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367 posts

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# 136176 17-Nov-2013 23:12
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Hello Would anyone know any good websites about how to start a campaign. I would like to campaign against unfair debt collection practises here in NZ but not sure where to start.
Thanks Ford

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  # 936342 17-Nov-2013 23:19
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You can start by telling us why it is unfair?





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  # 936346 17-Nov-2013 23:32
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lol, unfair debt collection practices? That sounds like a contradiction to me.

 
 
 
 




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  # 936356 18-Nov-2013 00:07
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Hello

Some countries do have laws to protect people from ruthless creditors.
It is true I am in financial hardship which I am trying to put right and pay my debts off.
But I keep getting stone-walled.

I revealed my financial hardship to the Inland Revenue Department in a meeting I had with them a few months back. I had already been paying off some debt. At the meeting I was given a few weeks to compile my financial information so they could decide what to do. But just a week later I find that my whole bank account had literally been cleaned out by them. I thought I had been scammed. I found out later that they are doing it to others. I have reviewed some of the Acts and they are allowed to do that to people.

With one of the major banks I have been in negotiations with, quite literally they called me on their auto dialers several times a week over a period of nearly two months. They have ignored my requests that I only deal with banking issues in writing. They then took away my bank manager and never told me. They harrased me so much that I had to threaten legal action to get them to stop.

I could go on, but those are a couple of the highlights. The only options I am given by my lawyers and accoutants is bankruptcy, that is because there is no alternative. That is the problem. Negotiations with banks are really just another way to incur more debt and they continue to add on fees and interest.

Bankruptcy is free money and our systems do not educate people about money and debt.
I'd like to turn it around educate others on how they can get themselves out of a hole without resorting to bankruptcy.

While we may have dug the hole, others have provided the shovel and that isn't right.

Ford

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  # 936359 18-Nov-2013 00:27
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Sorry to hear of your hardship. If the IRD during a meeting gave you a deadline, and then failed to give you until that deadline, especially without warning, then they are in the wrong. There are channels within the IRD to have that dealt with. Banking Ombudsman handles banking complaints.

It's admirable you wish to avoid bankruptcy unfortunately there is often not a lot of choice, though making sure that all "interested" parties understand that if they don't already, would be important.

Different rules apply depending on whether you are a company or an individual.

Having said all of that, I think starting a website or spending energy educating people (When you haven't resolved this situation yet), would be a waste. You would be better to spend that energy solving said problem in the first place. I imagine you are feeling fairly emotional and this is never a good place to start something like that.

Communication is absolutely key, I cannot highly enough stress this. Most parties will be patient with regular communication and a low rate of flakiness. You are better to under promise and over deliver. Don't make people wonder what happened to a scheduled payment.

Also document everything. Keep clear notes, times and dates, and peoples names you speak to.

Hope some of this helps.



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  # 936364 18-Nov-2013 00:57
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Hello
Thanks for your suggestions. Yes there are channels. And I did indeed make a complaint to the IRD.
They ignored it completely and they wrote off the remaining debt. My lawyer advised I should speak to my MP but I decided against that.
I am a company with company debt (just me as shareholder and director).
I am hoping that my campaigning will show people there can be choice and that will be by educating people on how not to get into trouble in the first place. Because to battle it out is very stressful and has taken many months.

If I have to accept bankruptcy it will go on my credit record and I won't be able to have a company for three years. The repuccusions will be much longer than that however.
I sent x3 letters to one of the other banks. One was an offer of settlement and they ignored all my letters completely.
Yes it is frustrating but I am learning a strategy which helps to keep emotions under control. That is a good skill to have. Yes you are correct in that I won't waste time educating others until my situation is under control. But at least I'll be ready when the time comes.

I like to think something worthwhile will come out of all this.
There are around 4000 bankruptcies in NZ every year. I refuse to be another one.

Basically I shouldn't have run my business like a job. It was the wrong thing to do.
We should be taught that the purpose of a business is to create jobs and wealth for others. Not just so we can fund our own lifestyles at the expense of the rest of society.
Some people say that the purpose of business is to create profit or serve customers. Of course you need those things but they should only be a vehicle to a great purpose.

Thats my opinion anyway.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Ford


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  # 936845 18-Nov-2013 18:49
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I can't quite understand your story.

You talk about your bank account and bankruptcy, and then you state it's a company issue for an organisation in which you own shares and are a director. As I understand it, the procedures and rules are a bit different for individuals (personal debt) and companies (commercial debt). If, for instance, it's a limited-liability company (which it should be if there are shares) and relates to company debt then you are dealing with receivership rather than personal bankruptcy. If so, unless you have been negligent as a director, it shouldn't go on your personal record or credit rating.

