Our client came to us after losing her home and personal belongings in a fire. She held a building and contents insurance policy that was paid up to date at the time of the fire. Our client claimed fire damage to the property. The claim was referred to the insurer's investigation department for assessment. After the evaluation of the property, the insurer decided our client had not disclosed the condition of the property when taking out her policy.
The insurer declined the claim based on our client's nondisclosure. The insurer also cancelled the policy stating if our client had disclosed the relevant information would not be a risk.
Actions Taken to Assist & Result Achieved
Our team firstly evaluated the case and found the insurer did not provide a detailed and thorough process when our client applied for insurance initially. We put forth a comprehensive submission to AFCA. We argued the unsubstantiated refusal of the claim and our clients' loss. The insurer was directed to settle our client's claim for the contents and the house to be rebuilt. The insurer's cancellation of the policy based on nondisclosure was deemed incorrect and the policy reinstated.
We have seen a significant number of family-run businesses breakdown due to financial distress in the last twelve months. By the time a business is in financial distress, strained family relationships are often compounded further with money worries. If you're setting out to establish a business with family members, it is vital to recognise the inherent risks.
Our advisory team assists many people and companies in financial distress. Our unique expertise allows us to provide solutions across a wide range of financial distress issues that companies and individuals experience.
We negotiate daily with debt collection agencies and importantly understand both debtor and creditor's rights and obligations.
Debt collection agencies should be flexible in their approach. A flexible approach involves making meaningful and sustainable payment arrangements that reasonably consider a debtor's ongoing living expenses. The ACCC and ASIC have produced a debt collection guideline for debtors and creditors, which encourages flexibility on the part of both parties. The guide includes recognising debtors who are vulnerable and experiencing financial hardship and appreciating that debtors may have several debts owing to different parties. If you have to deal with a debt collection agency on your own, be sure to reference this guide.
Another helpful resource to access if you are comfortable dealing with a debt collection agency on your own is visiting the AFCA Datacube. The AFCA Datacube shows you the number of complaints against a debt collection company over the last twelve months.
If you have any questions or need assistance, our team offer a cost-free consultation and can be contacted on 02 8304 9300.
A credit score is used by financial lenders to decide whether to give you credit or lend you money. Your credit score is based on personal and financial information about you and is part of your credit report.
Credit reports include the following:
Debt consolidation through refinancing can be a sensible solution if you are experiencing financial difficulty. It is often more manageable to pay one monthly payment at a reduced interest rather than numerous facilities at various rates.
When deciding whether to go ahead with this method of debt consolidation, you should be aware of the areas to check before proceeding:
Susie Barnett established SR Group over a decade ago in Australia. With the success of our business in Australia, we are thrilled to be expanding our team in New Zealand. We are a dedicated team that helps people confronted with financial distress and victims of financial impropriety.
If you’re in financial distress, you’re not alone. We have helped many people negotiate with creditors over the last nine years, achieving positive outcomes allowing our clients to gain back control of their financial future.
When we first meet, we listen - Here are some of our clients frequently asked questions:
Why should you act quickly when you can’t pay your creditors?
Financial distress situations can be incredibly overwhelming, with many choosing to put their head in the sand and ignore the issue. Ignoring the problem usually only acts to exacerbate, and unsympathetic creditors tend to respond aggressively. The consequences of avoidance are generally detrimental and can lead to bankruptcy.
We work quickly and transparently to minimise your financial distress, giving you breathing space while we develop a workable strategy to get you back in a sound financial position.
What type of creditors do you negotiate?
We negotiate with a broad range of creditors, including:
What will the likely outcome be to help me (or my business) get back on my feet?
Depending on your situation, our strategy, and the negotiation process, the outcomes we seek are:
Why should I use a professional advisory team?
Our unique expertise allows us to provide solutions across a wide range of financial issues in a cost-effective manner. Our team are specialists in accounting, debt negotiation and restructuring. We approach each financial distress situation in a thoughtful and caring way.
We are here to help and can be contacted on (02) 8304 9302 for a confidential cost and obligation free discussion.
In Australia, financial counselling is a free and confidential service provided by community organisations, community legal aid and some government agencies. It is an essential service for over 125,000 people each year experiencing financial distress. Financial counsellors are skilled in listening to problems when an individual's judgement and clarity may be distorted. What people need is non-judgemental and confidential advice plus a workable plan to improve their financial distress situation.
As the end of financial year approaches, it is essential to ensure you check off the many tasks involving your business compliance. This year there may be additional tasks as a result of the COVID-19 crisis many businesses need to address.
The effects of COVID-19 have been devastating for businesses across the country, but for many, there is a silver lining. Companies have adapted and transitioned employees to work remotely with great success.
COVID‑19 will be with us for some time, so it is essential that your business has a plan - and continues to plan to keep your workplace healthy, safe and virus-free.
Key things to remember as you ramp up your business post COVID-19.
Keeping People Safe
Maintain good hygiene - Think about how your business’s hygiene and cleaning practices by making sure your workplace is regularly cleaned and disinfected. Have enough cleaning and hygiene supplies and communicate the importance of employees not coming to work if they are unwell.
Stay physically distant - Think about how people interact in your business. To ensure your business has appropriate physical distancing move work stations and tables further apart to comply with social distancing. If you are a retailer, provide social distancing markers on the floor where appropriate.
In the event of infection, there should be a plan in place, so your business is confident and can respond swiftly and efficiently.
Follow advice - Think about what makes your business and your industry unique. There may be additional steps you need to take to communicate with your customers, staff and suppliers. To help you prepare regularly review the mandatory public health directions that apply to your business as these will change as time goes on.
Sustainability is important – many of these changes, such as cleaning practices, will be part of your day-to-day business operations already. Still, you may need to do things more often or in different ways.
A helpful resource is safeworkaustralia.gov.au
Adapting my business
The way your business operates, the products you sell and the services you deliver may need to change because of COVID‑19. This transition will be challenging, and you are no doubt thinking about how your business could adapt to change.
It is helpful to spend some time thinking about the following questions. These can act as a starting point to map potential areas for your business to explore.
Accessing Support and Packages
When considering adapting your business activities and your employees you may need financial support to achieve your new plans. The Federal, State, Territory and Local Government are providing many support packages for businesses.
These are the current support packages you can apply for:
Retaining your employees
Small and medium-sized businesses can get loans of up to $250,000 over three years from a range of lenders. These loans have an initial six month repayment holiday. Enquire with your lender.
Over the coming months, many businesses will rely on these packages to kickstart and adapt their business activities.
Our advisory team has been supporting many of our clients in these challenging times. If you need any assistance with financial support packages and solutions, we are here to assist. Our services range from general hardship relief, loans and mortgage moratorium, vehicle and equipment finance, ATO issues and leasing arrangements.
Please phone us on +61 2 8304 9302 to speak to a dedicated team member.
In our Newsroom, we share advice, the latest news, financial tips and our case studies. Please enter your email address to receive our monthly news update.