Managing the Unmanageable

Informal options for debts and bankruptcy in Australia

Every now and then you can hear that some bank has gone bankrupt, that some company is insolvent, and there are even entire countries that go bankrupt now. It has become a global epidemic, primarily caused by the great economic crisis that the world has not yet fully recovered from. In order to understand what can be done, we must first understand what is bankruptcy.

What does it mean to be bankrupt?

Some people imagine that the state of bankruptcy is the same as having no money, or, in plain words, being penniless. However, this is not the case. Being penniless means that you have no money, but you have no debts to repay, either. It just means that you do not have the money to spend. On the other hand, going bankrupt means that you have outstanding debts that have to be repaid, and that the amount of those debts is greater than the value of all your assets and incomes. This means that the likelihood of you repaying the debts is very low or non-existent.

By declaring bankruptcy, you enable a complex legal process to take place that will in the end help to clear all your debts, but not without a price. Your assets will be at stake, some might even be taken and repossessed. There are, however, legal solutions to avoid this whenever possible. Also, your reputation with the creditors will suffer greatly. You will probably be forbidden from taking new loans for a certain amount of time (a few years) and it will be recorded in your credit history that you went bankrupt, thus making it much harder to obtain new loans when you are allowed to do so again.

How to manage the debts that threaten to push you to bankruptcy?

When you think that you are nearing bankruptcy or when you are warned that that may be the case, there are a few options that you might have to prevent that from happening. In Australia, these options are regulated by the Bankruptcy Act of 1966. This act covers the formal part of the available options. There are, however, some informal options (this means that they do not necessarily concern the legal part of the obligations) which might help you control your debt, as well.

Informal options

Before trying to consolidate your debts in a formal way, there are a few options that you might take yourself, in order to avoid going bankrupt.

The first one is to identify the situation and try to control it by:

  • Identifying what you owe and to whom - This is the first step towards regulating your debts. It will be much easier to control your debt if you know what and when you are due.

  • Rearrange your financial affairs - Try to use various websites that offer guidance for the financially misfortunate and work towards adhering to the advice that they have to offer.

  • Change your spending - Work on changing you spending habits, since, obviously, they are not good enough. Reduce where you can.

The second option is to approach your creditors in order to work out a better deal by:

  • Asking them to give you more time - More time means lesser monthly payments and longer period of time before bankruptcy has to be declared. While this is usually not done, when there is threat of bankruptcy, it might be possible that such hardship assistance can be effected.

  • Changing the timing and the amount of your repayments - It might happen that your payments are due in a bad time of the month. This can cause a lot of problems and frustrations. Changing the timing of the payments to coincide with your incomes will go a long way towards easing the situation and the tension it creates, thus enabling you to see more clearly what to do, and when.

  • Changing the terms of your contract - In some cases it might be possible to vary the terms on your loan agreement. This can enable you certain options, like paying off a part of your loan without paying the fees for doing so, or certain other options that include the two that are explained above.

  • Accepting a lesser part of your debt - If the creditor thinks that your debt is too high, they might decide to write off a part of your debt. While this is a favorable thing for you at the moment, it might cost you a lot after some time, since this will be written in your credit history, and bad credit history leads to much more unfavorable loan terms.

The third option is to ask for help from persons and organizations that are qualified in the bankruptcy field. Financial councilors, registered trustees, debt agreement administrators and accountants can all offer various advice and assistance by:

  • Speaking to your creditors - Financial councilors can speak on your behalf and negotiate better deals for you. They do this for a price, of course, but, you can be sure that their expertise will land you much better deals that you might obtain yourself.

  • Advising you on your rights under the Consumer Credit code - These advisors can provide valuable pieces of advice concerning your rights in this situations, and might reveal possibilities that you did not know exist. It goes without saying that a greater number of options is always welcome.

  • Settling disputes - If you have some issues with your debts, you are not sure why something is the way it is, or feel that you are charged more for no reason, these advisors can help you resolve that in the manner that is the best for the time being. They can also explain every issue that you might have with understanding your loans.

  • Helping with your budgeting - There are numerous personal accountants that might help you get your payments and debts straight by taking care of your monthly budget, and taking charge of all financial elements of your life. They will tell you what to pay and when, in order to get out of the hassle as fast as possible.

Declaring bankruptcy is not something to be taken lightly, and it should be avoided at all costs, since the period of the bankruptcy is the most stressful period of time that a human being can endure. Trying to take these steps and options can prove to be very helpful and will go a long way towards easing the tension and relieving you of the stress, thus making it easier to deal with the situation.

More Stories By Anne Lee

Anne Lee is a freelance technology journalist, a wife and a mother of two.

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...