Managing Financial Hardship

Because a business or individual’s financial circumstances can change for many reasons, most financial institutions (including debt collection agencies) maintain a Hardship Policy to assist and support their customers through periods of financial difficulty.

At AMPAC Debt Recovery, the purpose of our Financial Hardship Policy is to provide a framework to identify and respond to customers that are unable to meet their repayment obligations. Our hardship policy also provides a mechanism to help us make decisions that are fair and consistent, taking into account the unique circumstances of each hardship application.

In many cases, the process of assessing hardship leads to some form of temporary financial relief, and is particularly relevant now, as COVID related support measures come to an end and expose both individuals and businesses to traditional financial pressures.

Managing Financial Hardship

Understanding Financial Hardship

Financial Hardship is an inability rather than an unwillingness, to pay a debt. The cause of financial hardship is usually as a result of an unexpected change in circumstances, either temporary or permanent. Usually a customer is identified as being in financial hardship by self-assessment, by a financial counsellor, by their financial institution, or by a collection agency assigned to recover a debt.

The first step in assessing financial hardship involves completing a Statement of Financial Position and submitting this for review along with supporting documentation which verifies the customer’s current financial position. Generally, until the Statement of Financial Position is received and verified, the hardship support process cannot commence.

AMPAC deals with all hardship applications on a case by case basis as no two applications are identical. Throughout the process, it is normal for people to feel hesitant or embarrassed about discussing their financial position, but rest assured, this is something we respond to often, and are always willing to listen and support each genuine application.

Click here for a link to the Federal Government website Money Smart. This website contains lots of useful information about financial counsellors, budgeting and how to deal with a sudden changes in financial circumstances.

If you or your business are experiencing financial hardship and you are contacted by a financial counsellor, check their bona fides to ensure they are a legitimate organisation established to assist customers in financial difficulty, not simply a credit repair or debt consolidation business that charges a big fee for their service. A real financial counsellor is properly qualified to assist their clients. They are accredited, and undergo annual continuing education and supervised professional development to ensure they are up to date with all aspects of financial counselling. This means they are well qualified to provide support and advice to you. Most importantly, financial counselling is a free and confidential service offered by community organisations, community legal centres and some government agencies – they will not ask you for money up front.

Payment Arrangements

Once the hardship assessment process is completed and approved, and in consultation with our client, AMPAC will more than likely offer the customer a payment arrangement.  In all cases, the payment arrangement will be fair and reasonable, and designed to accommodate the unique circumstances of each customer.

Once the payment arrangement is established, AMPAC will provide written confirmation of the arrangement including:

If for any reason a customer cannot make a scheduled payment, we strongly recommend they telephone or email their account manager at AMPAC, let them know about the situation, and a revised payment date will be scheduled in the system.

For more information about how AMPAC Debt Recovery manage issues of financial hardship or payment arrangements, please contact us on 1300 426 722 or by email at info@4ampac.com.au

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