My understanding is that that merely having been the director of one failed company doesn't prevent you from being a director of another company. You only get banned for a period if the Registrar of Companies decides to ban you, the courts ban you, or you go personally bankrupt. The Registrar has to establish mismanagement for a ban to be applied.

Given the severity of the issues you raise, you really need to take good legal advice (from a lawyer with expertise in this area, not a hack solicitor) and focus on tidying your affairs up. Worry about campaigning only after you have sorted your own situation.

In passing, it's worth noting that the purpose of a business isn't "to create jobs and wealth for others", it's to create wealth for its shareholders.








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Ultimate Geek
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  # 937631 20-Nov-2013 00:41
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Thanks for your reply.

Yes individuals go bankrupt and companies get liquidated.
And there are different legal processes for each.
With my company loans I stupidly personally guaranteed them so if the bank calls in the loan it can liquidate my company then come after me personally and the official assignee has already advised they would probably disclaim all assets which means bankruptcy would then be the only option.

One is also not allowed legal aid to defend a company in court. That only applies to individuals as I have been advised. It literally would cost thousands because of the two separate processes.

And that is the point of campaigning because there is no other alternative. Every lawyer and accountant I have been to say the same thing, either file for bankruptcy or the no-asset procedure. (easy for them to say) That will affect my credit history and any future borrowing for a long time.

There is a whole lot more to the story which would take a book to explain it.
I will cetainly wait until my debt issue is over in some form or another because debt is all timeconsuming and stressful.

I would like to eventually list a company on the alternative stock market. Yes shareholders will only invest in companies that can make them money (wealth) but to do so would mean the business has created (jobs) for others in the process. To run an investment company requires special skill and knowledge that I believe we should all have access to, if we so desire. Ruthless creditors use us less knowledgable people as mince meat and we get taken advantage of.

The idea that business creates jobs and wealth for others is not mine, but it is a theory I agree with and had that had been my focus earlier on, I would not be in the situation I am in today. I personally, and in no way mean disrespectfully, I would not accept investment funds from shareholders that only had their own personal wealth in mind.

Ford

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  # 937693 20-Nov-2013 08:43
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Perhaps instead of campaigning against debt collection, it would be better to educate people to not get themselves in this situation to begin with.

noc

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Master Geek
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  # 937702 20-Nov-2013 09:03
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Inphinity: Perhaps instead of campaigning against debt collection, it would be better to educate people to not get themselves in this situation to begin with.


I fully agree with this. Getting into dept these days is extremely easy with all the "24months interest free" TV adds, car dealers that will "do you a deal", and people who get mortgages that they have trouble paying off because "I have to have my dream house now". So it's all around us, there's tons of "buy now pay later" services out there, but services to educate people on money are harder to find (good ones that is).

I for one did a paper at a University not long ago that covered all the money matters of today, and I was astounded at how much I learned and how much I didn't actually know about money (I wasn't exactly bad with money before doing the paper)

So starting a campaign around how people can protect themselves from debt, and how people can be better with money, would be a good start, rather than trying to fight the system.

Just my 2cents

PS. I am sorry to hear about your situation, hope it all works out in the end.

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  # 937703 20-Nov-2013 09:09
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noc:
Inphinity: Perhaps instead of campaigning against debt collection, it would be better to educate people to not get themselves in this situation to begin with.


I fully agree with this. Getting into dept these days is extremely easy with all the "24months interest free" TV adds, car dealers that will "do you a deal", and people who get mortgages that they have trouble paying off because "I have to have my dream house now". So it's all around us, there's tons of "buy now pay later" services out there, but services to educate people on money are harder to find (good ones that is).

I for one did a paper at a University not long ago that covered all the money matters of today, and I was astounded at how much I learned and how much I didn't actually know about money (I wasn't exactly bad with money before doing the paper)

So starting a campaign around how people can protect themselves from debt, and how people can be better with money, would be a good start, rather than trying to fight the system.

Just my 2cents

PS. I am sorry to hear about your situation, hope it all works out in the end.


I would be interested in a summary of the things you learned that surprised you if you had a few moments... 

noc

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Master Geek
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  # 937742 20-Nov-2013 10:04
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networkn:
noc:
Inphinity: Perhaps instead of campaigning against debt collection, it would be better to educate people to not get themselves in this situation to begin with.


I fully agree with this. Getting into dept these days is extremely easy with all the "24months interest free" TV adds, car dealers that will "do you a deal", and people who get mortgages that they have trouble paying off because "I have to have my dream house now". So it's all around us, there's tons of "buy now pay later" services out there, but services to educate people on money are harder to find (good ones that is).

