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What is bankruptcy and its implications?

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The number of Australians in financial distress is on the rise prompting warnings of more personal bankruptcies as the national economy slows down.This feature explains how to deal with unmanageable debt.

Going bankrupt or being declared bankrupt by a creditor, who is owed money that cannot be repaid, is a serious matter and has legal consequences.

The journey into bankruptcy often starts with a small debt that wasn’t settled in time and then forgotten. 

But with late payment fees, penalty charges and high credit interest, that small debt can quickly become a crushing financial burden.  

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Add to that personal factors such as unemployment, relationship breakdowns or ill health and a difficult financial situation can quickly become desperate.

Ma’ata Solofoni is a senior solicitor at the Financial Rights Legal Centre in Surry Hills. She is receiving a growing number of calls about bankruptcies. 

Ma’ata Solofoni says the rise is in enquiries is often driven by financial institutions threatening customers fallen behind with payments with legal action.

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