a) If a person is having a financial hardship, here are the option on how he/she can manage his debt:
1. Pay the debt according to the amount of agreement – instalment payment;
If the person is suffering from financial hardship, he/she may able to apply for exemption of paying court fees if the person:
· Have been granted legal Aid;
· Hold pension card, health care card and senior card;
· Are an inmate of a prison or lawfully detained;
· Receiving benefit under Austudy or Abstudy;
· And the exemption may available under financial hardship grounds
To gain approval for court fee exemption, the person need to show that he/she is incapable of paying the debt. An exemption is available for people with financial hardship and must complete an application form called Application for exemption from paying court fees – financial hardship. This form must be signed and witness by Justice of the Peace for an assurance that the affidavit is true. This can be lodge through person, post, fax or eLodgement service with other supporting document to General Federal Law Registry. Any future debt that is not included in time of application will need to apply for new one.
2. Applying for bankruptcy have some condition and consequences that may affect some visa application;
There are pros and cons on filing for bankruptcy but will protect you against all creditors and will freeze all legal collection and will wipe most of unsecured debt. However, this may affect your employment and can affect your future credit rating for at least 5 years. Not only that, your name will permanently appear on National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII). Though, this is better than not dealing with your debt at all. Filing bankruptcy does not affect your immigration status but will affect if you want to apply for future visa such as business visa or sponsorship visa because immigration requires to meet certain obligation such as an ability to financially support the applicant.
3. Or leave Australia with unpaid debt but will complicate any future visa application;
If in the future you want to go back to Australia, any debt owed to the government must be repaid before visa application will be finalised based of Common Public Interest Criteria (PIC) 4004 of Migration Regulation Act 1994.