If you cannot afford your existing repayments but could afford some repayment, then a debt agreement is a great option. It allows for a permanent reduction in payments to creditors based on what you can afford.
What is a Debt Agreement?
- A debt agreement is a formal, managed plan which allows you to settle your debts by paying an affordable amount of money, over a set period of time. The agreement is a loan free solution for people who are struggling with debt. These debts need to be unsecured debts (e.g. credit cards, personal loans, overdrawn bank accounts, store cards, repossessed cars, old electricity/gas accounts (previous addresses), disconnected telephone/mobile accounts, school fees, childcare fees, old Pay TV accounts, etc.
- You make one easy, affordable weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment that covers the Debt Agreement.
- Legally, creditors must stop contacting you and any legal action is stopped, including bankruptcy.
- Interest charges and penalty fees are frozen.
- What you can’t afford to pay is potentially written off.
Debt Agreement Criteria
There are a number of criteria you need to meet to enter into a Debt Agreement.
- Your take-home pay (after tax income) is under $83,756.40 annually.
- Your unsecured debts must not exceed $111,675.20.
- You must not have filed for bankruptcy or have had a Debt Agreement in place at any time over the last 10 years.
- Any assets you own must not be worth more than $111,675.20.
Things you should know about Debt Agreements
- A debtor who proposes a debt agreement starts the act of bankruptcy. A creditor can use the debt agreement to apply to the court for making the debtor bankrupt if the proposal is not accepted by the creditors.
- Information about your debt agreement, including your name, and some other details, will be recorded on the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) for a limited time. When the obligations of your debt agreement have been completed, the NPII notation will be removed, but no sooner than five years from the date the debt agreement commenced.
- The ability of the debtor to obtain further credit is affected. Details may also appear on a credit reporting organisation’s records for five years, or until the debt agreement is completed, whichever is longer. If the debt agreement is terminated, it will be recorded for five years total or for two years after the termination, whichever is longer.
- During the voting period, creditors cannot take debt recovery action or enforce a remedy against the debtor or the debtor’s property and must suspend deductions by acting as a garnishee on debtor’s income.
- The debtor is not bankrupt.
- All unsecured creditors are bound by the debt agreement and are paid in proportion to their debts.
- The debtor is released from most unsecured debts when they complete all of their obligations and payments.
- If the terms of the agreement are not met, creditors can recommence recovery action for those debts contained in the debt agreement. This will include interest backdated to the start of the agreement. However, before an agreement is terminated, Debt Mediators will request a ‘variation’ to the original agreement that more meets your current/changed affordability level, so that the agreement can continue but with reduced payments.
- Secured creditors may seize and sell any assets (e.g. a house) that the debtor has offered as security for credit when the debtor is in default.
- Creditors cannot take any action against the debtor or property of the debtor to collect their debts.
- The agreement does not release another person from a debt that is jointly owed with the debtor.
- A debtor must disclose being party to a debt agreement if incurring debt again or obtaining goods and services in excess of the threshold.
- If trading under a business name or assumed name (whether alone or in partnership), the debt agreement must be disclosed to all people dealing with the business
Contact Debt Mediators Australia today to find out more about Debt Agreements.
If you are able to make your payments on time and are experiencing no difficulty repaying your loans, then debt consolidation may be the best option.
Please be aware that any figures on this website may change slightly from time to time. They were correct at the time of uploading. Updated 08/11/2017