My Bank Account or my Salary is being garnished

A common headline and a growing issue is account garnishment or liens on property for the non-payment of fines. This page sheds light on why and how it happens.

Contrary to belief, the state, corporations and any person or legal entity has an ability to lien an account/property of a debtor once due process in attempting to seek payment of a debt has been exhausted (eg due process has been executed via a series of communications). Many people are not clear they in fact have an account called a “person” in the same name as themselves. Both you and the State have an interest in the Person entity since it’s a trust.  This public trust entity, a legal fiction if you like, is considered a debtor as it has no free will and cannot do anything. It’s there to allow commerce between people and corporations, and therefore only deals in commercial matters (More here on Persons).

The Person entity is not a “trick” as some contest (it’s spelled out for all to see in the relevant ACTs) but a requirement for the world of commerce on the public side. The issuing of fines against a person results from a presumption that whilst you were in your person (hence the term in-person), your person committed some form of act that breached a contract (eg a Statute or ACT etc). The state presumes to be a trustee of the trust and can therefore charge the trust for misuse by the beneficiaries (eg taking a benefit by driving a motor vehicle, then speeding to cause a breach of trust/contract).

Now back to the issue of liens and the processes: As an example the NSW SRDO provides guidance on the processes and notifications a debtor will receive ( in order to collect on a  debt. The process used is no different to any other entity undertaking an action to recover a debt or to gain agreement between the parties. Typically a 3 step process is undertaken to obtain the consent required to lien an account or property. Yes, that’s right, your consent is obtained through this process by simply not responding to their notices to your person:

  1. An initial notice is issued to the person debtor – asks the debtor to take notice of a debt and to resolve it (eg resolve a controversy under commercial law)
  2. A reminder notice is issued as the Person Debtor hasn’t responded (eg we haven’t heard from your person yet, giving you another chance)
  3. Another notice is issued to the Person Debtor indicating imminent action to enforce the collection of the debt is about to commence. (eg we still haven’t heard from your person and you’re way overdue now – giving you yet another chance)

Usually another notice will be issued, possibly by a 3rd party such as a sheriff indicating action has commenced or a bank will send notice indicating that an account in the name of the Person Debtor will be garnished. That’s it.

So in a nutshell:

  1. Nobody responded and by silence there is agreement
  2. There is Jurisdiction over the Person as the State is a trustee
  3. Someone needs to pay (and there’s no sign of the Creditor stepping up to assist the Person and Opposite party to resolve the matter either – big hint here).

So what to do? Your Person is a commercial entity and everything coming it’s way is an offer to contract. At the start of the process you have four options to consider:

  1. Remain silent. The number one Fatal mistake!
  2. Reject
  3. Accept
  4. Conditionally Accept
The four directions when handling contracts

The four directions when handling contracts

The items under “The Runaway Contract” menu provide additional insights, additionally you will need to realise that your signature is all powerful in the sea of fiction/commerce and can resolve matters by setoff on the private side.