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Part 9 Debt Agreements

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Part 9 Debt Agreements

What is a Debt Agreement?

Simply, it is a formal, managed plan which allows you to settle your debts by paying an affordable amount of money, over a set period of time. A Part 9 Debt Agreement is not a loan and it’s not for everybody. It is for people who are struggling with debt, can’t get a loan but, nevertheless, want to pay their debts.

"Debt agreements in many cases can be the smarter way forward, especially as bankruptcy can leave a financial legacy that can affect people for years."

Nicola Roxon, Former Attorney-General

Bankruptcy is NOT the Only Way Out!

  • A Part IX Debt Agreement can be a realistic alternative to bankruptcy and can help you become debt free relatively quickly.
  • It is a legally binding agreement between someone who is in debt and the creditors who are owed the money.
  • Debt Fix can assist by helping you with a manageable budget / money plan, speaking with your creditors and helping you draw up the Debt Agreement Proposal. Debt Agreement must be affordable and sustainable for the benefit of all those concerned.


Looking For a Formal Debt Agreement Provider You Can Trust?

For those struggling with debt, there are always options. Depending on your circumstances, some options are going to present more favourably than others, so experienced and trusted guidance is essential.

Who do you turn to for trusted and independent guidance? Fortunately you have options here too.

Whoever you choose to help, you need to make sure that the person you choose has access to every option available. From advice to loans and other finance options, managed plans and bankruptcy. One of the biggest risks you face when you are looking for help at this crucial point is investing your trust in an organisation that only specialises in two or three debt relief options. In this way, they will only be in a position to recommend a very narrow scope of solutions or even worse, say that they can’t help, leaving you demoralised and disheartened.

Some finance advises may suggest that bankruptcy is the only solution or the best course of action for you. This said, if you would prefer not to be a bankrupt or feel you have the ability to pay your creditors a reduced sum to settle your debts, then this should be explored.  

This is where Debt Fix is different. We have access to an enormous range of options any of which are likely to suit you and be relevant to your needs. In this way, Debt Fix can tailor a solution to meet your needs, no matter what your circumstances. Don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1300 332 834.

When it comes to debt help solutions, the one option which seems to attract the most amount of opinion is the Part IX Debt Agreement (to use the precise terminology).

All You Need to Know About the Part 9 Debt Agreement

What are the Advantages of a Part 9 Debt Agreement?

  • The advantages are:
    • All interest and charges on your unsecured debts will be frozen.
    • Providing you keep to the terms of your arrangement, your creditors will not be able to pursue any further court action. They will also be prohibited from sending letters to you and telephoning you for the purpose of debt collection.
    • Once the Debt Agreement is successfully completed your debts are effectively settled, providing you with a fresh start.
    • For anyone who does not wish go bankrupt because of their job or the stigma of bankruptcy this can be an excellent option.
    • The Debt Agreement will bind most unsecured creditors.
    • Your contributions are based on your ability to pay.
    • You can keep your secured assets as long as you continue to pay for them
    • Once there is an agreement in place, the amounts owed to creditors does not change
    • A debt agreement can be constructed to suit your circumstances. For instance, it may be possible to propose a moratorium, lump sum settlement or any other arrangement that creditors may consider suitable.

What are the Disadvantages of a Part 9 Debt Agreement?

  • The disadvantages are:
    • You will be required to stick to a budget for the term of the agreement.
    • It’s a requirement that all assets and liabilities are declared
    • Debt Agreements are recorded on a public register and are likely to appear on your credit file for a limited time. This in turn may effect you ability to obtain credit.
    • As an alternative to Bankruptcy, the Debt Agreement is considered an "Act of Bankruptcy". 
    • There are some industries which may limit your participation if you enter a Debt Agreement. For instance, if you're an Accountant, you may not be able to practice.
    • Not everyone qualifies to make a Debt Agreement and there are conditions which need to be met to determine eligibility. 

