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QLD Claim Costs for Researching Old Records on Alleged Debt?

Discussion in 'Debt and Bankruptcy Law Forum' started by Sarah Smith, 25 May 2016.

  1. Sarah Smith

    Sarah Smith Member

    25 May 2016
    Likes Received:
    I have just received an invoice out of the blue from a company who provided me a service back in 2012. They claim they emailed the invoice to me back in 2012 but it was never received at my end. I am not disputing the invoice, but I didn't ever receive it.

    It was a few hundred dollars debt. I have never been contacted by the company until now, 4 years later.

    To chase up my email/computer records from 2012, I had to engage a computer technician to access the old hard drive of my old computer to try to find if the email had ever arrived (plus courier costs, et.c for the hard drive). I also had to pay the accountant to go through my old archived records from around that time to ensure that I hadn't paid it and forgotten about it, etc.

    There is no record of the email arriving and the invoice was not paid as I had definitely never received it.

    The costs to me to chase this up is more than the original invoice.

    My questions are:

    Can I "claim" the costs of chasing this up "against" their invoice given they left it so long to follow up? If they had followed it up straight away, I would not need to pay people to look up old records.

    (So if my bill is $400 for chasing it up, and their invoice was $300, can I ask them to call it quits and let the matter go? )

    Or, do I still need to pay the invoice?

    Could I then claim against them for my costs and send them an invoice in return?
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    27 May 2014
    Likes Received:


    Civil debts less than 6 years old need to be paid. You appear not to be disputing they provided the goods/service to you back in 2012 so you will need to pay. Some debts older than 6 years old need to paid as well if there are court orders saying so.

    What you need to do to confirm the invoice is your business, not theirs. It is your responsibility to keep good and current business records for up to 7 years for the ATO. Doesn't matter if you take 2 mins or 2 weeks to search your records, there's no liability on the invoicing company to pay your search costs.
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