Bankruptcy will cancel your debt, allowing you to get on with living your life.
Being in debt is hugely stressful. When your debt only seems to increase, living life can become hectic and frustrating, you want to stop the harassing phone calls from creditors and debt collectors, you can’t sleep at night, your relationships are affected and even everyday shopping like buying groceries can seem overwhelming.
The impact of the stress can lead to physical health problems, including decreasing our capacity to fight off illnesses – which is the opposite of what we all need right now.
To keep yourself from drowning, you could take out more loans or use multiple credit cards, but the harder you try to get out of debt, the deeper you sink, and sometimes if you are only paying off the interest, it can feel like you are trapped.
If you’re desperate, ready to stop those harassing debt collectors calling and looking for a debt solution to relieve your financial stress, you’re going to need help. The team at Fix Bad Credit can make those phone calls go away and help you get back in control of your finances.
At Fix Bad Credit, we start by getting an in-depth understanding of your debt situation in order to develop a tailored solution that meets your current and future financial and personal goals. We then present to you your options for debt relief so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you. Once you decide on the option that is best for you, we are more than happy to continue to help you, making the process as painless and stress free as possible.
Our highly skilled, experienced debt solution experts will take care of all the uncomfortable requirements throughout the entire process, as you get on with living with your life. Ensuring that when it’s time to come out the other side of bankruptcy, you are in the best shape possible to rebuild your financially secure future.
It’s Fix Bad Credit’s job to present the options to help you find the best way to hit the reset button, clean the slate, and get on with life without debt holding you back
Bankruptcy is the process in which you legally declare you cannot pay your debts. To be eligible for bankruptcy, you must:
- Prove you are unable to pay your debts when they’re due
- Have a business or residential connection in Australia or be living in Australia.
How entering bankruptcy may assist you:
When you declare Bankruptcy, you will be released from your debts and your creditors will no longer be calling, emailing, sending letters, and knocking on your door.
Below are some ways Bankruptcy can relieve the burden of debt:
- The pressure is taken off you because you don’t have to deal with your creditors
- Legal action against you to recover many types of debt will stop.
- The Sheriff will not be able to take your essential household goods
- You will be able to keep some protected property such as essential household goods and a motor vehicle (speak to our debt expert for more information and the conditions that apply)
- You can still earn an income
- Most of your debts are cancelled.
You can either chose yourself to become bankrupt (called voluntary Bankruptcy), or under certain circumstances your creditors may apply to Bankrupt you through the courts, which is called a Creditor’s Petition.
Once you have been declared bankrupt, you can either nominate a trustee or the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) will appoint one for you, to manage your finances on your behalf.
There is no minimum debt amount required in order for you to declare bankruptcy. However, if you have more than $5,000 in debt with a particular creditor, and the creditor has unsuccessfully tried to recover the debts you owe them, they can force you into bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy usually only affects unsecured debts, this means debts that are not tied to an asset such as your:
- Credit card debt
- Personal loans
- Payday loans
- Bank overdrafts
- Utility, such as electricity bills
- Medical bills
- Legal fees
- Accounting fees
- Outstanding tax
- Unpaid rent
You will not be released from secured debts such as mortgages or car loans, or from government debts such as court fines, council rates, penalties and fines imposed by a court, most HELP/HECS-type debts or student loans, child support, family law maintenance payments or debts incurred by fraud. You will still have to pay these debts.
How entering bankruptcy may impact you:
Below are some matters that you need to assess and consider before entering into Bankruptcy:
- Property/Assets – Some assets may be used to cover your debts.
- Your bank account – If you have over a certain amount of cash on hand in your bank account, it may be used to cover your debts.
- Money or property received while you are bankrupt– If you inherit or win money or property while you are in bankruptcy, it will be impacted.
- Paying contributions – If you earn over a certain amount, you may have to pay contributions towards your debts.
- Work – Some industries will not allow people to work in the profession if they are bankrupt.
- Company Director – You can only be a director of a company or otherwise actively involved in the management of a company, if approved by the court.
- Credit, rental property and other services – Your credit report will be impacted for up to 5 years or 2 years from your discharge, whichever is longer, and will be publicly listed on the National Personal Insolvency Index indefinitely. It may also have an effect on your ability to rent property, access telecommunications and other services or purchase insurance.
- Restrictions on borrowing and trading – you can only borrow up to a certain amount, accept goods on credit or hire purchase up to a certain value , or offer to supply goods or services up to a certain value without disclosing to the lender or customer that you are an undisclosed bankrupt.
- Overseas travel restrictions – You can only travel overseas with the permission of your trustee.
