Bankruptcy and Debt Agreement Information, Australia wide
Fred Appleton - Semi retired
Former Chartered Accountant
Having been through bankruptcy myself I can tell you that:
- bankruptcy brings peace of mind
- bankruptcy will quickly cancel your debt, including tax, credit card, and personal guarantees debt (but not Centrelink debt if it's somehow considered fraud, child support, HECS, or a court imposed fine, like a traffic fine)
- the debt collectors calls will stop, and they won’t come to your door either
- Unlike Debt Agreements debt which just seems to cling on and on and on any debt cancelled by your bankruptcy is gone forever. You don't have to start paying it again once your bankruptcy has finished.
- You’ll find that bankruptcy won’t keep you broke either, you'll be able to start saving again
- you're not likely to lose your car but you've got to keep paying for it
- you can go overseas while you are bankrupt (you've got a few i's to dot and a few t's to cross, but it will happen. Other websites wrongly say that you can't.)
- you don't have to go to court to voluntarily go bankrupt
- Bankruptcy does not make your credit rating look any worse than going into a Debt Agreement does.
- nor is it likely to be in the newspapers. Your bankruptcy remains very private
- the old you will return, you'll soon be sleeping well again
- you're not likely to get a visit from your bankruptcy trustee
- in my view bankruptcy is not the so called last resort, not by a long shot. Make up your own mind as you keep reading this website, and work out for yourself whether or not it’s the very best thing that could happen to you right now.
- Bankruptcy won’t stop you being able to rent. The secret is just keep being a good tenant. Unlike being tied up in a Debt Agreement, if you’re bankrupt you’ll have more money in your pocket, so paying rent will be easier.
Bankruptcy may save your house too. I've written more about this a bit further on and at www.bankruptcyandhouses.com.au. If this is one of your concerns, left click on the link and go there now. Come back later and keep going through this site. You'll identify yourself so much.
Some people tell me that bankruptcy gives them back their freedom.I think that that's right too.
Hello, my name is Fred Appleton, I'm a former Chartered Accountant and I've been through bankruptcy myself when a number of years ago I tried to diversify my business interests. The wheels fell off and it knocked me over.
Since then, I have just specialised in supplying information on bankruptcy, and later on Debt Agreements , all over Australia, and overseas too, but only from the point of view of the person owing the money, you. In that time I've helped thousands of people, just like us, to sort out their debt problems and so be able to get on with their lives. The testimonials that you'll read here are true, some are a few years old now, but they keep coming in.
Apart from the government's webpage, this is the longest running bankruptcy service on the internet in Australia. I actually started to advertise the site on Google on 19-09-02. Nothing else on Google gets within a bulls roar of that. In the early days I relied on newspapers.
There's a lot to read here so why not save it in your Favorites or Bookmark it now? Don't forget to hit Refresh each time you come back to read a bit more.
Bankruptcy quickly gets rid of the debt collectors' telephone calls and harassment. Solicitors will stop writing to you. Your smile will return and you'll be easier to live with. Your debt won't always be on your mind. That was my experience anyway and I'm often told that that's still true today.
Bankruptcy won't send you broke either, because the government says that even without dependents, you'll always keep as spending money at least the first $1,024.63 of your pay that goes into your bank account each week (that's net, its after tax and after child support). Bankruptcy tries to help you to get back on your feet and on with your life. It's not the so called last resort. That sort of talk is just wrong, but you'll hear it from people who don't know any better, or from people who want to get you into something else, like a Debt Agreement. Talking about bankruptcy being the last resort is, in my view, an old fashioned scare tactic, the sort that my grandmother would use.
The minimum $1,024.63 per week is the same as $2,049.25 per fortnight or $4,440.04 per month. In bankruptcy terms they're called Threshold Amounts. If you earn more, you get to keep 50% of the extra amount too, ie, 50% of the profit. That's not too bad at all, the government is giving you a chance not only to get out of debt but also to start again, to get back on your feet and get on with your life, hardly the last resort sort of thing is it?
You don’t get any chances like this in Debt Agreements. I think that it’s one of the reasons why a Debt Agreement could keep you broke.
With Bankruptcy, you'll be out of debt so you'll be able to think about saving the deposit for something worthwhile further down the track.
