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Need Debt Help? Here Are Your Options

People find themselves in financial trouble for all kinds of reasons. In times of financial distress, it helps to know one’s options.
Debt Free Australia (DFA) has put together a list of the formal debt solution options available to you:

Debt Agreement

The first option for those seeking debt help is aDebt Agreement. A Debt Agreement is an arrangement between a debtor and his/her creditors that allows them to repay an agreed amount over a certain period of time. In many cases, debtors can settle their debts for less than what was originally owed. To learn more about Debt Agreements, click here.

Personal Insolvency Agreement (PIA)

A PIA is another legally binding agreement available for those seeking debt help. It is a similar arrangement to a Debt Agreement, but is suited to those with higher levels of debt and/or income. Only people who are genuinely struggling with their debt can enter into a PIA or DA. To learn more about PIAs, click here.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is an appropriate solution for debtors who have reached the point of no return. Although it has more serious consequences than the other options, it is a legitimate way for you to get out of debt, start fresh and move on with your life. To learn more about bankruptcy, click here.
DFA’s Registered Bankruptcy Trustees have years of experience in helping Australians along their bankruptcy journey. To speak to a Registered Trustee today, call 1800 676 598.

Don’t let it spiral out of control

The golden rule of dealing with debt is to act immediately after the warning signs appear. The worst thing you can do is brush it under the carpet and let your debt snowball out of control.

Call our free debt help hotline today

If you need professional debt help, contact DFA today.
We’ve helped thousands of Australians with their debt problems, so you can trust that we can help you too.
Our licensed financial advisers offer impartial and confidential advice for anyone looking for help with their debt. Call one of our insolvency experts now, free of charge, on 1800 676 598.

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How to Find the Right Debt Solution For You

While you may not be the only Australian struggling with personal debt issues, every person’s situation is different and so it is important to find the debt solution that is right for your individual circumstance.

However, finding the best option is easier said than done. There are many personal debt solutions available that can make this process very confusing and frustrating. This is why it is crucial that you enlist the help of an experienced and knowledgeable debt administrator who can assist you in determining the best option.

How to choose the best debt solution for your situation

There are many factors that you need to consider when choosing a debt solution.
You need to take into account:

1. How long the implications will last.

Every solution will last for a certain amount of time. For example, if you file for bankruptcy, you will be considered bankrupt for 3 years and 1 day. The time for a Debt Agreement can be between 3 to 5 years.

2. How it will affect your credit rating.

Your credit rating will be affected once you enter most debt solutions. However, each solution will have different effects on your credit file. Those who enter into a Debt Agreement or a Personal Insolvency Agreement will have a default placed on their credit file for a minimum of 5 years. The default for Bankruptcy is also 5 years.

3. Will your travelling be restricted?

There are certain debt solutions which will restrict your ability to freely travel, while there are others that won’t. Filing for bankruptcy will limit your ability to travel overseas without the prior written permission from your Trustee in Bankruptcy. With a Debt Agreement (for example) no written permission is required.

4. How it will affect your employment.

In some cases, some debt solutions will affect your current employment or ability to apply for other jobs. For example, if you have filed for bankruptcy, you will not be eligible to be a Gaming room employee, Justice of the Peace, Police Officer and more. This is why it is vital that you really research the full implications of each solution to lessen the effect on your future.

5. Which of your assets will be protected?

Depending on which debt solution you choose, some of your assets may be protected while some may not be. If you file for bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Act allows you to keep certain items such as most ordinary household goods.

At Debt Free Australia, we understand that the process of finding the right solution is difficult. This is why it is important to enlist the assistance of highly trained consultants who can take you through all your options and help you determine what is the best option for you. The consultants at Debt Free Australia are experienced, professional and passionate about helping Australians recover from debt troubles to lead a better financial afterlife.

To find out more about how we can help you, call us today on our toll-free advice line on 1800 676 598.

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Why A Debt Agreement Can Be A Better Option Than Bankruptcy

Are you struggling to repay your debts but want to avoid filing for bankruptcy? At Debt Free Australia, we can offer an alternative solution to mending your debt problems: through a Debt Agreement.

A Debt Agreement is a legal alternative to bankruptcy in which you arrange to pay a certain amount back to your unsecured creditors over a set period of time (generally 3 to 5 years).

Although entering into a Debt Agreement is an effective way to help resolve your debt problems and avoid the harsh repercussions of bankruptcy, it is important to be aware of the consequences associated with it.

Debt Agreement consequences include:

  • A listing of the Debt Agreement on your credit file for a minimum of 5 years (if the agreement runs for longer than 5 years, the listing will remain until it is completed).
  • Your name will be listed on the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) which is maintained by AFSA. This NPII is accessible by anyone upon paying a fee.

These consequences of a Debt Agreement are unavoidable, however, it is important to also look at the benefits in proposing this agreement, particularly when comparing it to bankruptcy – a far worse off scenario.
Some benefits include:

  • The interest on your unsecured debt will be frozen
  • You will not be restricted from travelling overseas
  • It does not require you to sell any assets, such as your home, that have available equity

Get in touch today

At Debt Free Australia, we have a registered Debt Agreement Administrator who can help with your Debt Agreement.