I for one did a paper at a University not long ago that covered all the money matters of today, and I was astounded at how much I learned and how much I didn't actually know about money (I wasn't exactly bad with money before doing the paper)

So starting a campaign around how people can protect themselves from debt, and how people can be better with money, would be a good start, rather than trying to fight the system.

Just my 2cents

PS. I am sorry to hear about your situation, hope it all works out in the end.


I would be interested in a summary of the things you learned that surprised you if you had a few moments... 


It was really the smaller things that made the biggest difference for me. Those little distinctions that I never really payed much attention to before. Without going into too much detail -

Investing and Diversification - I do invest, but I have never really payed much attention to the importance of Diversifying, or even how to diversify my investments properly. I mean, I knew not to "put all my eggs in one basket", but I never actually realised how much of an effect it could have on the risk that I was taking at the time.

Risk management - This was the biggest one for me. How to actually calculate the risk that you are taking, reducing risk and managing it.

While we are on the subject of dept. What to look for in the fine print (which I always just skimmed over - what the heck was that "administration fee"? Is it Really "interest free'?) I know this sounds like a something very simple, but the majority of people (that I know of) don't even bother looking into this stuff properly when they go and tick up that new lounge suite at Noel Leeming, or where ever we go. I was careful about these deals, but again, never took the time to actually look into them properly.

What options you have if you do get into financial trouble, like the OP described - I never realised that there are free services available like Budget Advisers, free tax advice, even some free legal advice out there if you look around.

There were other subjects that I found interesting as well, like insurance, different types of investing, retirement planning etc. which I wont into detail about.

In all, doing just a little bit of study on the subject of finances, instead of following the trend, made me look at things differently. There are a lot of stuff that I thought I understood, until I actually started getting educated on the subject. And for me, it was the little things that made the biggest difference in how I understood finances.



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Ultimate Geek
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  # 938187 20-Nov-2013 21:26
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I see the point in campaigning for education rather than against the system.

The point is to bring awareness of the seriousnessness of the debt situation in our country which I believe is due in part to a lack of financial understanding and aggressive marketing strategies by large investment companies. (notwithstanding the quakes of course doesn’t help).

I can certainly focus my actions on the educational side of things and maybe others will come on board.

Yes there are free services and I have used free budgeting tools and they are great value. Most however are geared to the home user that has a job and some disposable income. Once you cross the line into the negative different strategies are required. Especially when you also have a business and wish to turn it around. Budgeting is a learned skill that one must do consistently.

I like a quote I heard – “When you fall down you need a strategy to get backup”. That is a great quote. I say, lets learn and apply the strategies before we fall down.

Because ultimately we still have to take ownership of our spending and education, I also focus on the huge lack of impulse control that a lot of people – myself included, seem to have and we are easy targets for ruthless marketing companies. You won’t find KFC and McD’s within a minutes walk of each other in the more affluent parts of our cities. Companies will do anything to get our money even producing poor quality goods and services just so we can palm over our life savings. Consuming caffeine and alcohol and junk food, changes our brain chemistry. We feel good, so we consume them more and now we are habitually addicted. The companies making and selling the stuff are literally laughing all the way to the bank. And we are destroying our bodies and brains just for a bit of pleasure. Then when we get into strife creditors slam us with bankruptcy which teaches us nothing about how to “be good with money” Our government counters casinos and taverns with gambling and alcohol programmes but it doesn’t do it for debt.

Risk management would be a great skill to learn, along with asset protection and how to use debt correctly. I just received in the mail a flyer from GEM visa addressed to me personally asking if I wish a $15,000.00 loan for that new car, holiday, unexpected bill etc.

I so far have learned, if you must use credit use it for a singular purpose and only when the item you are buying is a asset or you can use it to create an asset. I have also learned there are other more ethical ways to fund a business like crowd funding or angel investors, where they look closely at your finances to see if you are deserving of the money. Also has anyone wondered why banks only seem to promote their services to home users for mortgages etc. There are no business only banks.

This xmas I say, instead of that pool or tv or video game, give someone you love the gift of knowledge. That will serve them well, forever.


My 2 cents. :)

noc

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Master Geek
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  # 938341 21-Nov-2013 09:25
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Ford: I see the point in campaigning for education rather than against the system.

The point is to bring awareness of the seriousnessness of the debt situation in our country which I believe is due in part to a lack of financial understanding and aggressive marketing strategies by large investment companies. (notwithstanding the quakes of course doesn’t help).

I can certainly focus my actions on the educational side of things and maybe others will come on board.