There’s a couple of debts that bankruptcy won’t cancel, debts like child support, HECS and a court imposed fine. Centrelink debt is not cancelled if it’s the result of fraud, however if you go into a Debt Agreement, you’ve got to keep paying it.
The $1,024.63 per week figure increases if you've got dependents. With 1 dependent it becomes $1,209.06, with 2 it becomes $1,301.27, with 3 it becomes $1,352.51 with 4 it becomes $1,373, and over 4 it becomes $1,393.49. These are the amounts announced by the government in September 2014
These amounts are always yours, anything over that you split 50/50 with your bankruptcy during the 3 year term of your bankruptcy. After 3 years the 50% bit is finished, but with a Debt Agreement the government seem happy to let you keep paying for longer than that. Can you understand why I say that Debt Agreements could keep you broke.
In reality, that means that as a bankrupt you can earn as much as you like during the 3 year term of your bankruptcy. There's nothing stopping you. Go out and make a "$$$$million" or whatever that is to you, but save it, don't buy any big assets with it, in bankruptcy terms that would be an after acquired asset, and your bankruptcy trustee could take it and sell it. For 3 years, keep it in the bank
Don't worry about the 50% payable to your bankruptcy trustee. If you're in that income bracket then congratulate yourself, being debt free you'll be well on the way to getting back on your feet and on with your life.
If you're likely to be paying the 50% then we'll have a chat to you about Bankruptcy Trustees. If you are asked to pay in more than the 50%, then I suggest you query it and object to the amount that you're told to pay in, because if you pay in more than the 50%, and your circumstances change then the bankruptcy does not have to refund it to you. Keep your eye on what's happening here. I'm trying to find out more about this.
I've seen a bankruptcy website say that there are restrictions on how much a bankrupt can earn. That's garbage, there are no restrictions on what income you can earn, don't let bankruptcy slow you down if you've got it in you to get going again.
That particular website, which I thought seemed to be trying to put bankrupts down a bit, and was really trying to get you to become involved in what is called a Debt Agreement . Not matter what they look like, MOST of them do. That's probably because there are good profits to be made by the promoters and administrators if you do so, as you keep paying them for years and years and years, money that as a bankrupt you could be saving.
To be fair, I think that debt agreements have been manipulated a bit so they don’t appear to me to be working the way that was intended, so be careful or you might end up making somebody else rich whilst number 1, you, stays poor and miserable. (Regrettably some sharp operators have also set up some bankruptcy help websites. If you’re tempted by them, make them stick to what their websites say that they’ll charge you, otherwise you might find yourself being conned. You’ll find that our prices are what we say they are further on in the website, they’ve been that way for a couple of years now, and we stick to them)
Not too long ago I helped a lady get out of a debt agreement, and go bankrupt instead. She was just staying very poor paying $200 a week to her debt agreement people.She told me that she was very upset when she then found out that the debt agreement people had paid themselves about $7,000 out of the $200 a week that she had been struggling to pay them over the last year or so.
I cover Debt Agreements more in Bankruptcy Information Note 3 - Debt Agreements Click - Debt Agreements on the bar across the top of this home page, and see what I’ve written. Do the work sheets too, they’ll open your eyes wide
Don't be surprised to find that in your own heart you feel that you can't afford a Debt Agreement, from the ones that cross my desk, mostly they'll keep you broke.
If you're in a debt agreement already, but really want out, then flick an email to me personally at email@example.com and we'll go through the procedure
As a bankrupt you can have a car with your net equity in it worth $7,500. That value's wholesale, it's about what really a car dealer would pay you if you sold the car to him or through a car auction. If you owe money on the car, the $7,500 is your net equity in the car after deducting what you owe from the value of the car. If the car is owned in joint names and you both go bankrupt, then wholesale the car can be worth $15,000 that’s $7,500 twice
Say you own a car worth $20,000 (wholesale) and you still owe $16,000 on it to a finance company who has a Bill of Sale over the car as security. In that sort of scenario then your net equity in the car is the $4,000. As that's below the $7,500 value that you can have, then your bankruptcy trustee won't take the car off you.
In a case like this, if you are up to date with your repayments when you go bankrupt, and can stay up to date with them while you are bankrupt, then you'd be able to keep the car even though you are bankrupt.
