Insolvency or survival

It is predicted that thousands of Australians are about to lose their jobs because the businesses they work for have not taken up the Federal Government’s offer of assistance from experienced insolvency experts. As a former Chartered Accountant I have mostly seen “insolvency experts” charging outrageous fees to close businesses down rather than revive them.insolvency

My solution has always been to obtain an aged list of creditors and contact each one to negotiate an acceptable payment program. They mostly want to keep the business afloat too, because they want it as a continuing customer. I would also get a list of debtors and give the oldest ones a call to see if we could negotiate a plan for them to pay the business what is owed. That would usually produce cash much faster than happened when the business owner was to busy or afraid to call them.

Next we would have lengthy discussions with the business’s bankers to make sure they looked after the business well and that the business honoured its obligations to the bank.

Then with a budget that was checked monthly against actual performance and strict limits on spending that did not produce fairly immediate revenue, we would see the business turn around and flourish.

When businesses suffer acute liquidity problems there is usually a fairly easy solution. Many debt problems relate to bad borrowing or spending decisions in the first place. If your business is in strife let me know and let’s see how quickly it can be turned from cash shortage to cash surplus and from loss to profit.

Greg

Loan laws favour bank over borrower

Borrowers “Brokers” are more important than ever now that the government is putting responsibility for being able to afford loans onto the relatively inexperienced borrowers and away from the highly experienced and qualified bank risk officers. The bank-paid brokers are on the bank’s side because the banks pay them.

That means banks will foreclose more often and more easily. Borrowers often do not understand the consequences if they pay off their business or farm loans for 10 to 15 years and then some adverse circumstance like illness, drought, flood or fire causes a major loan default and the bank sells them up.

Then all those years of repayment can go down the drain because the bank engages expensive insolvency experts, receivers and lawyers whose astronomical fees absorb all the repayments and capital gains.

It pays to have a firm like GBAC Advisory give your loan an independent, inexpensive, annual or biennial “Compliance check” to  ensure that borrowers have not left themselves vulnerable to foreclosure any time the bank feels like it for the breach of some obscure loan term they did not know about.

Catching problems before the bank does is the key to making the loan work for the borrower as well as the bank

Dealing with Corona Debt

If you face problems with your bank,  other lenders or creditors you would probably benefit from  professional assistance from someone who has actually gone through the process themselves.

There are plenty of high-pressure salesmen who will work to convince you to part with your hard earned and very valuable cash in return for them providing you with some fairly mundane courses of action.

It will work best if you check out a few of the available consultants and go with somebody who sounds as though they know what they are doing.

Check out GBAC Advisory along with the others. We have been advising clients and at the same time running our own businesses in real estate development, equipment hire, sheep and cattle for many decades.

In those as in any fields there have been times when we had to deal with difficult bank loans and payment of creditors when the economy faltered or seasons went bad.

So we know debt solutions from considerable experience on both sides of the desk – business owners and business consultants. I have always felt that it was hard to advise people on something you had not done yourself.

One client for whom we had the bank write off 100% of the debt said when we physically met for the first time recently ” What prompted me to call you was that you said on your website “Don’t trust anyone, not even me”, and having been taken down by a variety of people in my business, I thought “That is the sort of consultant I want.”

Covid keeps us on our toes

Problem
Many small regional business are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship due to the impacts of drought, bushfires or COVID‑19! We’ve been there, done that on our own farms, in our own businesses. How will it affect your loans? Often a problem sneaks up on you unawares until the bank calls to say you are in default.

Solutions
You can go to a free rural financial counsellor. The counsellor will deal with your bank more often than with you because they operate in the same town and city for all clients of that bank. But counsellors are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

GBAC Advisory’s only contact with banks is when we are fighting with them over mistreatment of borrowers. So it does not develop any friendly relationship with bank staff.

Being based away from your area means that your information remains completely confidential. That is one reasons why people in regional Australia have consulted us for over 40 years. Another reason is that we know exactly how banks operate to make super profits out of borrowers because we have specialised in it for over 30 years.

