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Case Studies

Personal Bankruptcy - Sharon | Hairdresser

Case Study 1

Situation

Sharon, a 42-year-old hairdresser from the eastern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, had been seeing a decline in patronage in her hair dressing salon, which was situated in a large shopping centre, for about a year. For many years, her regular customers used to come in to get their hair done weekly, but it had slowly trickled down to once a fortnight and at times reduced to once a month, as such services became more of a luxury.

With the slowdown in business, her average earnings were approximately $5,000 each month, which barely covered her rent, paying a part time salon assistant as well as covering her salon and personal costs.

Sharon had 2 young school going children and she and her partner jointly own their house, paying about $3,500 in mortgage payments a month, not including other costs of sustaining their household. In late 2018, the landlords of her salon decided to raise the rent which made it extremely difficult for Sharon to make ends meet.

Sharon felt overwhelmed with the mounting debts accumulating, including credit card debts in trying to pay off some of these payments, and soon realised that she had about $80,000 worth of business- related debt owed to banks and the Tax Office (ATO).

Solution

Feeling overwhelmed with calls from her creditors, Sharon made the decision to search for solutions and came across the Bankruptcy Advisory Centre. With an email sent over the weekend, Andrew called her immediately and had her in his offices the very next day to discuss the various possibilities for her situation.

After a long chat with Andrew about a feasible way out of her situation, Sharon decided to file for bankruptcy with Andrew’s guidance. In assessing her situation, there were a few key questions that came up

a. Would she lose her house and her car in order to repay those debts?
b. Would she be able to keep her salon?
c. How was she going to be able to earn an income to help support her family whilst repaying
her creditors?
d. Would she have to tell her family and friends?

Result

With Andrew’s advice and step by step assistance to help guide her through bankruptcy, today, Sharon works out of her home, having decided to forgo her salon in the shopping centre and is able to cover all her personal and professional costs whilst caring for her 2 children with much greater flexibility due to her home-based business.

She continues to ensure that she allocates mandated income contributions to repay her debts (as she earns above the income threshold) and realises that the process of declaring bankruptcy helped her regain her confidence in continuing her business and for the better.

Liquidation of Business and Personal Bankruptcy - Neville | Dentist

Case Study 2

Situation

Neville, a 53-year-old dentist had a thriving dental practice in the North of Perth, with a very well-established customer base, and with word of mouth advertising resulting in a continual flow of patients. Neville had always been a hard worker and spent many hours ensuring his business was successful, and he could always provide for his family.

However, as the years went by, Neville was getting burnt out from managing the practice by himself and the immense pressure he was putting on himself to ensure his success became all too much. This eventually affected his personal relationship to an extent that he ended up separating from his wife, whom he was married to for over 25 years.

With his marriage breaking down, it came really hard for Neville to deal with the emotional stress from the fall out, and it slowly started to seem like the world was falling apart for him.

His debts had been accumulating because of his high-end lifestyle as well as the nature of managing the dental practice. The payments for the premises where his dental practice was situated as well as the family home and with his new rental property (due to his separation from his wife) were all getting behind.

Neville was blessed to have a strong and supportive family structure, who took over control off his situation as Neville was eventually diagnosed with depression and stress, resulting in his dental licence being suspended. This now meant he could no longer work in the practice, but fortunately he had other dentists within the practice who were able to keep up with the patent demand.

Solution

Neville’s family started searching for a way to help him out of his situation and looked for help. They were guided by close friends to talk to our consultants at the Bankruptcy Advisory Centre, due to how they had helped before. Once we dived into the situation, and understood the nature of the issues, we were able to show his family the best options for Neville so that the pressure would come off and they could get their son back onto a level playing field and be comfortable in life as well as hopefully get his licence back so he could return to work.

With the situation in hand, our expert consultants at Bankruptcy Advisory Centre organised the liquidation of the business with debts of $1,500,000 as well as the personal bankruptcy for Neville of approximately $600,000. Whilst this was taking place, there was a fortunate change that a buyer for the business presented themselves which saved the practice from closing down and protected all the loyal current clients, as well as the staff and dentists.

Result

Neville is, today, a different man as he is back enjoying life and has made some career changes, being in total control of his finances. Even though it was a hard and painful experience he would rather have not gone through, he is now a better person for it and has learnt some particularly good lessons in managing cash flow and debt.

