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Ford

Change our bankruptcy laws

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Ford    12

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

 

 

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Ford    12

September 2017

Hi,

CONTINUING THE JOURNEY.

I went to the meeting of the Greens and asked my question about debt and poverty. Because their focus is towards low income and beneficiaries who are in poverty, debt is only in reference to WINZ debt. They mentioned one of the government child services I could enquire as to statistical data that they may or may not have. I might look into that later. Otherwise it appears that there will not be a lot of statisical data on how debt contibutes to poverty. I had already contacted the coronors office and they also do not keep stats on people who commit suicide because of debt. The labour party also said that they don't have policies on the level of detail I require.

I have prepared a draft viewpoint for publishing in the Canterbury Today magazine. Don't know if they will accept it, because not just anyone can submit articles. I had a meeting with a regular contributor to the the View Point and got some feedback on my draft.

After several months I finally received a letter from the Guardian Trust about Kiwisaver. And that was only because they first had ANZ contact me, which was a complete waste of time. Under the current laws there is no way to get out of Kiwisaver unless I emigrate to another country permanently or take it out at retirement. So there stays the government contribution with ANZ continuing to take their fees.

My company has now been struck off because I am bankrupt. There was no point in me spending the money to take the Companies Office to court to retain the company because only solicitors can represent a company in the High Court. It would have cost thousands to only be told by the Judge that a bankrupt cannot be a director.

I have received an application from WINZ for the accomodation suppliment. Before I was bankrupted I hadn't needed to apply for any benefits.

New debt. Received a timecost report from the Official Assignee and wow, 5 months into the bankruptcy and the new debt against me which started the day I became bankrupt is now more than $11,000! At the same rates, I estimate that by the end of the bankruptcy the OA would have clocked up around $60,000 in new debt. That is more than the entire creditor debt lodged in the bankruptcy against me. Case law I was reading showed another bankrupt had nearly $200,000 in new debt against them for bankruptcy administration over three years. Wow. When I meet with the MPs I will ask about that because there are nearly 2000 bankruptcies in NZ every year. The OA takes their fee first before any creditors, and if there is not enough to pay their costs then the tax payer pays it. Public money is used if there is no money that can be retrieved from a bankrupts estate.

They have now closed off the bankruptcy administration. To the bankrupt, that means nothing.  Here is part of the estate report  "........ability to pay contributions will be reassessed if her financial circumstances improve during the course of her bankruptcy..............." Remember people the OA has access to your bank accounts.

All bankruptcy means is that creditors cannot themselves collect on the debt from the debtor. They have to put a claim in the bankruptcy estate. But the debt still exists. Unless a creditor actually writes to you and tells you it has been written off. I am still paying original creditors outside of the bankruptcy regime, and I receive student loan statements from the IRD. I spoke to two IRD staff who told me that student loan debt actually "gets capitalised and put on to the new IRD number."  "Oh really" I asked. I'm waiting for that to be confirmed in writing but they have told me that mine will be written off. They also get a copy of the estate report that will show I do not have any assets. In the meantime I am paying them also and the balance is reducing. It will be interesting to see if they do write off the student loan now that the bankruptcy admin is closed by the OA.

Next mission - writing to the CEO of NZTA to see if they will stop the debt collector they used from holding any profile against me now that I am bankrupt. According to the debt collector themselves, they say they must retain records for auditing purposes. I asked them who audits them, given they are not regulated by any government. They chose not to respond.

I'll update again in Oct. If you think of anything about our laws that you would like changed in terms of debt collection and bankruptcy, please share it with us.

PS I managed to get myself on the mailing list for the NZ Debt Management office of the government treasury. They have put out the next bond tender schedule if anyone is interested.

 

Ford

 

 

 

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RichLife    47

Have you approached any investigative reporters or the like? I'm sure someone would be keen to pick the story up and do an in-depth investigation into bankruptcy in NZ, especially when they see what the process looks like from the inside. First step towards changing legislation is to get people aware of it and talking about the need for change.

Edited by RichLife

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Ford    12

 

Hi, thank you for your questions. I have noted it.

The short answer is no I haven’t yet approached anyone. But that is not to say there won’t come a time when it will be right for an investigative reporter to look into our bankruptcy laws. I would like to have an article printed first to see how people respond to the issues that I will bring to the table. I still have much research to complete. I would like there to be a proper formal government enquiry, so our laws can be changed. Bankruptcy is a very taboo subject, people don’t like talking about it. It should be discussed of course because substantial public money goes into the very hidden bankruptcy regime. So not just any reporter would be suitable. For all the issues I have uncovered, and for my part in accepting debt offerings from the bank, and then being made bankrupt, I have been lucky to have people treat me with kindness. For them and the decent people of our country they deserve an investigation by someone who has integrity and who would not bias or manipulate the findings.

 

Edited by Ford

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RichLife    47
On 9/30/2017 at 11:30 AM, Ford said:

 

Hi, thank you for your questions. I have noted it.

The short answer is no I haven’t yet approached anyone. But that is not to say there won’t come a time when it will be right for an investigative reporter to look into our bankruptcy laws. I would like to have an article printed first to see how people respond to the issues that I will bring to the table. I still have much research to complete. I would like there to be a proper formal government enquiry, so our laws can be changed. Bankruptcy is a very taboo subject, people don’t like talking about it. It should be discussed of course because substantial public money goes into the very hidden bankruptcy regime. So not just any reporter would be suitable. For all the issues I have uncovered, and for my part in accepting debt offerings from the bank, and then being made bankrupt, I have been lucky to have people treat me with kindness. For them and the decent people of our country they deserve an investigation by someone who has integrity and who would not bias or manipulate the findings.

 

It absolutely is a taboo subject which is why I think a reporter would be very keen to sink their teeth in. There are definitely some reputable journalists with the resources to do the topic justice - maybe the team who left Mediaworks for Fairfax after the current affairs show '3D' was axed (Toby Longbottom/Eugene Bingham/Paula Penfold), they investigated the NZ role in Afghanistan and turned up heaps of important stuff. Maybe an RNZ/John Campbell feature?

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Ford    12

Hi,

It seems it does hold some interest. I have been contacted today by a writer for a community newspaper, who wants to do a story. I don't know which paper and nothing is confirmed yet until we meet up in a few days, but its a promising start.

Thanks for the names. I'll make a note of those.

There is still much I can research, but I have already hit a couple of walls, and that is where contractural arrangements with debt collectors are entered into by the banks and government with debt collectors, contracts that we the public are not allowed access to. But that is where the answers lie, and I believe they may also lie with the Government's debt management office. Who ever investigates are going to have to have tremendous courage to unveil those secrets.

Ford

 

 

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