mail box your mail will get to us faster (external link)

About civil enforcement fees 

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You can apply for an attachment order after the hearing

Either party can also apply for an attachment order after the judgment order has been made. You will need the debtor's:

  • employment details if they are employed
  • benefit number or date of birth if they are receiving a benefit.

If you are the creditor or debtor, you can apply for an attachment order if you have this information.

If you are the debtor and you can’t get the creditor’s bank account details, our staff will contact the creditor to get them.

Attachment order application form [PDF, 398 KB]

Choosing how much to apply for

You write the amount or percent of the payments on the application form. Keep in mind that no more than 40% of the debtor’s net income can be deducted.

The court could change the amount if it thinks the debtor won’t be able to keep up the payments.

When you file an attachment order application

  • Include a copy of the judgment or order if you have not before.
  • Pay the filing fee
  • Give a copy of the application to the other party by email post, or in person. You do not need to provide proof of service.
  • Post your form to Central Processing Unit, SX10042, Wellington or file it at your nearest district court.

Write the address as written above and send it the same way as any other mail. You can use a NZ Post mail box. If you use a DX mail box your mail will get to us faster (external link)

Find a district court near you

The court will tell both parties the result of the application.

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Creditors: your responsibilities

Once the attachment order is set up, it is your job to keep track of the payments. The court does not check if payments are made. If you are having problems getting your payments, you can:

Often the reason that payments stop is that the debtor leaves their job or stops receiving a benefit.

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You can apply to change an attachment order

Either party can apply to vary, suspend or cancel an attachment order. This is free. You might want an attachment order changed if:

  • the debtor’s employer changes
  • the debtor is having difficulty paying. They can apply to reduce or suspend payments for a specific length of time
  • a request for a rehearing has been filed, and the attachment order needs to be suspended while the court makes a decision.

Application to vary, suspend, or cancel an attachment order [PDF, 377 KB]

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When you file an application to change your attachment order

  • Give a copy of the application to the other party by email, post or in person. You do not need to provide proof of service.
  • You can post the form to: Central Processing Unit, SX10042, Wellington, or file it at a district court.

Write the address as written above and send it the same way as any other mail. You can use a NZ Post mail box. If you use a DX mail box your mail will get to us faster (external link)

Find a district court near you

The court will tell both parties the result of the application.

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