I had a credit card with bank in Australia.  Six months ago I stopped working and was unable to keep up my payments to the bank (one of the big four).  I told them right at the start when they began ringing me that I was not working and would not be working for at least twelve months so I would be unable to pay them what they were wanting me to.  I offered on the phone to pay them a small sum each month and they told me that the amount was too small to make any difference.

Now the debt has obviously been sold off to the debt collectors as I have just received a letter from a lawyer promising all sorts of dreadful things if I didn't pay up within seven days.  A couple of days ago I received a message on my phone from someone with a heavy accent (sounds Indian) that wanted me to call them back.

I'm pissed off with these folks and I've lost patience now and just want to bail out of the whole deal.

Has anyone in Australia got to this point and been through the mill with debt collectors and had a successful outcome in dealing with them.

Based on the information I've been reading so far I've been planning to offer them a small sum of money each month and then if they reject that offer then plan on contesting the debt on the grounds that they have rejected my offer to settle.

I've observed that others claim that we should ask for a signed invoice from the bank that issued the card.

Has anyone succeeded in any of these approaches before or any others for that matter?  If so what exactly did you do?

I don't have any assets to speak of.  By that I mean any houses, car or anything else of substantial value for that matter.

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Until someone with experience answers, I'll just say that you could use the tactic of telling the debt collectors that they are third party interlopers with whom you have never had any contract. And you never gave them permission to deal with any debt you are alleged to owe.

On the FMOTL.com forum they say that a debt paid is a debt settled. Presumably, the debt collection agency paid the credit card company to take on the debt. They have paid any debt you may or may not have had. As Veronica Chapman - at fmotl.com - says, that's very kind of them.

Also, make sure that anything of value in your house is assigned to someone else. You don't own anything of value. The telly's not yours. The computer's not yours. You don't own one stick of furniture. This is in case the bailiffs are sent in and you don't manage to stop them.

I read somewhere - it might have been on this forum - that offering to pay a small amount each week is admitting that you are in debt. I think it said it is better to just ask for proof in the way of a contract signed by both parties and to say you are willing to pay any debt they can prove you owe.

You might find something useful here - I've only glanced at the site and so can't vouch for it:
getoutofdebtfree.org/
Thanks for that reply. As it has turned out I don't own any assets to speak of. Everything I use has been owned by the wife as she has been the primary income earner. That means the TV, the computer(s), the furniture. I've been looking at fmotl and considered sending back the first letter they sent me under R4C. The third party argument is an interesting line of defence. I'm personally aware of one time when a credit company rang my wife for some reason and I offered to speak on her behalf to them and they did not want to talk to me. I wonder if a similar kind of tactic will work with them.

According to my research here in Australia, Victoria the worst is that we can be made bankrupt which apparently means we're not allowed to travel overseas for up to three years. I'm trying to figure that if push comes to shove whether it would be better to voluntarily bankrupt myself or be forced into bankruptcy. Alternatively do an Aland Bond and offer 0.0007 cents in the dollar as settlement of the debt. :-)

I have read that when the bank sold off the debt to the collectors that they claimed the loss on insurance. Presumably that would have been taken care of with the high interest rates we paid them.

Another point that is of interest is that a number of times they sent us variations in terms and conditions which we never signed to. Pretty much the same story for all credit card holders I presume. Issues which raise interesting points in law. I wonder if they can locate any contracts with my signature on them. Those would have been years ago.
go to www.getoutofdebtfree.org you will get all the info you want from there
OK I'll give this one a shot. It looks ok. The only thing is that one has to pay money for access to the response letters but given it is only small amounts of money then I guess that it better than paying out money to the debt collectors.

This is a story in progress. I'll keep you all abreast of developments.
George Tasker said:
OK I'll give this one a shot. It looks ok. The only thing is that one has to pay money for access to the response letters but given it is only small amounts of money then I guess that it better than paying out money to the debt collectors.

This is a story in progress. I'll keep you all abreast of developments.

Hi George,

The letters are here for you to peruse
(You can thank Haidee Jane as she posted them up here for me)

Peace Out Brother
Antaine
Attachments:
Think those letters are for dealing with the bank. There are different letters for debt collectors on the web site. Maybe someboby here has already got them, but read through the forum there as it will give you lots of info and there is a section for Australia.
And heres the rest.
Attachments:
Would it be correct to assume that these proforma letters will work within the Australian Jurisdiction? The addresses on these letters indicate that they are UK based? I just want to make sure that these letters will hit their target within Australia.

Sorry for all the dumb questions but this is all quite new to me.
Its all Latin to me too. :-)
As far as I know they work in all Common Law jurisdictions. I think all the banking systems are the same anyway.
Thanks Antaine,

I'll have a crack at it. I'm just waiting to see if a second letter arrives and then respond as was suggested as it was over a week since the first letter came. One might ask how come I left it so long. I guess it was a case of acting like a deer at night frozen in the headlights of oncoming traffic and being able to respond in a sensible way that does not result in disaster. I first came across this kind of information before on youtube courtesy of John Harris and never thought in my wildest dreams that I might want to make use of this information for myself.

I'm only going down this path now because I'm pissed off that the bank did not want to wait even though they knew my whole story that I would be receiving no income for at least twelve months. I don't know what this will do to my credit record and I'm not sure that I care now but if these letters can prevent me from facing the bankruptcy courts then so much the better for me.

I'll have to go to the post office now and ask them if they have postal certificates and the like that make it somewhere between difficult and impossible for them to deny that they have received my correspondence and also see if they can act as a disinterested third party witnessing that I have posted those actual letters to these bozos.

Antaine ón Clan Ó' Connacháin said:
Its all Latin to me too. :-)
As far as I know they work in all Common Law jurisdictions. I think all the banking systems are the same anyway.
Ive read lots about the Banking System and in my opinion its a little like Legalised Slavery. Therefore, the banks will get no pity from me. My only regret at this stage is that I didnt take out loans and credit cards with every financial institution I could and then gave them the two fingers when I maxed out the lot.
Would I be acting dishonourable? Maybe? But I wouldnt be slurging on non neccessities really. And what would thye have been lending me anyway? Fresh air thats what so screw them.
Well I did get a second letter demanding action within 72 hours so I sent off the first goodf letter and received a third letter to which my second letter has been sent in reply.

The third letter promised a visit by a human to my doorstep. Anyhow we will see what happens when the third letter is sent sometime in just over ten days.

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