Personal Bankruptcy - Dave | Event Services Company Owner

Case Study 3

Situation

With an avid love for music, Dave had for long wanted to set up his own event services company which he ended up creating and establishing in mid-2000’s. With a growing number of stage shows and concerts as Perth become a venue for more Australian and international artists, life had been good for Dave for the past 15 years and he never had an issue getting work until recently.

Stage shows and concerts had grinded to a halt and Dave had over 20 staff in his company with numerous bills to pay including a mortgage as well as finance on his vehicle. The vehicle in his possession was an integral part of his business as he used it to transport all the necessary stage equipment which was needed to operate the shows.

Dave eventually realised that he could not keep going on in this manner as his finances went into the negative numbers but was extremely reluctant to do anything as he was worried about losing his home as well as his only mode of transport. He needed to keep all of it for his family!

Solution

After yet another call from his bank as well as letters of demand from other creditors, Dave decided that he had no choice but to do something about his situation. With some extensive search on the internet, he came across us, the Bankruptcy Advisory Centre and decided to call Andrew.

Andrew took his call late on a Saturday night and heard him out, understanding what the situation was and where he was in financial difficulty. Over the next few days, Andrew walked Dave through the entire bankruptcy process, including the paperwork that was needed, in which areas declaring bankruptcy would or would not affect him and declaring bankruptcy was designed to keep him out of further issues with the banks and the creditors.

We recognise like most people out there, Dave thought that being declared bankrupt was a very scary situation to be in and that your entire life would end if you went bankrupt. However, with Andrew’s guidance and after spending some time with Andrew understanding the nature of bankruptcy, Dave was convinced about the steps he needed to take and understood the necessity for him to declare bankruptcy as it would help him out of his current situation.

Result

Within a few weeks of contacting the Bankruptcy Advisory Centre, Andrew was able to assist Dave through this situation and was able to help him keep his house and vehicle. All of his other debts were also wiped out.

Although Dave was disappointed in getting himself into this financial situation in the first place, after meeting Andrew, he realised that there were options for him to clean the slate and start all over again.

The best part of the difficult situation was that he didn’t have to lose his home so his family was secure and did not have to move.

The work and the care Andrew gave Dave to fix the problem and get him back on his feet to make him a valuable member of the community certainly made Dave feel fantastic. He is now with all confidence able to move forward and start his life again.

Personal Bankruptcy due to Loss of Income - Sean | Property Investor

Case Study 4

Situation

In his early 30s, Sean had always been employed since he graduated from university and was now currently enjoying the fact of being able to earn a relatively high income of around $110,000 per annum. This meant he could help his elderly parents whom depended on him as well as live a pretty good life of travelling to exotic countries and occasionally indulging in some luxury items from Louis Vuitton and Gucci for himself and his girlfriend who lived with him.

However, in recent months, Sean had to take a pay cut due to the major changes within his company, and the fact that the company had now re-classified his role. Given no option, his income had reduced by almost 40% to $70,000 per annum. This new outcome obviously came as a shock to Sean and with the Covid -19 situation, he was in no position to search for a new job.

Sean was currently renting but had also saved some money over the years towards an investment property. With the changes in his income, he was struggling to earn enough to cover his current rent, basic living expenses as well as the mortgage on his investment property. To make matters worse, the mortgage property had recently been vacated and he was unable to find a tenant to cover the minimum costs for the mortgage.

To add to the already difficult situation, the valuation on his investment property was now $350,000 but he owed the bank $445,000 because of when he had purchased the property.

On top of the mortgage and rent, he had been used travelling and treating himself to expensive meals and luxury items using his credit card. Given his frequent use of credit cards to cover costs, he now had an outstanding balance collectively of $33,100 across all his credit cards.

Sean was not sleeping well anymore and becoming increasingly stressed as he felt he was going backwards in his career as well as his finances. With little savings, he could not see how he was able continue keeping up with paying the bills and had bills piling up past their due date. He was at his wit’s end and did not know what to.

Solution

A chance chat with an old mate resulted in him calling the Bankruptcy Advisory Centre.

Sean spoke to Andrew who much to his relief gave him his best option to get rid of all his debt including advise on the best manner of selling his investment property to enable him to get his life back on track. Sean with Andrew’s assistance had the bankruptcy documents completed and lodged with AFSA within a matter of weeks.

Result

Sean is now happy that he has no debts hanging over his head and all his income is going towards being able to sufficiently sustain himself as well as support his elderly parents. With very little financial pressure, Sean is slowly but surely getting his life back on track and keeping on top of his finances and with no more credit cards to tempt him.