Similarly, if the car was only worth say $12,000 wholesale and you owed the $15,000 to the finance company under a Bill of Sale, then your net equity is then a minus figure, (minus $3,000) which is below plus $7,500, so the same scenario would apply. If you're up to date with your repayments when you go bankrupt, and can stay up to date, then I expect that you'd keep the car.
However, let's say the car was worth the $20,000 wholesale mentioned above, but the $16,000 owing was not secured by a Bill of Sale, the loan on the car was unsecured. For bankruptcy purposes you've now got a car worth $20,000. Your bankruptcy trustee would then take the car off you and sell it. From the proceeds he would return $7,500 to you so that you could buy yourself another car, and the balance would go into your bankruptcy, and be treated as has been previously described. You wouldn't owe the $16,000 anymore either, it becomes an unsecured debt, just like a credit card, and so is not owed by you any more, your bankruptcy takes care of it. Despite what some debt collectors may try and tell you, you won’t have to start paying for it again once your 3 years of bankruptcy is finished either.
If after taking all of the above into account the value of your car is over the $7,500 then in some cases your bankruptcy trustee may allow somebody on your behalf to pay the estimated difference into your bankruptcy, and so then the trustee does not have to sell the car. If you call me or Steve about this then give one of us a call at 1300 794 492 and we’ll see what we can do for you.
To get an idea of what your car's wholesale value, my advice is to enter something like, cars, wholesale prices in your search engine and check out in a few of the sites what your car would be worth. For bankruptcy purposes it's definitely not worth what the dealers are asking, or what it's insured for.
If you want to hand the car back, then do so, even after bankruptcy. If it's secured the finance company can't then ask you to pay any more repayments, or losses that they incur selling the car. Bankrupts rarely lose their cars because they've gone bankrupt. Having no other debt to pay off, or a lot lot less debt, helps you to be able to afford to keep your car.
In all of the years that I've been involved in giving information about bankruptcy, in over thousands and thousands and thousands of people, I've only known 4 of them to lose their cars as a result of going bankrupt, and that was years ago. Honestly, if you want to keep your car, and can afford to keep it, then invariably you won't lose it by going bankrupt.
Contrary to what some people might tell you, bankruptcy does not prevent you from travelling overseas whilst bankrupt. You just have to apply to your bankruptcy trustee for permission to go. You'll get it, but there are some forms to fill in and in a few cases some hoops to jump through, but overwhelmingly you'll get the permission. From 1st April 2014 the Government charge $150 to apply for permission to travel overseas whilst you are bankrupt.
This is part of a thank you email that arrived in May 2014. This lady is still bankrupt but she’s getting back on her feet and on with her life AND has been to the UK to see her children.
With bankruptcy, as far as you are concerned your credit card debt and personal loan debt and tax debt etc get cancelled, unless it's proved that there's fraud involved. To my mind fraud is fraud, ie, the intent was never there to pay back the money spent. That clearly is not the case with the overwhelming majority of people who email and ring me. I don't know when I last thought that I was dealing with a crook.
Time and time again I'm told that we've really tried so hard to pay our debts, and often have got as much relief as is on offer, but at the end of the day it hasn't helped, we just can't do it anymore. If that's you, it's a common scenario. Bankruptcy will fix it so you don't have to be miserable and live in debt, life's meant to be better than that. You're meant to smile and whistle and sing, when did you last do that? After bankruptcy you will again.
This is from an email received in October 2012
Hello Fred and team, I don't usually do letters but I thought I must in this case. My self and my wife struggled with some serious personal debts for about 3 years, details of which are irrelevant for this letter. We couldn't sleep, we were living like paupers, marriage was touchy at times with the stress, embarrassment, regret, self doubt etc etc, we were counting every cent, banks were absolutely no help, they were happy to lose their money to bankruptcy rather than work out a payment plan with us.
We had financial planning with a free community planner, he recommended bankruptcy. Our pride would not let us go bankrupt so we struggled on for another 12 months and getting further in debt until we totally ran out of options. We sought information on bankruptcy from all the government websites and other official offices and just didn't feel comfortable enough with the information to go ahead or what the "real" ramifications were going to be.