Call one of our qualified experts today for free on 1800 676 598. We will explain how the Debt Agreement is likely to affect you and assess whether it is a suitable option for you. You will not be charged a cent until we determine that you are fully eligible and able to propose a Debt Agreement, and of course, until you decide that you wish to go ahead.

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JobKeeper – advantages and disadvantages for your firm

The JobKeeper program provides a wage subsidy to workers up to $1,500 per fortnight to the end of September. Due to the surge of cases in Victoria and Melbourne city lockdown, the program has been extended to the 28th March 2021 with new pay rates. Below explores some advantages and disadvantages of applying (or reapplying) for JobKeeper:

Advantages

The JobKeeper program has been a lifesaver for many businesses as it offers both a financial and business boost. By avoiding redundancies you are able to keep people employed during harsh economic times which will reduce the cost of rehiring staff later down the track and allow you to retain talent. Furthermore, it offers a long term advantage by building employee loyalty and a stronger workplace culture where you have put their best interest at heart.

Disadvantages

A key disadvantage from the program is the potential of making future redundancies more costly as the employees will continue to accrue entitlements and annual leave. Where they are let go, these entitlements will have to be paid out from cash reserves or from non-existent profits. Something else to consider is the potential cash flow issues that may also arise as you will need to pay staff first before receiving the JobKeeper subsidy in arrears.

Overall, you should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the program before making the decision. If your business is struggling financially or you’re considering reapplying for JobKeeper and would like to learn more, please talk to Debt Free Australia for free and confidential advice on our 24/7 toll-free hotline on 1800 676 598.

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4 Business Trends To Watch Out For In 2020

With 2020 filled with many uncertainties, businesses worldwide have been forced to adapt to a new normal. It is crucial for your business to take advantage of these emerging trends as early as possible. Below are 4 business trends to watch out for:

1. Remote work is the new normal

Increasingly, businesses are embracing working from home in the long term. Businesses are noticing various benefits from this arrangement, such as reducing office space and not limiting hires based on geographic proximity.

2. Word of mouth and user reviews

With the majority of purchases now made online, consumers are turning towards purchases based on word of mouth (on their social media platforms) and user reviews. We will see more businesses investing in obtaining more user reviews for their products and services.

3. Changes in customer service

The disruption within the customer service industry has only accelerated the emerging trends. Businesses are starting to look into new ways to provide personalised services and experiences, through the use of tailored digital marketing and social media, compared to more traditional means such as phone and fax, streamlining the whole customer experience.

4. Big data

Having a big data strategy is crucial to ensuring a competitive edge. Ensuring you make the most out of your available data about customers and clients will dictate your marketing and business decisions.

Debt Free Australia is passionate about helping individuals and businesses get out of debt and prepare for a better financial future. If your business is struggling to adapt to the new normal or is looking for a fresh start please get in touch with our highly-trained advisors. Please call us on our 24/7 toll-free hotline on 1800 676 598 to speak to one of our friendly and professional debt relief consultants.

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Financial Planning in Business Response and Recovery

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted and continues to impact businesses and individuals in a multitude of ways. With unclear economic conditions and the full duration of the pandemic unknown, it has made planning harder than ever. Below are some starting points to consider when looking at business recovery or response:

1. Gaining a clear view of your starting point

It is important to have a clear view of the company’s starting position. The financial plan rolled out for this year and the next 18 months should consider advice from the financial planning team and experts that take into consideration current market and financial trends, and acknowledge changes as a result of the pandemic.

2. Identifying key threats and opportunities

The pandemic has drastically disrupted how businesses and the market operate. The long-lasting and unpredictable impact following the pandemic means businesses need to be prepared for any new opportunities and risks to ensure its long term survival.

3. Developing a range of scenarios

Developing three or four scenarios for how the pandemic might impact your business, from best to the worst case should be explored. Rather than trying to be overly precise, it is more important to use conservative estimates and assumptions.

4. Establishing a direction to action

You will need to decide which scenarios make the most sense to pursue and create a detailed financial plan around them. This will allow you to make a more informed recovery or response action plan. This can range from focusing on restoring business operations as quickly as possible to shaping a whole new business.

Debt Free Australia is passionate about helping individuals and businesses get out of debt and prepare for a better financial future. Our highly-trained consultants can help you carefully consider all of your debt solution options. Please call us on our 24/7 toll-free hotline on 1800 676 598 to speak to one of our friendly and professional debt relief consultants.

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How bankruptcy may affect your family home

You may be worried about what will happen to your family home when you declare bankruptcy. A Bankrupt’s home is not a protected asset under the Bankruptcy Act, meaning that a bankrupt’s interest in any property vests with the Bankruptcy Trustee. This means that the Bankruptcy Trustee can take full control of your interest in the property. However, the family home may not always be sold as it depends on the individual’s circumstances.

