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Hi, INTRO I thought I would start an online journal about my journey to change our bankruptcy laws, and to end collective corporate bullying of people who are in financial hardship, poverty or who are bankrupt like me. As a bankrupt myself it was truely a shock to learn the truth about what it really means to be in debt in NZ. So I've set upon a mission to change our laws. I believe if I knew the real truth about debt in NZ I would have long ago carved out a more prosporous life for myself. I hope readers, you get some value out of my journey to change our laws. I hope its not too late for you to turn away from debt and towards a better future. The world of debt in NZ is very complex. Its like a giant puzzle made up of many pieces of all shapes and sizes. This journal will be an attempt to put all the pieces together. In the end, we will all see the real picture. It was a shock to discover that the debt collection industry in NZ is also corrupt. The place to fix that is to change our laws. There is a tremendous incentive for lending agencies and government to keep people in debt. They work hand in hand through the unregulated debt collection industries, governments and corporations, to move our money out to the international stock markets. THE ULTIMATE GOAL 1. To change our laws in order to end collective corporate bullying and discrimination against people who are in financial hardship, poverty and those who have formal insolvency procedures against them. THE JOURNEY The journey for me, began 4 years ago when I decided to do something about the debt that I was in. I am bankrupt today because I was unsuccessful in that mission. Thousands are bankrupt in NZ every year. Most are due to creditors bankrupting them through the High Courts like I was. But this journey is not about my story. Its about the steps I am taking to have our laws changed in NZ, so we can take charge of our own lives and live the way we chose without the burden of debt ruining our lives. Being in financial hardship and bankrupt, a lot of our legal and privacy rights are taken away from us. Up to this point in time I have researched, spoken to MP's, community groups and individuals in an effort to understand just how are rights are being violated by the debt collection industry and why we have such very harsh cruel insolvency laws that stand in contrast to our governments values and to even our written laws. Just a few of the pieces of the puzzle starting to fit together. To change our laws will be done just small steps at a time. CONTINUING THE JOURNEY As I've gathered evidence, I'm identifying first what laws that are actually harming people who are bankrupt. That is its easier to see that from my current position. Then I'll create a sort of demographic of different areas and what laws need to be changed. When I became bankrupt, the first thing I was made aware of, was that people in NZ don't actually have a right to hold a bank account in NZ. Banks in NZ do write to their customers and tell them to close their accounts when they become bankrupt. Thankfully most have allowed me to retain my accounts. There are also banks in NZ who will not accept new customers if they have defaults of any sort on their credit reports. As NZ Citizens we don't have an inherent right to hold a bank account in NZ, its up to the individual banks. The law to change is for bankrupts to be able to keep their transactional accounts open with the bank when they become bankrupt. The other law to change is for people who are self employed to be able to continue working without the threat of imprisonment by the official assignee. Because I had no other source of income, I was forced to keep working for 5 weeks with that horrendous threat hanging over me. Eventually I did obtain consent to keep working in the same position I had been in for five years, so I could pay basic living costs. No person should have to be expected to live like that. This week there is a meeting with the Green Party. They will be talking about poverty. I'm going to that meeting to see if I can find a link between debt and poverty. I'll post into this journal every couple of weeks or so. If anyone has any suggestions that will help this campaign, please put your suggestions forward. Ford