By total chance we came across your website and must have read it word for word 10 times and thought this is too good to be true, it's some sort of scam to get money, frankly we couldn't believe what we were reading. (sorry to interrupt, but be careful as there are some shonky websites out there pretending to be able to help).
Your website answered ALL my concerns, the process seemed too easy and the sky wasn't going to fall. I spoke to Steve a couple of times and he made some recommendations relevant to our situation, we researched a bit more and couldn't fault what we had been told so we took a big deep breath and applied for bankruptcy with the help of Helen. Your team made the process as easy as possible and it all went smoothly.
We are now 12 months in and must admit have been expecting some twists and turns along the way from someone or some official dept but it hasn't come, your information was spot on! We are now saving money again and enjoying life much more while still watching our pennies, our marriage is as good as it has ever been and life is good again.
If we hadn't come across your website and then had the guts to go ahead with your recommendations I'm not sure where we would be today.
Thankyou to you and your team for giving us back a life.
Then there was a follow up in November 2012.......
Since going bankrupt only 12 months ago I have picked up a reasonable paying job working about 50 hours a week,........ My wife has picked up 4 part time jobs which helps as well.
No one said it would be easy but you just have to get on with it, and we are!
Yes you are welcome to use my letter .......as I know what hope they gave us when we were deep in the mire searching for some REAL information.
However, fees and charges and penalties might push your debt past that amount, but the debt collector is supposed to provide you with a full breakup of the amount owing. Have they done that to you?
For any debt though, whether it's over or under $5,000, the debt collector can take you to court and get what is called a Judgement against you, and then they can come to your home and repossess certain goods and sell them, and also go to your employer and garnishee your wages, ie, legally force your employer to pay them some of your wages. I mention more on this later. Bankruptcy stops this sort of thing happening. If you've had court papers served on you, don't muck around, the problem won't go away, ring or email me or Steve now at firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise you'll lose some of your wages quick smart. Your boss could be peeved off too because the garnishee on your wages means that he'll have to do extra work.
If you choose to go bankrupt using one of my services, then overwhelmingly, in about a week or so, you'll virtually be debt free. Quite often you'll be completely and absolutely debt free. You can start again.
Bankruptcy really does give you the chance to start again, to get back on your feet, and so you'll be able to get on with your life.
Hello Fred, I wish to thank you. If it were not for your website I would not be the happy person I am today. I am now "declared" bankrupt. I do not see this as an answer...rather a new life where I will strive to be the best I can. Sincerely I thank you.
Our service and fees.
Unlike other websites, we publish our real fees here. We’ve done so for years and the amounts haven’t changed.
They don’t and won’t go up because the information that you provide now for some reason changes things.
Because people sometimes caught by what other websites claim have then came to us we know of situations where an advertised fee of about $400-$500 became $10,000, and then another one came saying that their cheap fee became $7,000 ( true).
On another occasion a person gave his credit card details, and overnight all of his credit cards were cleaned out.
I think that that is happening because right now, people like you (and me at the time) are naturally very worried and so are quite vulnerable. In a nutshell some of these prominent websites seem simply to be trying to take advantage of you while you’re vulnerable.
So, if you’re a bit concerned about what you’re being told about fees, if you want a second opinion, why not give us a call?
We can prepare all of the paperwork for your bankruptcy no matter who you use as your bankruptcy trustee, wherever you are in Australia, or overseas. We're an honest and experienced team.
I started helping people with bankruptcy information over the internet in 2002. After I went bankrupt I could recognise what wasn't out there in a form that we needed to know. Through this website I have tried to put it right.
We do everything with you over the internet and by phone. You don't have to come to an office. You remain completely anonymous to us, which means that there's no embarrassment or discomfort if we happen to see each other, either now or later.
You'll find that we're not judgemental. I've been exactly where you are right now, and from talking to people now, it's no different.
Generally speaking if you decide to use our service we can have you bankrupt and out of debt very quickly. With our service over the internet you can start going bankrupt in a couple of hours' time, today.
You can be out of debt and so be able to get on with your life in a week or two. The decision to start is yours, always yours. You're always in charge. We will not harass you.
You choose the sort of service that is most appropriate for you.
We have a Do it yourself service for $440. With some assistance from us, it's as the name implies, you do it yourself.
