Dealing With Outstanding Fines

Financial counsellor Balbeer talks about dealing with fines.

If you have outstanding fines or infringements, and are struggling to make arrangements to clear them, contact a financial counsellor as soon as possible as we may be able to advocate for you with the fines enforcement registry. Financial counsellors provide a free, confidential and non-judgemental service, with the aim of helping you solve your money problems.

There are serious consequences when it comes to overdue fines, including:

  • Suspension or cancellation of your driving license
  • Seizure and sale of your assets
  • Imprisonment

What Can I Do About Outstanding Fines?

Financial counsellors regularly see clients needing assistance to put forward a payment arrangement with the Fines Enforcement Registry. There are different ways to clear your fine as follows:

1. You can pay your fines either by going in person to the nearest court or paying it online using Bpay or a credit card.
2. If you are unable to pay the fine in full, you can also apply for a Time to Pay arrangement with the Fines Enforcement Registry. You will need to provide them your Centrelink Reference Number and a Centrepay arrangement will be put in place to deduct an agreeable amount every fortnight from your Centrelink payments.
3. For court fines, under certain circumstances, you may be able to apply to do a community work order to pay them back. Submit your application to the Fines Enforcement Registry and you will then be notified of the outcome.


Arrest & Imprisonment

Remember that if you ignore your outstanding fines and all other attempts to enforce the fines have failed, a Warrant of Commitment may be issued for your arrest. A Warrant of Commitment directs the Police to arrest you and orders you to serve time in prison to settle the outstanding debt.


Bob’s Story

Bob had several thousand dollars’ worth of outstanding fines. They included traffic fines, parking fines as well as court fines. He suffered from severe anxiety and struggled to communicate with anyone over the phone or in person.

As Bob had not made any attempts to pay his fines, his driving license was suspended and he was unable to continue working as a truck driver. Bob was referred to a financial counsellor who explained to him what could be done and assured him that the service was free of charge.

The financial counsellor prepared a Statement of Financial Position for Bob and went through his expenses to ensure he had sufficient money every fortnight to cover his payment arrangement for his outstanding fines.

The financial counsellor then put forward a proposal to the Fines Enforcement Registry to have the payments deducted from Bob’s Centrelink payments via Centrepay. The financial counsellor also requested the Fines Enforcement Registry to forward the application for a Community Work Order.

The financial counsellor guided Bob to complete the Community Work Order form and submitted it for him. Bob’s time to pay arrangement was put in place and his Community Work Order was also approved, whereby Bob was instructed to work for a community agency close to where he lived.

This enabled Bob to clear his fines and as a result, his driving license suspension was lifted. This was a great outcome as he was able to return to work.