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Gary is 69 these days and in his email Fred Appleton’s office in June, 2016 he explained he had a heart attack 15 years previously which he was lucky to survive and had been working as a lawn mowing contractor for many years.

The main problem was over the years he had needed some time off and unfortunately his credit card and bank debt had blown out to $80k to $100k.

Gary explained to Steve Appleton on the phone the following day that he was from the old school where a man paid his debts ’no matter what’ and that as a services veteran he had expected something from the pensioner bonus scheme only to discover when he applied that he did not qualify due to lodging his claim after the cut off date.

Steve Appleton gently pointed out to Gary that despite him wanting to honour his debts in practical terms his debts were unpayble as there were not enough hours in the day for him to earn the money to cover his credit card and bank bills.

Steve suggested that Gary’s health and well-being needed to take priority at some point and that perhaps the time had come for him to let the debt go.

Gary explained that he had survived a war as a soldier in Vietnam as a young bloke, much later he had had a close shave with the grim reaper with his heart attack and that he not only needed but deserved to be able to retire in his 70’s with dignity, draw the pension, take a rest and enjoy retirement.

Steve explained to Gary that he would not have to retire just yet (if he didn’t want to)  he could continue as a lawn contractor with his ABN and his mowers and edgers would be protected as ‘Tools of Trade’ in bankruptcy because as second hand items they were not worth more than about $3,000.

By the end of the conversation Gary could see for the first time in years what life would be like in his 70’s…..he was smiling.

Steve arranged for the Fred Appleton bankruptcy questionnaires to be emailed to Gary at the end of their conversation.

Gary completed the questionnaires within a few days and returned them via email as instructed.

Gary’s bankruptcy documents were prepared to a professional standard by Helen Millward promptly and were ready for his signature.

Gary signed and dated his bankruptcy documents and posted them to the Commonwealth Government’s personal insolvency office (AFSA) who processed his documents within a day or two.

Like most clients Gary was both surprised and relieved that the process was so simple.

Gary’s bankruptcy was accepted and in place within a few weeks of his first email and conversation with Steve Appleton.

Here is what Gary said in a ‘thank you‘ email in July 2016, sent a week or two after his bankruptcy application was accepted.

Dear Fred, Steve and Helen,

I have just received my email from AFSA granting my bankruptcy.

Many years ago (at age 52 yrs) I suffered a heart attack which required surgery (5 bypass)!

I was unable to work for 2 years and survived using credit cards, as I am a sole trader in a cash flow business over the next 17 yrs I kept working mainly because of having an ‘old school’ attitude of paying my debts.

I thought I had qualified for the pensioner bonus scheme and this money was always meant to be my final fall back.

Three weeks ago I reached the point of having to use this money, I applied to the government for payment.

As all governments are likely to do I was in formed I had applied too late as a cut off date was introduced in July 2014.

This left me with three options:

  • work until I dropped
  • forced bankruptcy
  • voluntary bankruptcy

I found the Fred Appleton website while surfing the net and got busy reading.

After reading this excellent site and cross checking the information (which was extremely accurate) I emailed Steve my details and had an immediate response.

Steve removed the many misconceptions I had about bankruptcy and for the first time in years I felt I had hope for a return to a life with no stress.

I then was passed on to Helen who took me through the documentation process.

Once the bankruptcy was in place there was one minor query about tools of trade.

I am pleased to say that the comment from AFSA was the documentation was of the highest quality and reflects the professional standards that Helen showed in her work.

In summary:

The time from despair to stress free life ?

Three weeks.

Yes, there are some restrictions when bankrupt but none of them are onerous or relevant for me anyway.

At 69 yrs old not having a good credit rating for 5 years is not a issue, at least now I have a great chance of passing 75 years!

Everyone must make their own decision on bankruptcy but thanks to Fred, Steve and Helen I discovered that going down this road is just a consequence of life not a reflection on a person’s character.

I make no apologies for the length of this review as there are not enough words for how my life has changed because I found the Fred Appleton ‘website.

Finally three things I have done since becoming bankrupt:

  • I filled the tank of my car for the first time in 8yrs
  • I went shopping with no budget in mind, buying what I wanted regardless of cost
  • Smashed 6 shots off my golf handicap?

With grateful thanks,

Gary, WA

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