Because ultimately we still have to take ownership of our spending and education, I also focus on the huge lack of impulse control that a lot of people – myself included, seem to have and we are easy targets for ruthless marketing companies. You won’t find KFC and McD’s within a minutes walk of each other in the more affluent parts of our cities. Companies will do anything to get our money even producing poor quality goods and services just so we can palm over our life savings. Consuming caffeine and alcohol and junk food, changes our brain chemistry. We feel good, so we consume them more and now we are habitually addicted. The companies making and selling the stuff are literally laughing all the way to the bank. And we are destroying our bodies and brains just for a bit of pleasure. Then when we get into strife creditors slam us with bankruptcy which teaches us nothing about how to “be good with money” Our government counters casinos and taverns with gambling and alcohol programmes but it doesn’t do it for debt.

Education around finances is definitely they way to go. Fighting the retail giant with their perfected marketing techniques will be like pushing $h#t up a hill. They do what they do best, sell to people, and thy have become so good at it that people can't help themselves when they see a huge Interest Free deal. I mean, yes raise the awareness that it's easy to get into dept and the aggressiveness of marketing strategies, however, at the end of the day, it's up to the person to make the decision to get into dept or not to, and maybe if they knew the implications of getting into more dept and what effect it really does have, then they would possibly avoid it.

Risk management would be a great skill to learn, along with asset protection and how to use debt correctly. I just received in the mail a flyer from GEM visa addressed to me personally asking if I wish a $15,000.00 loan for that new car, holiday, unexpected bill etc.

I so far have learned, if you must use credit use it for a singular purpose and only when the item you are buying is a asset or you can use it to create an asset. I have also learned there are other more ethical ways to fund a business like crowd funding or angel investors, where they look closely at your finances to see if you are deserving of the money. Also has anyone wondered why banks only seem to promote their services to home users for mortgages etc. There are no business only banks.

This xmas I say, instead of that pool or tv or video game, give someone you love the gift of knowledge. That will serve them well, forever.


My 2 cents. :)

And this brings me to my final point. Kids come out of school not even knowing how to write a CV, let alone know about managing money. So the minute they step into the "real world", they are screwed. As soon as they get that $15,000 GEM Visa loan offer in the mail, they'll go for it. I think the best campaign would be to get basic financial education into schools and stop teaching them crap that they will never use again (I mean algebra? Really?). We are living in the 21st Century, however, our schooling educations systems are not keeping up with modern day demands.

I'm not saying that bringing education into schools will solve all the problems, but it will be a damn good start and possibly have a bigger impact than trying to teach a bunch of adults who think they know about their finances (like I did before I started getting educated on the subject)

Again, just my opinion!







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  # 938737 21-Nov-2013 23:52
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Yes I definately agree about the school system.
There certainly wasn't any form of financial education when I was at school. To bring financial education into the school system would certainly mean challenging government education policy, but it is a good idea and I could at least in the beginning speak to a schools principal to get a handle on what if any financial education is currently taught in our schools.

I read an interesting article in a chartered accountants magazine about crowd funding which is an alternative to borrowing instead of using the banks. That at least gives people choices. The banks control the financial media such that it appears the only way to obtain money is via banks or credit card. This I believe is because the focus is on teaching people to save their money. Which means they "park" it somewhere (like a bank) who lend it out and make more money. I have read that to make money the smart way you need to keep it moving and don't just hand it over to others and hope they will take care of it. Our society also teaches us to cut costs and reduce and downsize and layoff and make bankrupt. I say, lets increase and expand so we can get educated. What I don't understand is that I am told that bankruptcy should be the last option. So why are people telling me to take that as a first option? I get some interesting grimaces from lawyers when I ask what other alternatives are there that doesn't involve having all my debts written off in some form or another.

In the meantime I've changed the name of my company - with the debt still against it. I've setup another company with the same name of the original, retaining the same customers. It will be an investment company with share/stock offerings, unencumbered with no debt and a fresh start and a new mission/campaign to bring financial education to others. If the banks don't want to accept my settlement offers then they can liquate the "debt" company. If they come after me personally and force me into bankruptcy I'll make sure I'll be ready for them.

Wish me luck!
Thanks for your insights.

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Master Geek
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  # 938802 22-Nov-2013 08:56
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Good luck and I hope you manage to get everything sorted!

On a related note - In my late teens I had a business idea that I was keen to get started, I had plans, forecasts and budgets, I had positive feedback from a number of people. I approached a prominent and successful local business person (who was also the local mayor at the time) to ask for some advice as a business mentor. Everything was helpful advice until the point where I asked about good options for finding financial backing, not a significant amount by many standards (I was still a teen at the time), somewhere between 20 - 30k. It was at this point his only advice was to 'go to a few banks and get a credit card from each'. I didn't bother approaching him again.

I believe as the others have stated, proper financial education needs to be introduced into schools to give kids a chance at avoiding many of the pitfalls we have experienced.

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