If you ask us to prepare your bankruptcy forms and paperwork for you then our fee is $880, generally payable in two instalments. Ask for time to pay if you need to. We do the lot for you. This is our most popular service. From the fee that you pay us, we pay Helen Millward the accountant who prepares all of the paperwork, you don’t.
There is a discount if both husband and wife go bankrupt using the above $880 service. In that case two bankruptcies will cost $1265, not $1,760.
If it's a "Save the House" matter (see www.bankruptcyandhouses.com.au) we charge a flat $2,299 whether it entails one joint owner going bankrupt, or both. In other words, the one $2,299 can cover two bankruptcies. It does save the house.
You can pay by instalments with any of these services if you wish.
Sometimes because of the nature of your particular matter there's an extra page or two needed, so in that case there is an extra fee of $110 per page. Not many bankruptcies incur that extra fee, and if they do I rarely see where there were more than 1 or 2 extra pages involved. It’s not like you’re not handing us an open cheque book
If you're already in a debt agreement and now find it unaffordable and you want out, then that's easy. If you don't make any payments for 6 months then by law the debt agreement is automatically cancelled. Despite whate they may claim the debt agreement company can't make you pay it.
If you want to cancel an existing debt agreement quicker than waiting the six months, stop making the payments and then simply WRITE to your Debt Agreement Administrator and ask that the debt agreement be cancelled. They might kick and scream but they can't make you continue paying them. You can't be refused, the 6 months bit is simply Bankruptcy Law. The debt agreement cancellation process will take place.
If you choose to, once the debt agreement is cancelled you can then go bankrupt. We'll happily do the paperwork for you for this, over the internet or through the post. Most people ask us to help them with the bankruptcy paperwork while they are waiting for the debt agreement cancellation to take place, so that they can then go bankrupt and get out of debt almost immediately. We don't charge to help you to get out of a debt agreement, we only charge you if we help you with your bankruptcy paperwork, mostly that will cost you $880.
As all of this may take a month or two, then this helps to take the pressure off you and so you can start saving again.
If you decide that you'd like to talk to somebody about going bankrupt, or cancelling an existing Debt Agreement and you'd perhaps like to use one of my services to help you with all of the paperwork, just call 1300 794 492 and ask for Fred or Steve, or you can get this started now with an email to email@example.com , give us a contact telephone number to call back please.
Bankruptcy can turn things around for you, it can be so positive. You'll probably understand this too, but from what people say to me now, and have told me over the years, I'm certain that bankruptcy saves lives, and marriages too.
This email came in in February 2012
.....and then in November 2012 another email from the same guy
Debt is a cancer, but it can quickly be removed.
The so called Stigma of Bankruptcy
You might be interested in reading this testimonial that came to me, unsolicited, in April 2006.
"The relief that I felt 3 years ago filing for bankruptcy is now only matched by the end of my bankruptcy. It went so fast. What can I say other than you stop people from living in shame and pain with your knowledge. Don't ever doubt that you aren't helping people. Thanks..."
No mention anywhere of the so called stigma of bankruptcy is there?
Here's an extract from an email to me from a lady who used this service to go bankrupt. It may strike a chord with you and where you're about at at the moment.
On (such and such a date) I handled all my papers, duly filled in and signed, to my local ITSA (now AFSA) office.I cried when doing this. The lady behind the counter said gently "It'll be all right" I said "This is a big thing I am doing". I walked back to work and in the 15 minutes for me to complete the walk, a change came over me…Relief, peace…
Thank you for providing such a valuable service. Thanks you for helping me to understand that going bankrupt is not avoiding my responsibilities (I had felt so much guilt about this!!), but is a very valid option to create relief, peace. I will refer people to your services.
and unless I'd told them, nobody seemed to know about it.
(It took me a bit longer for the feeling of Relief, peace that this lady refers to, to happen, about 3 to 4 weeks I'd say. By then I'd realized that the phone calls and harassment had stopped, and that the roof hadn't caved in)
Once you've made up your mind you could be bankrupt and out of debt in about a week. We can quickly get your paperwork done for you, and if you choose to, you can actually start going bankrupt in an hour or two today.
