Possible Debt Solutions when working with CAP:
A debt repayment or ‘offer’ solution means you are able to live sustainably and make repayments towards your debts over a reasonable amount of time. This is calculated by assessing your income and general expenditure, using your disposable income to pay towards your debts.
CAP realises that most people want to pay their debt back, but just can’t afford their regular payments with high-interest rates, fees and extra charges. Your caseworker will be responsible for contacting your unsecured creditors and working toward reducing your repayments to an amount you can afford.
Bankruptcy is one of the options available to you if you are unable to pay your debts. CAP will help you to understand the consequences of bankruptcy and assist you to complete the forms to apply for bankruptcy. CAP liaises with the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) on behalf of clients throughout this process.
In most cases, a person is released from their bankruptcy 3 years and 1 day from the commencement date. A record of your bankruptcy remains on your credit rating for up to 5 years and this record will remain on the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) for life. Once bankrupt, individuals are not required to make any repayment to their creditors, unless certain conditions apply. Individuals are required to make a request to AFSA to travel overseas during their bankruptcy period. More information about this can be found here: www.afsa.gov.au
In some circumstances it may be appropriate to negotiate with creditors to waive your debt. Creditors have strict criteria for this. CAP will assess your financial situation and the reason for your hardship to determine whether you are able to apply for your debts to be waived.
After assessing your finances, there may be other options that are more suitable for you. If this is the case, CAP will refer you to the appropriate support and work with you through this process.
When considering which debt solution is most suitable for you and your family, CAP will do an assessment of your finances, taking into account household income, assets, expenses, and debts.
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CAP has limited ability to negotiate and advise on existing utilities and secured loans/mortgages. A secured loan is a type of debt that has a good or service connected to it which if not repaid may result in the good or service being repossessed or disconnected.
Where possible, CAP does its best to refer you to other services that may be more suitable and equip you with the next step forward. If you have a support worker/social case worker, CAP can work alongside them to provide you with the best possible experience.
Working with CAP will not affect your credit rating, however, it also does not guarantee protection of your credit rating.
If you have not been meeting the agreed repayments on your debt, it may be passed on to different departments within the creditor’s company, or sold to debt collection companies. This means interest and charges could be stopped quicker, but may mean your credit rating is adversely affected.
Working with CAP does not mean that you will be required to sell your possessions. However, if you are unable to meet the agreed repayments on your debt, CAP will provide you with alternative options to finalise your debt including, though not limited to, the sale of possessions. It is therefore a choice that you can discuss with your caseworker.
Creditors always have the right to charge interest on debt, if it is included within the original contract. However, CAP caseworkers always ask for interest to be stopped, and it is not uncommon for interest to be stopped or reduced under hardship payment arrangements.
CAP provides clients an optional tool to help you save money. When a regular payment is made into your CAP Account, part of that payment can be set aside for safe-keeping. You can choose which items on your budget are saved for, such as car registration or Christmas and birthday gifts. When you need to access these savings, you can call and complete a withdrawal process that sends these savings back to your bank account within 48 hours. Most CAP clients use CAP savings, as they can have a peace of mind knowing that the money is set aside for the future.