- Limits on legal proceedings – You can only take or continue legal proceedings without the permission of your trustee except in relation to personal injury to you or your family.
Each and every person’s situation is different. At Fix Bad Credit, we strongly recommend you speak with one of our debt experts to get an understanding of how your own personal and financial circumstances may be impacted.
What are the alternatives to Bankruptcy?
At Fix Bad Credit, we understand the impact that declaring bankruptcy can have. Your Fix Bad Credit debt expert will conduct a comprehensive analysis of your unique financial situation, investigating all other debt solution options.
Even if you are falling badly behind on your repayments, we are often able to negotiate a debt solution that can get you back in control of your finances, helping you avoid bankruptcy. This may include:
Formal Debt Solutions
There are other formal options for managing your debt under the Bankruptcy Act 1966, each having benefits and serious consequences. They include:
- Debt Agreement – A formal legally binding (Part IX or Part 9) Debt Agreement helps you deal with unmanageable unsecured debts such as credit cards or personal loans. Your debt will likely be reduced to an agreed amount and the remainder you will be able to pay back through affordable regular periodic or lump sum payments. Find out more here.
- Personal Insolvency Agreement – A Personal Insolvency Agreement is a formal, legally binding arrangement that is between you and your creditors to satisfy your debts. The arrangement could consist of a contribution of your income over a period of time or an assignment of your assets. It is the last option considered before filing for bankruptcy. Find out more here.
Informal Debt Solutions
If you’re having difficulty making your repayments, you may want to try to reach an informal agreement with your creditors. Whilst informal debt solutions are not legally binding, they are likely to have fewer serious consequences than formal debt arrangements. Your creditors may be willing to:
- give you more time to pay your debts
- give you a lower interest rate
- charge you fewer penalties
Informal debt solutions could involve one, or a combination, of the following:
- A Debt Moratorium, also known as a payment holiday or payment deferral, to either stop or reduce your payments and interest over a short period of time (usually between 3 to 12 months) to enable you to get back on your feet or to put other arrangements in place.
- Debt Consolidation – by bringing your existing multiple debts together into one single new loan, subject to a single interest rate, with a single regular (usually monthly) repayment it makes managing your debts significantly easier.
- Debt Negotiation – this involves discussions with your creditors to informally renegotiate the terms of your loan, this might mean settling the debt for less than the full amount, lower interest rates, reduced fees and/or extending the length of the loan to reduce the size of your minimum payments.
- Debt Settlement – If you have access to a lump sum, a debt settlement may help. A debt settlement is an informal arrangement with your creditors that offers less than the full amount you owe in order to wipe out the debt completely.
- A longer-term informal arrangement– a long term informal arrangement can last several years and often involves reducing your minimum repayments, reducing or freezing the interest owed over the period if you need more time to get back on your feet or to put other arrangements in place.
However, if bankruptcy truly is your last resort, Fix Bad Credit can advise you through the process of filing for bankruptcy. Debt is one of the few stressors in life that doesn’t go away. The worry is always there, along with the feeling that there is nothing that can be done about it. Money and debt worries cause heavy emotional and mental burdens, affecting your health, your work and your relationships. But just know you’re not alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by money matters, we’re here to help you find relief from your debt stress. Talking about debt can be daunting. It’s hard to know where to start or what your options are. However, you can take a small step right now by picking up the phone.
For more information on what might be the best option for you, call one of Fix Bad Credit’s debt experts on 1300 406 172. Our debt experts can help you assess your financial situation for free and identify debt solution options tailored for your specific personal financial circumstances, using their in-depth knowledge of credit law and debt processes.
Bankruptcy in the era of COVID-19
The economic impact of COVID-19 is creating significant challenges for both individuals and businesses. As a result, commonwealth legislative changes have come into effect from 25 March 2020 to provide immediate relief for people facing financial difficulty due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. The temporary debt relief measures include:
- an increase in the bankruptcy notice minimum debt amount – it’s now $20,000 (previously $5,000)
- an increase in the time period a debtor has to comply with a bankruptcy notice – it’s now six months
- an increase in the minimum debt amount on which a creditor can petition for a debtor to be made bankrupt by sequestration order – it’s now $20,000
- an increase in the stay period afforded by a declaration of intention to present a debtor’s petition (Temporary debt protection) – it’s now six months.
The changes will remain in place until 31 December 2020. Further reforms are being proposed for implementation from 1 January 2021. Your Fix Bad Credit debt expert can keep you advised of any other changes to the bankruptcy legislation if and when they come into effect.