If you email firstname.lastname@example.org then please include your telephone contact details in your email, and a run-down of your debt, what you do for a living and what amount generally goes into your bank account on payday, tell me about your car, its year and model, and what you still think that you owe on it, and apart from ordinary household stuff, whether you've got any other assets like a house or a speedboat or a racehorse etc. You'll then hear from one of us fairly quickly.
Thank-you for all your help this year and yes I am well on my way to getting on with my life.
As you know bankruptcy is a very personal matter and not broadcasted about, but the relief it brings to people like myself makes me want to broadcast to everyone how great it feels to be able to live an almost normal life without the worry and unforgiving pressure brought on with unmanageable debts.
I do know that if I ever hear of anybody going under or suffering unnecessarily because of debt I will certainly discretely put them onto your website.
Thank-you and your team at Nicholls & Co for giving me back my life and I sincerely wish you all a wonderful 2010.
(received 31 12 09)
For those worried about bankruptcy and retirement then overwhelmingly with bankruptcy your super is safe, regardless of how much is in it. It's protected by bankruptcy unless you've done something shonky, like loading it up with contributions just before you went bankrupt so that that money wasn't available to pay your creditors. That might have trouble passing the smell test.
If you've put money into super in the ordinary course, even big amounts, then overwhelmingly, in bankruptcy, your super is safe. Leave it there until after you go bankrupt though. Bankruptcy and pensioners or retirees is generally a pretty good fit.
In bankruptcy, always use your common sense, so have a good think before, while you are under so much pressure and stress, you rush in and take your superannuation out to pay your creditors. You might need it later in your retirement, which is where the government wants it then, so bankruptcy right now might be a better option.
Here's a testimonial, quite unsolicited.
Fred, you helped me sort out the terrible mess I was in three years ago with a KISS "Keep it Simple Solution" to go bankrupt. I am on a good income but my financial choices and their interest rates totally screwed me i.e. one credit card paying off another credit card! In the end the attitude shown by finance companies towards struggling customers was disgusting. Frankly, they just don't give a damn.
Can I say that this (bankruptcy) was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time, it allowed me to get back up onto my feet again and start saving again.
Understanding the reasons why and avoiding getting into bad debt now has totally changed my financial outlook for the future…. And what a kick start! It's now been three years and I am officially discharged.
ITSA was so quick and understanding when creditors kept on sending me letters. They fixed the problem promptly. If you are in bad debt, get out of it now, you will never, I repeat never, regret it!
Keep up this great service to the Australian battlers Fred.
and another one...
"G'day Fred, I am now bankrupt and rebuilding my life. Your course made it extremely simple and you answered my extra questions promptly and with no fuss. Your guidance let me do it cheaply and knowing the ramifications of everything I did, which is more than I can say for the lawyers who I spoke to prior to finding you.
Thanks heaps for your help, it's not a great feeling to be bankrupt, but it
sure beats avoiding opening mail or answering the phone.
"Hi there Fred, just wanted to advise you of my progress since bankruptcy. This year I have bought a lovely house and now have a new lease on life. Thanks for your help. I haven't forgotten you."
In Bankruptcy Information Note 3 - Debt Agreements and Bankruptcy Information Note 4 - General Bankruptcy Information you'll also read about Nick Crouch and Shabnam Amirbeaggi, Chartered Accountants who I ask readers to call direct if you consider that your matter is in the larger business category or you've got a company with assets, anywhere in Australia, and so you feel that my website may not be so appropriate for your problem. After Nick, or Shabnam, a partner of the firm, has spoken to you, come back to me and I'll do the paperwork for your bankruptcy.
The telephone number of Crouch Amirbeaggi is 02 8262 9333 and their address is Level 403, 55 Lime Street, King St Wharf, Sydney 2000, and their email is email@example.com Nick and Shabnam are there for bigger company and business matters. You can read about some of their jobs on their website www.bankruptcy.net.au
If you are also involved as a director of a Pty Limited company then in some cases some of the company tax debts for employees tax deductions not paid to the tax office, and employees superannuation contributions can become yours. Director Penalty Notices are a real issue. If this is part of your problem then I suggest that you email us about it quick smart at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bankruptcy will cancel them, but move quick
Later on you'll also read more about travelling overseas if you are bankrupt. There's a huge amount of wrong information about this in the community, and on other websites wanting your business.