To help get back  on their feet, rural & regional businesses can take the following action:

  • better understand why the problem has arisen. It is often because of bank failure, not the borrower’s. Sometimes a deliberate trap.
  • work to prevent any unreasonable loan recovery action
  • connect with government programs and assistance schemes
  • identify long-term recovery and loan management options to put to the bank
  • negotiate a partial debt write down
  • implement plans to improve viability and profitability
  • focus on the debt issue

If you would like professional assistance from consultants who have actually successfully RUN farms and businesses, contact Greg  or Pat  at GBAC .

Business owners gain from strategic loan initiatives

be preparedReceiverships and foreclosure can involve small business owners in very large fees . Then they are often locked out from their premises. Forced sale of the family business often involves sale of stock, plant and equipment, furniture and fittings built up over decades, all sold at “fire sale” prices.

Then what do you do? No business. No income. No money. Find somewhere to live. Look around for a job. That may not be so easy at your time of life.

If you have children there are the really difficult explanations as to why they may have to leave their home and perhaps their school. It is hard facing the family and the neighbours as you move out of the family home given as security for the business loan.

If your business is surviving in Covid with government support, now is the time to fix potential bank loan problems, before that government support disappears. The GBAC banking consultancy offers family business owners a facility to contact a number of major banks for offers of finance. They will want your “new” business. Then you can share those bank offers with your existing bank that knows you warts and all and believes you will stay with it forever no matter how it treats you. A banker once told Greg Bloomfield in his Chartered Accountancy days, “Your bank only respects you when there is competition for your business”.

By comparing loan offers, you can lock in the most appropriate long term finance with ability to pay out early if you wish. GBAC can organise that, including a first class Business Loan Presentation, to show all  banks your future potential and current good management. GBAC works for you, not the banks.

Yours does not have to be one of the life-destroying SME bank foreclosures forecast for 2021.

Turn your potential debt disaster into triumph instead of letting the bank enrich itself by seizing everything you have if your cashflows fall as government support diminishes. Click here for a free chat. There is no downside.

Farmers make money from debt mediation  

Farm Debt Mediation offers a unique lifeline to Australian farmers in trouble with bank loans. The bank cannot foreclose without offering a farmer mediation. Business borrowers are not so lucky.

Yours does not have to be one of the life-destroying mortgage foreclosures forecast for 2021.

stocking rates
Drought & debt don’t mix

Receivership & foreclosure following failed mediation can involve farmers in paying stratospheric fees. They are often locked out from their own farms. Forced sale of the family farm often involves sale of livestock bred over a couple of lifetimes, grain, wool and equipment all sold at “fire sale” prices. If they have children there are the really difficult explanations as to why they have to leave their home and perhaps their school. It is hard facing the family and the neighbours as you move out.

Then what do you do? No business. No farm. No money. No income. Find somewhere to live. Look around for a job. That may not be so easy at your time of life. You may already be depending on welfare or charity but after loss of the farm it becomes much more likely. Getting started all over if you are past middle age is near impossible. That has not happened to one single GBAC client in the past 30 years who did exactly what GBAC suggested.

Bank loan problems sometimes give borrowers who consult GBAC unexpected opportunities to make money. One couple last year made from their bank 30 times what they had invested in GBAC’s  loan help services. Many farmers make more money from GBAC’s loan negotiations than from years of farming.

Farm debt mediation gives you a chance to turn the tables on the bank, but only if you are properly prepared and represented. Lawyers are not the solution. GBAC is the solution. It is run by  4th generation farmer, retired Chartered Accountant & CPA, Greg Bloomfield. He converted his Chartered Accountancy firm to banking consultancy when banks were deregulated, with referrals and help from Rural Counsellors in the NSW Central West & from Hon. Richard Amery  MP who conceived Farm Debt Mediation.

Turn your debt disaster into triumph. Click here for a free chat about getting into a winning position to battle the bank. There is no downside.

Businesses prepare to battle the banks

The word around town is that there are hundreds of lawyers and insolvency experts just waiting for the government to allow recovery action to be taken in respect of bank debt problems.

What has Covid 19 done to your business loan-servicing ability? The motto “Be Prepared” is more relevant today than ever. When patting a lion it is important not to make it angry. Seek the good solutions and never give up hope!

If a loan problem needs fixing it needs fixing fast. You don’t want to start on that when the bank has appointed an insolvency expert,  or receiver or served you with a foreclosure notice.

It is too late then!!

