The National Hardship Register 

There are many valid reasons why some of us simply cannot afford to repay our debts and most of us want to avoid bankruptcy for equally valid reasons. For some people, there may be an alternative.

The National Hardship Register is intended as an alternative to bankruptcy and a relief from constant debt collector contact. If you are on the register, all participating debt collectors will know that you can’t repay your debts and will stop contacting you. After three years, if there are no changes to your situation, some of your debts may be waived! If they are not, you may be eligible to re-list on the NHR. After a second listing, it is likely that your remaining debts will then be statute barred (legally uncollectable).

The eligibility requirements can be complex, so this post will attempt to give a general overview of both the Register and your chances of being found eligible. The Register is an experimental new program and is not attended to by all debt collectors. Check to see if yours is on the list.

 Participating Debt Collectors:
ACM Group, ARL/NCO Group, Axess Group, Baycorp, Collection House, Complete Credit Solutions,
Dun & Bradstreet, Inter Credit,
Lion Finance, Panthera Finance, Pioneer Credit.

If this sounds like it might benefit you, check the eligibility requirements below.

Basic Eligibility

1: You are and expect to be on basic Centrelink income support for at least the next two years and can provide evidence in the form of an Income Statement. (Newstart payments are not generally eligible, seek more information).

2: As of time of writing, your income from all sources (except Family Tax Benefit and Child Support) must not exceed $1052.52 per fortnight.

3: Your budget (otherwise known as Statement of Financial Position) must demonstrate either a deficit or a surplus less than 10% of your income and less than $100 per month.

Next Step

Did you tick the above three options? If no, contact a Financial Counsellor on 9250 2123 or through the National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007 to discuss other options. If yes, check out these further requirements:

1: With the exception of property protected under the Bankruptcy Act, you can show you have no assets that could be sold to cover the debt. (Secured property cannot be included).

2: You are not expecting an inheritance, insurance payout or any irregular payment above $1000 in the next two years.

3: You are not currently Bankrupt, in a Debt Agreement or a Personal Insolvency Agreement.

4: You can provide proof of Income, your rent/mortgage expense (when asset has negative equity) and any additional information required such as medical evidence in the case of medical impact on earning capacity.

I think I’m eligible!

That’s great!

All applications for the National Hardship Register must be put forward by a Financial Counsellor or other not-for-profit Community Advocate such as a Legal Aid or Community Legal Centre lawyer.

If you’d like to discuss your eligibility in more detail, you can call Midlas on 9250 2123 to book an appointment with a free and independent Financial Counsellor or you can go to www.financialcounsellors.org/financial-counselling-network/ to find a Financial Counsellor in your area.

For more information on the National Hardship Register: https://www.nhr.org.au/

Midlas Mission: We partner with individuals and organisations to promote independence, strength and wellbeing in our community through support, advocacy and education.