Despite what some websites and accountants might say, in about 10,000 bankruptcies I've only known of a few cases where the person going bankrupt had to hand their passport to their bankruptcy trustee. Overwhelmingly you don't. If you do, you get it back again to go overseas. It's not an issue but the debt agreement salesmen sometimes try to make out that it is..
Basically speaking, if you are overseas and want to go bankrupt in Australia, you have to be here to do it, and have an Australian address and/or have some business connection here. It's called a connection to Australia. My system can get the paperwork done for you though before you arrive.
To go back overseas you have to get the permission of your bankruptcy trustee. You'll get it, but to be on the safe side, allow about 2 weeks here for it all to happen.
Throughout these pages I talk about your credit rating a lot. Bankruptcy and a Debt Agreement and a Personal Insolvency Agreement all damage your credit rating with the commercial credit rating agencies for 5 years (previously 7 years) so you will find it hard, but not always impossible, to get a loan again in that time. You won't get a loan from a reputable source during the three years of your bankruptcy. Sometimes I hear that although a person still has some of their 5 years of bad credit rating left, that they have been able to get a loan again….When I followed it through the common threads is that during the 3 years of their bankruptcy they’ve been able to save, and so had a decent deposit. As I say throughout this website, make yourself worth lending to.
At the end of your bankruptcy in 3 years time, the whole banking and financial world will probably be different (it's different now to what it was 3 years ago), and there'll be thousands more people going through bankruptcy along the way by then, so if you're looking for a car loan or a housing loan then, while you've still got some of the 2 years of a bad credit rating, just see what's around.
Be worth lending to that's the secret. Use the time that you're bankrupt to save up. The more deposit you've got, the more that you're likely to be helped, but be prepared to have to sit out the 5 years. I did, and I got a credit card again after my 7 years (as it was then) was up. I didn't want one (does that sound familiar?) but for an overseas trip the tour company said that I needed one.
You can save your income in the account that it went into as wages or salary, or another account, and it should be safe from your bankruptcy trustee, as its income. However, any other monies going into these accounts, like lottery winnings or gifts to you, can be claimed by your bankruptcy trustee during the 3 year term of your bankruptcy. During this 3 year period, keep using your common sense.
Hold your head up high, you're one of a big crowd. You're about to start getting back on your feet and on with your life. Somewhere along the line the wheels fell off, that's all.
Back to Debt Agreements for a minute
This is an extract from an email that I received on 21st September 2009…….
If I went into a debt agreement I'd make sure that the repayment arrangements are, from my point of view, workable. I'd consider that bankruptcy was always my other option.
Debt agreements and Personal Insolvency Agreements are possibly good in some circumstances, but overwhelmingly I've got my doubts with others. Again, if it were me I'd ask myself if bankruptcy could be a far better option.
Information about Personal Insolvency Agreements is in Alan Nicholls website, www.nichollsco.com.au. The Nicholls & Co telephone number is 02 6766 9245, so give them a call direct. My clients have been helped by Alan Nicholl's office since the early days of my then Chartered Accountancy practice, since about the early to mid 1970's. Alan does not, and never has paid me a commission or anything like that for any matter where I was the accountant involved. Neither for that matter has Nick Crouch or Shabnam Amerbiaggi who I mentioned earlier. What's more, I've never sought one.
For years and years and years they have simply paid me for having their firms name and details shown on my website. A normal and ethical business arrangement. That way Fred Appleton can not have, nor does have, any undue influence on the decisions and procedures adopted by their firms, nor they over me. I thought that you might feel more comfortable to know that. Steve or myself make it our business to visit these firms at least once a year, and so it helps us to keep our bankruptcy finger on the pulse.
A lot of people tell me that they do want to pay their debts, but they can't at the moment, and the system is just putting unreal and unrealistic pressure and demands on them. If this is you, there’s nothing stopping you from starting to pay people back later, when you’re back on your feet and getting on with your life. You don’t have to, but you can, it’s all up to you. Check out what I did about this in Bankruptcy Information Note 2 - Your Income and Assets.