Warning signals

When the bank first signals that it is unhappy with your loan situation, that is the time to start building goodwill with the bank and fixing the situation. Business debt mediation, sometimes called SME debt mediation, is available, but before you go to mediation you need a skilled negotiator on your side. There are SME debt mediation services that can be used.

Banks used skilled lawyers and negotiators to win at mediation. You need an equally good team on your side of the table. The fundamental rule is “Do not trust any bank until they have given you a really good reason for trusting them”.

GBAC has the where-with-all to win
Nobody else in Australia has the strategies and techniques that we have developed over the past 30 years of negotiations. We know exactly what it is like to be under bank pressure as we have run businesses with bank loans ourselves as well as helped hundreds of borrowers cope with theirs.

As soon as banks were deregulated in 1987, Greg Bloomfield converted the GBAC Chartered Accountancy firm into a specialized Bank Debt Negotiator. Since then we have saved our clients millions of dollars through debt write offs of up to 100% and saved their business assets and homes. Borrowers need loan help when they are looking to borrow. They need debt help when things go wrong with the loan. GBAC provides both. See what clients have said.

Identifying the problems and solutions
Bank debt problems usually require more than just a “ restructure”, but sometimes that does the job by changing loan terms or refinance.

Since we started the Bank Debt Negotiator industry in 1987 many self-styled “experts” have jumped on the band wagon with little experience and few or no qualifications. GBAC comprises qualified and experienced accountants with experience at running their own unrelated businesses.

AFCA
It is important  to know that AFCA is not an Australian Government body. It is a body owned by and comprised of banks the finance industry. We work for you whereas AFCA is owned and funded by the banks.

20 ways to avoid bank foreclosure

From Aussie Debt Solutions
Prove the loan was always unaffordable – bank knew, you didn’t
Demonstrate that you were caught in a debt trap
Sell the bank on a feasible repayment plan
Obtain a debt discount from the bank – more common than you think
It is unreasonable if due to security asset value decreasestop foreclosure
Refinance –  others will probably leap at the chance to lend to you
Seek parliamentary assistance by Votergram if unfairly treated
GBAC assisted loan, business or farm management
Increase profitability with GBAC ‘s assistance
Sell assets you need least, to clear, reduce or refinance debt
Restructure the loan over a longer term. We don’t support debt consolidation
Increase your solvency by various strategies
Maintain a “bank first” loan management system
Obtain an extension of time for future loan repayments
Modify your enterprise to better cope with the debt
Monitor and report to parliament on bank or receivership failures
Keep a written record of bank advice or advertising to entice you to  borrow
Don’t let the bank bully you. Call GBAC for support
Keep digital record of misleading  online ads & website
Identify every breach of the banking code or law – GBAC can help

Walking the economic tightrope with care

Reports are that many Aussies are saving money and cutting spending contrary to what the government thinks will lead to a recovery.

By the same token Aussies are said to be among the most indebted people in the world. So Aussie Debt Solutions are important to develop.

Corporate profits and executive salaries are booming while workers’ pay rates have stagnated. That is not likely to drive consumer demand.

Federal government laws now put prime responsibility on the borrowers to ensure they can service and repay loans, so do your homework.

It is debt that has created the economic challenge that now exists where many people do not have the income to service and repay their loans.

There is much logic in reducing debt where possible so that lenders are less likely to seize your assets. There is also much logic in saving, in case we do go into a depression. Best to spread savings widely so that if one lot of money is lost, the rest will still be safe.

When borrowing large amounts, do a Loan Impact Statement for yourself, or have someone like GBAC do one for you. It should set out your debt servicing and repayment program until the debt is cleared, with space for you to mark off payments made and check that the balance is reducing as expected.

It should also show the impact that loan, interest and charges payments will have on your disposable income in the years you hold the loan. Be cautious!

Check all loan terms very carefully. Many lenders do not give you all their terms but simply refer to some document somewhere. Ask for a complete set of loan terms and make sure you get a copy of the loan agreement signed by the lender. Keep it safe because you may need it if a dispute arises. If you don’t understand every term, ask for an explanation.

The smiling banker who lends you money will most likely be replaced by a ruthless debt-collector if you fail to meet loan terms, so be prepared. If you need a loan consultant to help you, call GBAC and we will be happy to help.