How to apply for an instalment order in the Country Court

This is a factsheet for people who want to apply to for an instalment order after a judgment has been made against them in the County Court of Victoria.

Throughout the factsheet there are links to documents and helpful resources which will assist you in progressing your matter.

The factsheet contains general information only and is not intended to be legal advice.

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Fact sheet: Applying for an instalment order in the County Court of Victoria Download PDF (28 KB)

What is an instalment order?

If the County Court has made an order that you must pay a sum of money to the other party and you cannot afford to pay the full amount, you may apply to the Court to pay off the debt and interest by instalments.

If your application is granted, the Court will make an ‘instalment order’. This order will specify the amount of each instalment that you must pay to the other party, and the times that you must pay each instalment.

First steps

Before you apply to the Court for an instalment order, you should contact the ‘judgment creditor’ – the person or company who you have been ordered to pay – to try to agree on a payment plan for the debt.

If you and the creditor can’t reach an agreement and you are considering applying for an instalment order, think about the following questions:

  • how much can you reasonably afford to pay per instalment, ensuring that you take into account interest accruing on the debt?
  • will you be able to adhere to the order you are proposing?
  • what is a reasonable timeframe within which the creditor could expect to receive full payment?

The purpose of an instalment order is to enable the judgment creditor to recover the debt that is owed to them. If you propose an instalment order that is unlikely to result in payment of the debt because it goes on for too long or there is a risk that you will not stick to the order, then the Court will not grant your application.

You should speak to a financial counsellor before you consider putting a payment plan to the judgment creditor or applying for an instalment order.

How do I apply for an instalment order?

The process set out below is contained in Order 61 of the County Court Civil Procedure Rules 2018 (Vic).

Step 1: get the documents you need together

You will need to complete a Form 61A – Application to Registrar for Order for Payment of Judgment Debt by Instalments. This document must contain the following information:

  • the total sum outstanding
  • the amount to be paid by instalments
  • when the instalments are to begin
  • the ‘grounds’ for the application, stating the reasons you are making the application and why you cannot pay the debt in a lump sum
  • the address for you and the person or company to whom you owe the money
  • a sworn Form 72C – Affidavit of Financial Circumstances in which you set out, accurately and in full, your income, property and assets, debts, liabilities and other financial obligations.

Common reasons for applications being refused include:

  • the instalment amount doesn’t cover the ‘penalty interest’, which is claimed by creditors when there is a judgment debt. You should make sure you are aware of the current penalty interest rate and factor this into your application.
  • the applicant has other assets which could be sold to pay off the debt. Ensure that you consider your true asset position in proposing an order.
  • the offer is unrealistic because the debt will take too long to pay off.

Step 2: serve the documents

The application for an instalment order must be served on the other party before it will be accepted by the Court.

After you have completed the application and sworn the affidavit of financial situation, send or deliver a copy of them to the other party. You can then complete and swear the Affidavit of Service which is included in the Form 61A application.

Please read the following documents carefully, as they provide important information and guidance on how to effect service:

Step 3: file the documents

You can file your documents in person at the County Court or by email at

There is a filing fee associated with the application. Please refer to the County Court fee table. If you intend to claim financial hardship you will need to file a Fee Waiver Application.

Once the documents have been filed and sealed, the Registrar will set a date for the application to be heard.

Step 4: the hearing

You do not need to attend the hearing of your application. The Registrar will make a decision based on the documents you have submitted and then notify you and the other party of the outcome.

If you disagree with the Registrar’s decision, you may lodge an objection within 14 days of receiving notification of the decision. The objection application will then be set down for a hearing before a Judge or Judicial Registrar.

What happens if the court makes an instalment order?

You must comply with the terms of an instalment order as you would any other judgment of the Court.

If you do not pay the instalments as required you may be brought back before the Court.

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