Your Options

You should get advice about what is best for you in your circumstances.

 

FORMAL OPTIONS

 

BANKRUPTCY – This may be the only option for some people. It is one way of quickly relieving the stress of keeping up with debts. We can help you with the paperwork. There are certain rules such as that you need the permission of the Trustee to travel overseas. Please call us for more information about this option.

DEBT AGREEMENT – You might qualify for a Debt Agreement (sometimes called Part 9 Debt Agreement). It is a convenient way to deal with your unsecured debts when they become too much of a burden. A Debt Agreement has a number of other things going for it, namely:

  • You avoid bankruptcy (although this is the best option for some people).
  • Interest is frozen so that your unsecured debts don’t keep spiralling.
  • You normally end up repaying less than your total unsecured debts.
  • You pay money in one place to cover all your unsecured debts.
  • How much you pay each time is a factor of how much you can afford. In other words, your lifestyle and living expenses are taken into account as there is no point in breaking you.
  • The administrators are regulated by the Australian Government.

PERSONAL INSOLVENCY AGREEMENT – Sometimes called a Part 10 Agreement, it is similar to a Part 9 Debt Agreement but is more involved. If your debts and assets are too high to qualify for a Debt Agreement, this is an option. This type of agreement must be administered by a Registered Trustee.

SECTION 73 COMPOSITION – This is for people who are already bankrupt but want an early release from their bankruptcy. It involves doing a deal with unsecured creditors through a formal process. Please call us for more information.

 

INFORMAL OPTIONS

 

Certain informal options will require negotiation with creditors.

CONSOLIDATION LOAN – This is an option for debtors with a limited number of debts of limited value.  This option is where you go to a lender and combine your debts into one loan. It can save you money on interest and bank charges.

VARIATION OF LOAN CONTRACT – You might be able to apply for a variation of your existing loan under the Uniform Consumer Credit hardship provisions.  This option requires negotiation with the creditor.

MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE – You might be able to apply to your existing lender and draw on your mortgage to pay your debts.  This option can save you interest and bank charges.

TEMPORARY HARDSHIP RELIEF – You might qualify for a temporary hardship relief. This is where the creditor, for example, freezes or lowers your repayments for a set period of time, typically between 2 to 6 months. This will give you the opportunity to catch up on your existing bills such as rent, electricity, water, gas and phone. This option requires negotiation with the creditor.

MORE TIME TO PAY – This is when the creditor gives you a breather by giving you extra time to pay. It is an opportunity to do something about your debts such as finding work, accessing a term deposit or selling assets to raise money to pay your debt. A possible advantage is that your credit rating might not be affected. This option requires negotiation with the creditor.

MONEY FROM YOUR SUPER – You might be eligible to gain early access to part of your super funds (generally up to $10,000.00 subject to possible tax) for limited purposes. The extra cash will give you the opportunity to use other money to catch up on the payment of other bills.

DEBT SETTLEMENT – This is where you offer a lump sum of money to settle a debt.  The money might be sourced from family or friends.  Or you might sell assets such as a car. This option requires negotiation with the creditor.

DEBT WAIVER – Some creditors will waive payment of a debt if you qualify because of illness, incapacity, etc.  This option requires negotiation with the creditor.

INTEREST WAIVER – Under this option, the credit waives payment of interest. This option requires negotiation with the creditor.

Remember, if you do nothing, creditors can take legal action. Once creditors get judgment, they can send in the sheriff to seize your assets, they can garnishee your wages or they can bankrupt you.

The Golden Rule is to get advice so that you decide what is best for you.