Sean told us that the empathy shown by Andrew as well as the Bankruptcy Advisory Centre team has turned his life around and after so many months, he is finally sleeping a lot more soundly.

Bank Foreclosure on Properties with Personal Bankruptcy - Kevin | Retired GP

Case Study 5

Situation

Kevin, a 70-year-old retired GP had lived in a country town near Port Hedland for many years. He had a couple of properties in the country town which he had purchased during the boom time that had been valued at $500,000 each. However, since the mining bust, these two properties had dropped in value significantly, but he continued to have bank loans that were higher than their actual value.

For years, Kevin had the properties rented out but unfortunately the tenants decided not to renew their lease and these houses were now empty.

In recent years, he and his wife had also decided that their marriage has come to an end and they were able to part company amicably.

Kevin however was now in financial difficulty as he was no longer working and was not receiving any rent to cover the mortgage for his two properties. His now ex-wife is also on the loan as a Guarantor.

In this situation, Kevin was not overly concerned about his financial position as he was fortunate enough that his current residence was fully paid for and thus, he had a place to live if required. His biggest concern and something that was close to his heart was that given that his ex-wife was a Guarantor on his other properties, he didn’t want her to suffer at all if the bank chose to foreclose on the property due to non-payment of the loans.

Solution

After speaking to some old friends back in Perth, Kevin approached Bankruptcy Advisory Centre and had held extensive talks with Andrew from his base up North of WA.

With the information in hand, Andrew came up with a strategy to try and negotiate with the Bank to remove the Guarantor status of the ex-wife and for the bank to take back the properties and release the loans. The result was that the Bank would take possession of the properties and Kevin and his ex-wife were no longer responsible for the debt.

Andrew then utilised the expertise of a solicitor associated with the Bankruptcy Advisory Centre, and who had extensive expertise in these types of negotiations. To Kevin’s delight, the negotiation was proven successful and the Bank agreed to the proposal.

This however still left Kevin with other debts of approximately $60,000 he had accumulated. Given that now he was on a pension, he was running into difficulty paying for these debts as well.

From the earlier discussions with Andrew, the plan has been in place to enter Kevin into bankruptcy to clean up the rest of the debt after the property issue was successfully resolved.

Result

After spending some time thinking about it, Kevin with the assistance from Andrew recently lodged the bankruptcy documents and he is now debt free and can now live his remaining years in comfort with the knowledge that he won’t have any debt collectors or banks chasing him for money he just doesn’t have.

Kevin was extremely pleased with this outcome and the professionalism of Bankruptcy Advisory Centre as well as Andrew for helping him out of a very stressful situation, as well as keeping his ex-wife out of a potentially painful situation in their twilight years.

Personal Bankruptcy - Janet | Retiree

Case Study 6

Situation

Janet lives in a retirement home South of the River in Perth and has no assets, minimal savings living a very simple life. Having never married, she was also left with no immediate family members.

Unfortunately, given some matters she had to settle in the past year related to debts incurred by her late sister, this resulted in personal debts on two credit cards that had just over $30,000 outstanding on them. Her sister had passed away with very little assets as well and recently Janet found out that she was not able to get anything from her late sister’s estate to help with the situation. This was greatly stressing Janet out to a point where she could not sleep and was frantic about what she could do.

After many weeks of sleepless nights, Janet approached her local church group who made some enquiries for her and was able to get her in touch with the Bankruptcy Advisory Centre and Andrew.

Andrew has always had a soft spot for older vulnerable Australians and when he heard the story of Janet and the sad state that she was in, he made the special effort to personally meet Janet along with her church group assistant at her retirement home. They then spent hours going through the problems that she was facing and what best Janet could do in her situation.

Solution

Janet being in her late 80s and given that she was not likely to want a loan or run a business, it was then decided that declaring bankruptcy was the best option for her. This was made in consultation with her church group who were supporting her throughout this crisis.

Given Janet’s frail situation, Andrew took the time over a month to go through all the details with her in person and completed the bankruptcy documents once she gave him the permission to proceed on her behalf. The steps involved included Andrew lodging the documents with Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) – who are the Australian regulatory body managing applications for bankruptcy– and when Janet received confirmation of her bankruptcy, she informed Andrew immediately.

