Temporary debt relief during COVID-19
Mohammed is an aspiring DJ in the Sydney CBD, who is frustrated that COVID-19 has stopped him from being able to DJ in the city’s nightclubs.
Mohammed had racked up $80,000 in credit card debt in the 6 months prior to COVID-19, buying all the latest equipment to support the regular gigs he was booking in some of Sydney’s brightest night spots. This has now all dried up since the virus took hold. Mohammed’s credit card debt is increasing everyday with interest – and the only work he can get is driving his Aunt’s taxi a couple of days a week.
While the banks have been understanding and not pursued payment for now, the simple fact is that his debts are getting higher every day without any reasonable income to be able to reduce them. A few of Mohammed’s other creditors have not been as flexible as the banks - they are telling Mohammed they need the money just as badly as he does, so they are trying to get the money by taking him to court.
Mohammed was particularly worried his state of the art speakers were at risk of being repossessed. The court’s judgement would normally mean that a Sheriff would be able to seize some of his assets and sell them – with the money going toward paying off Mohammed’s debts.
Mohammed was talking about this with his passenger, Manpreet, who listened with interest as he could relate to Mohammed’s circumstances. Having recently been through it himself, Manpreet was able to suggest to Mohammed that he ring the National Debt Helpline for free financial counselling.
After speaking with a financial counsellor, Mohammed decided to apply for temporary debt protection. When the application was accepted, this stopped Mohammed’s creditors from enforcing the judgment – meaning his assets weren’t seized – for a period of 21 days, giving him time to find other work.
Temporary Debt Protection is an act of bankruptcy. It can be used as a reason for a creditor to file a petition with the courts to have the debtor made bankrupt. For more information see Temporary Debt Protection.
AFSA encourages anyone considering entering into temporary debt protection to first seek advice from a free financial counsellor by calling the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.
*These case studies do not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consider whether the options referred to in the case studies are appropriate for you, and seek advice if necessary, before taking any action.