Overview

MIDLAS financial counsellors provide information, options, support and advocacy to empower clients with the skills, knowledge and confidence to take control of their personal financial situation and prevent similar matters from reoccurring. MIDLAS financial counsellors assist clients in financial stress to explore, develop and implement strategies for redressing credit and debt issues.

Financial counsellors can help with a wide range of issues including, but not limited to: personal budgeting, skill development, debt management, negotiation with creditors, early release of superannuation investigation, court and bailiff preparation, and bankruptcy information.

MIDLAS Financial Counsellors are members of the Financial Counselling Association of WA. MIDLAS staff can assist with applications for the Hardship Utilities Grants Scheme and are qualified as trainers for Money Management courses.

Funding

MIDLAS Financial Service is funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and by the Department for Child Protection.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the MIDLAS financial Service clients who have a Low income and are residents of the City of Swan and the Shire of Mundaring. Please call the Financial Counsellors hotline 1800 007 007 for service to other areas.

Alternative Formats

MIDLAS makes all documents available in multiple alternative formats and important forms are provided in Easy English versions where appropriate. Please call us on (08) 9250 2123 to discuss your needs.

Original Documents

You will need to bring your original documents, bills, bank statements etc. to the interview and we will take a copy. We do not keep any of your original documents on site. Please refer to our client services charter.

Issues

Utilities (HUGS)

If you are experiencing hardship and are facing being disconnected from your electricity, gas or water supply you might be eligible for a Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS) grant. The WA State government provides financial assistance and MIDLAS can assist you.

First, you need to contact your utility provider and find out if you are eligible. Synergy; Alinta Gas; Western power.

Then, contact MIDLAS on (08) 9250 2123 for an appointment with one of our experienced financial counsellors who will assess your situation. MIDLAS may be able lodge the application on your behalf. You will need to bring documents to show that you are the person responsible for the utility account.

Car Repossession

If you are having difficulty paying your car loan or if you are in default, it may be in your best interest to make an appointment with a Financial Counsellor as soon as possible.

Default notices have time limits, so read any documents that have been sent to you very carefully. Even if you are in arrears of your car loan there still may be time for a financial counsellor to be able to negotiate a payment plan with your credit provider. Together we can work out a realistic and suitable payment plan and work towards a positive outcome.

Mortgage Foreclosure

Urgent! Please make an appointment with a financial counsellor if you are unable to make mortgage repayments or if you have received a default notice. A financial counsellor may be able to negotiate with the mortgage provider to achieve a moratorium or a variation to your contract. To achieve a positive outcome you will need to deal with this mortgage stress as soon as you possibly can.

Debt

Debt comes in all shapes and sizes and sometimes it becomes overwhelming and unmanageable. With increased household expense: rent, utilities, petrol etc it is very easy for people to find themselves in debt.

A change in personal circumstances such as a family member becoming unemployed or injured can easily lead to debt.

If your income is less than your expenses, you are in debt. MIDLAS financial counsellors can assist you with a budget review. From here you may be able to prioritise and plan to reduce your debt. MIDLAS may also be able to; advocate on your behalf with creditors, negotiate payment plans, and provide you with realistic options that work with your current financial situation.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is often (but not always a final option) for people and there are many complexities to firstly consider. A MIDLAS financial counsellor will be able to assist you with general information and provide you with a form to complete. Some notes of interest include:
- Bankruptcy generally endures for a period of three years but can be extended in certain circumstances.
- A permanent record of your bankruptcy is kept on the National Insolvency Register. This is an electronic public register which can be accessed by anyone for a fee.
- Your creditors are notified of your bankruptcy. Unsecured creditors should stop pursuing you for the payment of your debts.

In order to pay your creditors, you will have a trustee appointed who will: Sell most of your assets, mandate contributions from your income once you earn over a certain amount. Investigate your financial affairs and recover property or money.

Moratoriums

Sometimes all you need is a bit of time. financial counsellors may be able to negotiate a moratorium for you. A moratorium places payments on hold for a set amount of time. You may feel that your financial position will change and that you will be able to manage better at a later date. At the end of the moratorium period your payments will recommence.

Rent Arrears

If you have not paid rent by when it is due, you are in rent arrears. This is a breach of your residential tenancy agreement. Y

If needed, seek help from a MIDLAS tenancy advocate by clicking on this link.

Services

Negotiation

Negotiation is the art of friendly persuasion. In order for a financial counsellor to be able to negotiate effectively there needs to be a common interest between both parties. In the case of financial issues the common interest is the monies owed. You want to deal with your debt and the creditor wants to be paid, this allows for the channels of negotiation to commence. A financial counsellor can assist with negotiating on your behalf.

Advocacy

If you feel overwhelmed with your situation and would like help in effectively comminicating with government and non-government organisations, a MIDLAS financial counsellor may be able to advocate on your behalf to communicate your situation effectively to achieve the best possible outcome.

Creditors

A creditor is a business that has provided you with goods, money or a service in return for a payment. There is normally a contract that requires you to make regular payments over a period of time, or an invoice to be paid by a due date.

If you do not make these payments, you are in default and a creditor can seek a default judgment against you. The creditor then becomes the judgment creditor. If this is your situation contact MIDLAS on (08) 9250 2123 for an appointment with a Financial Counsellor as soon as you can.

Budgeting

Do you experience problems meeting regular repayments? Do you feel like you are out of financial control? Do you feel that you don’t know where your money goes? Come to MIDLAS for budgeting information, advice, tips, and resources to help you set up a successful budget and stay motivated.

Our financial counsellors can assist you with developing sustainable budgeting plans and assist with developing financial management skills to allow you to take control of your financial situation. financial counsellors can work with you to review your financial position and spending habits to offer options that may assist you take back control of your financial affairs.

MIDLAS is committed to engaging and communicating through:

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