Andrew then visited Janet again in her retirement home and carefully went through the documentation that Janet received from AFSA and explained to Janet what her responsibilities were and what she must do to ensure she didn’t fall foul of what AFSA required.

Andrew has also offered to help Janet through the term of her bankruptcy by giving her advice as and when she needs it so she doesn’t have to worry and can live the years she has left in peace.

Result

The feedback we received was that Janet and the church members were absolutely impressed with the time and effort Andrew put into making Janet feel important and confident to carry on her remaining years with peace of mind, now that she no longer has the debt to worry about.

They have recommended Andrew as well as the Bankruptcy Advisory Centre to all their contacts to which we are very grateful for.

Reviews

  • I made an appointment with Andrew after finding him on google. I was nervous and apprehensive about what to expect but he made the process of bankruptcy extremely uncomplicated and stress free, allowing myself the opportunity to get the fresh start I was so desperate for. Thank you Andrew I could not recommend you enough.

    Kristy
  • Making the decision to go bankrupt was not easy however once I had spoken to Andrew i felt all my anxiety disappear. Andrew does not judge you and he has an innate ability to put you at ease. He took care of the whole process for me again reducing the stress involved with completing paperwork.
    Thank you very much.

    Hayley Eastough
  • I will definitely recommend Andrew Bell to anyone contemplating bankruptcy. Don't wait! Andrew is there to help. With his knowledge, he can advise you of the best path to take and assist with the mind boggling paperwork.

    Best of all, he is there for you through your entire bankruptcy period. Get your life back, it's not as bad as you think. Thank you Andrew for lifting the burden and allowing me to move on.

    Karilyn Mahon
  • I saw Andrew for 'advice only' on possible bankruptcy due to a divorce. Left an hour later with the paperwork all done and feeling like a new person!

    Andrew was extremely welcoming and made me feel so comfortable with my decision to proceed immediately.

    This was the best investment I have ever made and cannot speak highly enough of Andrew. He doesn't just give excellent service his follow up afterwards is amazing. Thankyou Andrew you made my 'new' life so easy to achieve!

    Vicki Johnston
  • Andrew was very helpful in helping me through the bankruptcy process, as a single mother left with a massive debt from my ex and our previous marriage. I was struggling to keep my head above water on a week to week basis.

    Andrew made me feel at ease immediately and helped me every step of the way, he happily and professionally answered any and all questions I had before, during and after the process. Thanks so much for your help Andrew!

    Aisha Edmonds
  • Would highly recommend Andrew to anyone having financial difficulties. Andrew made me feel very comfortable - he took care of everything and keep in regular contact with me throughout the whole process.

    Service was fantastic and he also keep in regular contact with me when everything had been finalised Thanks Andrew! can now get my life back on track.

    Cassandra Walsh
  • Very prompt service and excellent source of knowledge and information, I highly recommend Andrew's service for a quick turn around of circumstances.

    Eve Damjanovich
  • Andrew put my mind at ease in one easy appointment. Very satisfied with the outcome and service provided. Highly recommend Andrew.

    Tracey Douglas
  • Andrew was a steadying hand with his advice.Showing that things aren't as bad as first thought nor any obstacle insurmountable. If you have questions needing answers, Andrew is the person to ask. Thanks for your advice Andrew.

    Shane Thompson
  • Andrew was very knowledgeable, caring, helpful and compassionate when I went and saw him. He made me feel that I wasn’t the loser and failure that I thought I was being. Even down to the box of tissues on the table.. which I needed. Highly recommend to go see Andrew if your struggling. There is life after!

    Joanne Parker
  • Andrew and his team do an excellent job of helping their clients with bankruptcy advice and it is a pleasure to work with him.

    Gareth Lane
  • Don't hesitate contacting Andrew, I was stressed, struggled sleeping through debt. Andrew put me at ease. He listened to my situation and we decided on my next move. Andrew is professional and easy to talk too. I would recommend highly to anyone who wants help to give him a call. I appreciate your support Andrew. Regards Brett.

    Devs Devs
  • Andrew has given me back my life!!! After living paycheck to paycheck, I didn’t know what to do. Until I made the big step and booked an appointment with Andrew. As soon as I left his office I felt a huge weight lifted!!!

    Deezy H
  • Andrew was prompt, organised, friendly and efficient with the processing of my documents and made everything very simple for me so I didn’t need to deal with the added pressure and stress. Thank you Andrew for allowing me to start afresh and getting it done within a matter of weeks.

    Kristy-lee Ellwood

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