For example, the property can be jointly owned (i.e. the bankrupt owns 50% and the non-bankrupt spouse owns the other 50% interest), where the Bankruptcy Trustee will now deal with the 50% interest owned by the bankrupt. It is commonplace for the Bankruptcy Trustee to sell the bankrupt’s interest to the non-bankrupt spouse or another family member as it avoids unnecessary stress selling the family home and potential selling costs.

Another scenario is if your family home was purchased using protected money (e.g. superannuation funds, insurance or workers compensation payments) then it cannot be sold by a trustee to pay off debts.

Debt Free Australia are passionate about helping Australians get out of debt and prepare for a better financial future. If you are considering bankruptcy and would like to know more about the impact it may have on your family home then please contact us on our 24/7, toll-free hotline on 1800 676 598.

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How Debt Free Australia can provide you solutions to debt

At Debt Free Australia, we are passionate about helping Australians get out of debt and onto a financially secure future. We have been in operation since 2006 and during this time, we have helped thousands of Australians with their financial struggles and we know we can help you too.

Here are some other reasons why you can trust DFA with your debt problems.
 
1. We are fully licensed and insured as required by Australian Securities and Securities Commission
This means we are fully qualified to take on your case from the first moment you speak to us until the very end.
 
2. Our CEO is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant and a Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy
We are led by a licenced and registered insolvency practitioner so you know that you will be receiving the best insolvency services possible.
 
3. We offer a full suite of products
At DFA, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Every person’s situation is different and so would require a solution that addresses their specific needs. This is why DFA offers a range of products so that you can choose the one the best suits you.

The personal debt solutions that DFA provides are Bankruptcy (form filling service), Bankruptcy (Acting as your trustee), Debt Agreement and Personal Insolvency Agreement.
 
4. We offer FREE professional advice
We understand that it can be daunting making the first step to address your debts and we also know that it can be a stressful time for you.
At DFA, we want to reduce your financial burden and worry, not add to it, which is why we offer FREE expert advice to everyone who calls us.

We want to firstly make sure that we can assist you before we charge a fee, and we also want to help advise you on your best next step of action. Our phone call can also be confidential if you wish to remain anonymous.

If you would like to learn more about how DFA can assist you, then please contact us on our 24/7, toll-free hotline on 1800 676 598.

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Navigating Personal Insolvency – How Debt Free Australia Can Help

With the impact of COVID-19 is felt on the economy and individuals, the government has placed temporary relief measures, effective from 25 March 2020 to 25 September 2020, to lessen the impact on individuals and businesses.

The Government has made a number of changes to the personal insolvency system, including:

  • Temporarily increasing the threshold for the minimum amount of debt required for a creditor to initiative bankruptcy proceedings from $5,000 to $20,000;
  • Time for debtor to respond to a bankruptcy notice has increased from 21 days to 6 months;
  • and

  • The period of protection a debtor receives after lodging a declaration of intention to present a detector’s petition is extended from 21 days to 6 months.

In such financially uncertain times and with the recent changes to bankruptcy laws, you may find it difficult to navigate the personal insolvency landscape. Debt Free Australia is committed to reducing the impact of COVID-19 and will assist you find the debt solution that meets your individual needs. Where many businesses operating online may only offer one or two debt solutions, we offer the full suite of professional debt solutions ranging from personal insolvency agreements to filing for bankruptcy (for more information on offerings please click here). We will take the time to explain each option so you can select the one that best suits your needs to ensure you find relief during times of crisis.

Here at Debt Free Australia we always try to find the least severe financial solution before we consider bankruptcy. In the case where you find bankruptcy to be your best option, we offer a service where we will assist you to complete the bankruptcy forms for a once off fee starting from $600 as we recognise completely the forms by yourself can be overwhelming and that money may be tight right now.

DFA are passionate about helping Australians get out of debt and prepare for a better financial future. Please contact us on our 24/7 toll-free hotline on 1800 676 598 to speak to one of our friendly and professional debt relief consultants.

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What is debt consolidation and how can you benefit from it?

Debt consolidation is when you consolidate (i.e. combine) all your debts, such as existing loans, credit card balances and borrowings into a single loan. This means you will only need to make one repayment, one interest and one set of loan fees.

What are some benefits of debt consolidation?

  • To secure a lower interest rate. If you have credit cards the interest rates are generally higher than the rates for debt consolidation; and
  • To reduce the number of payments you have to manage each month. By combining them all together it saves you the hassle of multiple organising payments each month.
  • It can help you boost your credit rating. Your credit rating is impacted by various factors. If you are unable to pay your credit cards on time it can negatively affect your payment history which has a large stake in your credit rating.

It is important that before you apply for a debt consolidation loan you compare the interest rates of your current debts and see how they compare. Consolidating debt with a personal loan will only benefit you if the new loan has favourable terms and a lower interest rate than your current debt. Before you enter the new loan it is crucial that you carefully assess if you can afford the loan to avoid putting yourself into further debt.

If you would like more information about debt consolidation or are looking for alternative options then give us a call on 1800 676 598. Our personal debt advisors help you find a debt solution appropriate to suit your needs.

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