The Consumer Action Law Centre looked at websites that promote debt agreement services and found many provide an extremely optimistic view about what can be achieved through a debt agreement.
Gerard Brody, CEO of Consumer Action said: “We’ve looked through a number of websites and, in our opinion, many provide extremely optimistic views about what can be achieved through a debt agreement—including that debt agreements produce ‘financial freedom’.”
“People facing unmanageable debt are particularly vulnerable and are looking for hope, but giving them unrealistic expectations won’t help matters,” he said.
“While there can be serious consequences to bankruptcy, debt agreements and bankruptcy actually share many consequences. For example, both forms of insolvency are listed on an individual’s credit report for seven years. And, for some debtors, entering into a debt agreement can be financially worse than going bankrupt,” said Mr Brody.
Consumer Action encourages consumers to consult a free and independent financial counsellor when considering insolvency so they can get unbiased advice. Australians can access free, independent and confidential financial counselling by calling 1800 007 007.
A growing number of Australians are turning to personal budgeting company MyBudget as the promised solution to their financial woes – the debt agreement – plunges them deeper into financial trouble.
Founder and Director MyBudget, Tammy May, said “The MyBudget approach stands in stark contrast to that of many debt agreement administrators, as highlighted in the Fresh Start or False Hope research conducted by the respected Consumer Action Law Centre.”
“We see debt agreements as the last resort for most people and place our efforts on helping people to manage their way out of debt without legally binding and often financially crippling agreements,” she said.
“What they need is the help of a personal trainer for their money. That’s what MyBudget delivers, someone who can work with them to develop debt solutions that help these people to manage their budgets and bring an end to the draining and debilitating cycle of living week-to-week.”
MyBudget assists clients by managing their finances, teaching them to break bad financial habits, achieve their financial goals, reduce debt and save money. MyBudget has offices in Sydney Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide and the Gold Coast.
Tammy May started the MyBudget from her kitchen table when she just was 22 years old. From these humble beginnings, Tammy has combined motherhood with growing MyBudget into a national company which now employs over 200 staff members.