I was sent an article out of the Canberra Times (page 24) dated May 20, 2006 (and it would still be applicable) headed Petrol Prices, interest rates pushing more Australians into financial crisis. It gave an example of what can happen under new debt recovery laws introduced in late 2005. It seems that this law change applies Australia wide.
The example showed that a person on a wage of $600 a week could be left with just $272 after their wages had been garnisheed by a creditor, ie, after the sheriff's been around and a creditor has taken you through the legal system, you could be left with just $272 a week to live on, week after week, month after month. Today the figure might be slightly different, but not by much. I still get emails and telephone calls telling me that it's happening.
I think that it's worth noting here that bankruptcy, or entering into a debt agreement , would prevent this happening. If the person above was bankrupt, they would have been able to keep the $600 in full. In my view bankruptcy law is more humane than debt collection law. If they were earning $991 a week, they would have been able to keep the lot.
Going bankrupt here from overseas.
Doing this has got a few rules so we suggest that you ring the Australian Government Australian Financial Security Authority toll free as follows:
From Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom the International Prefix is 00 and the Toll Free number is 800 8001 8811.
From Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand the International Prefix is 001 and the Toll Free number is 800 8001 8811.
From Japan the International Prefix is 010 and the Toll Free number is 800 8001 8811.
From Canada, United States of America the International Prefix is 011 and the Toll Free number is 800 8001 8811.
From Taiwan the International Prefix is 002 and the Toll Free number is 800 8001 8811.
We’re quite happy to do the paperwork for you once you’ve made the call.
Renting as bankrupt
You'll read in other bankruptcy websites, probably as a bit of a put down on us, that if you are bankrupt you may have trouble renting. Note that the word may is used, not the word will. See why I say that it's a bit of a put down. Again I have also noted that these websites really try to push you towards a Debt Agreement .
The secret seems to be, be a good renter.
The word on the street that I hear is that a landlord is more interested in what your previous landlord’s agents will say about you. In all of the years that I’ve been involved in bankruptcy nobody has ever rung me and said that they’ve been forced to camp under a bridge.
In bankruptcy, don't break the law, but use your common sense. If I were going to go bankrupt then I'd make sure that I didn't go bankrupt owing money to my service providers. I reckon that that would stop life becoming just that much harder. Before I went bankrupt I'd pay things like gas, electricity, telephone, rent etc before I went, but I wouldn't use my credit card though.
If you're not too sure how to do get and print out this additional information, just put your mouse pointer on the relevant Information Note listed under menu at the top right hand side of this home page, and click.
Up until now bankruptcy has probably been new and frightening to you, and there's a staggering amount of misinformation and pressure on you out there about it. As you read these notes I'll simply try to give you information and answers. Because I've been where you are at now, you'll identify with a lot of what I say, you'll feel much better.
Print out the other testimonials in Bankruptcy Information Note 6 - Bankruptcy Testimonials, they are worth reading too. They're all real, and are just a sample of what I regularly receive.
As I've said before if, after reading all of the information on this website you feel like getting in touch, by all means do so.
You're under no obligation if you make contact. If you don't have email then you can make contact by post. The address is:
Fred Appleton's Office,
PO Box 588,
Helensvale QLD 4212.
My colleague Helen Millward will be in touch. She's a Chartered Accountant, that's her post box. Some years ago Helen and her husband Tim were partners with me in the firm Appleton Millward & Co, Chartered Accountants. Helen does all my paperwork, she has done so for about 10 years or more.
Toll free 1300 794 492. We'll call you back as soon as we can.
The office direct is.....02 66 524 799 or 02 66 511 311. I’d be happy to call you back so that I picked up the cost of the call.
If you're an accountant or a solicitor and you think that my website could be a useful bankruptcy information tool to add to the links shown on your website, then by all means please go ahead and establish the link. I often hear that a caller's accountant has asked their client to read this website, and then call me.
I've found that accountants and solicitors generally know more about tax and GST and contracts and conveyancing than they do about bankruptcy. It's refreshing to find that we have been recommended.
The two other insolvency websites that Steve and I sometimes refer to and we meet with the principals as well, as there’s always a lot to discuss, are:
Nicholls & Co. www.nichollsco.com.au
Crouch Amirbeaggi www.bankruptcy.net.au
Thanks for coming here in the first place, at the end of the day I hope that it helps.