Debt Agreements

A Part 9 Debt Agreement is an offer (made by a debtor) to settle debts as an alternative to bankruptcy. There is so much misinformation about debt agreements that it’s time to set the record straight, once and for all.

  • Understanding the Part IX Debt Agreement
    • A Debt Agreement is
      • not a “one size fits all” solution. Like any option, they have benefits and consequences and it is important to make yourself aware of all the ins and outs
      • not a “form of Bankruptcy” or “partial Bankruptcy”. Whilst you must be insolvent to qualify (amongst other eligibility criteria ) and it is part of the Bankruptcy Act, its for people who do not want to be a bankrupt and want to settle their debts as an alternative to bankruptcy.
      • not a consolidation loan but it will consolidate your payments.
      • is only accepted when a majority of unsecured, affected creditors (in value) vote to agree to it.
    • If you make a Debt Agreement,
      • you will have one, regular repayment that will settle most unsecured debts.
      • affected, unsecured creditors are paid in proportion to their debts.
      • you must disclose all your debts - no matter how big or small. You are legally required to make truthful declarations.
      • your credit score will be temporarily impacted. This means you will be unable to get a loan or any other credit while you are paying off your Debt Agreement.
      • the terms of the agreement will not change unless you petition your creditors. For example, if you make an agreement and then your position improves substantially, your creditors are unable to insist on increased payments. In other words, all parties are bound by the agreed terms.
    • Important notes:
      • If your circumstances change during the course of the Debt Agreement you’re entitled to petition a change to the terms of the Agreement.
      • Once the Agreement is paid, the debts owed to those affected unsecured creditors (i.e. credit cards, personal loans, unpaid bills etc.) will be settled once and for all.
      • Only licensed Debt Agreement Administrators are regulated by the Government. Unlicensed administrators and brokers are not regulated by AFSA.
      • The intention of a Debt Agreement is to settle debts. For this reason, if you were able to obtain finance during the term of the Agreement, it would defeat the purpose.
      • Not all your debts are covered by a debt agreement, and you will still need to pay some debts such as fines and child support debts.
      • The agreement must be affordable, so a realistic and affordable budget is a must.
      • Not everyone can propose a formal agreement; you have to meet certain criteria or “thresholds” relating to assets, income and unsecured debt levels.

The intention of this article is to lay to rest just some of the common misconceptions about Debt Agreements. Whilst we have addressed most of the myths and misconceptions, this is by no means a definitive list. In order to seek further clarification about debt agreements and how they may affect your circumstances, you could contact Debt Fix for a free consultation or contact AFSA Australian Financial Security Authority – the Government agency responsible for overseeing the operation of the Debt Agreement Scheme.

Differences Between a Debt Agreement and Going Bankrupt


Debt Agreement


Will I automatically lose my car? No, as long as the payments are maintained. Maybe, if its worth more than $8100.00 (indexed)
Will I lose my furniture? No Maybe, you are allowed to keep necessary household furniture.
Will I lose my tools of trade? No Maybe, if you have over $3800.00 worth (indexed).
If a family member dies and leaves me some money, will I be able to keep it? Yes Any interest you have or acquire during bankruptcy as a beneficiary of a deceased estate belongs to the trustee.
Will I be able to travel overseas? Yes Maybe, If you wish to travel overseas you must obtain the permission of the court if you are required to make compulsory.
Will I lose my house? No, as long as the payments are maintained Maybe, The trustee has to deal with any equity or interest you have in a property, for the benefit of your creditors. This may mean that the property has to be sold.
Do I have to appear in court? No Maybe, Your trustee will decide whether there are matters requiring examination before the Official Receiver or the Court. If, for example, investigations into your affairs are needed you may be required to attend an examination or an interview.
How long is information recorded on the public record? If your debt agreement is paid in 5 years, information relating to the agreement will remain on the public record for five years from the date the agreement is made, or the date the obligations are discharged, whichever is later. Information relating to the bankruptcy will remain on the public record forever.

Debt Fix provide Part 9 Debt Agreements to those experiencing financial difficulties. Call us on 1300 332 834 for help today.