Jones Partner


Why dealing with financial stress is critical to your health

01/03/2019 by Bruce Gleeson

Why dealing with financial stress is critical to your health By Bruce Gleeson FCA, FCPA, RITF Principal, Jones Partners Insolvency & Business Recovery Corporate insolvency levels in Australia only account for about 0.30%* of all companies registered with the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (“ASIC”) and similarly personal insolvencies account for about 0.25% of all working age individuals^. Therefore, with such low occurrences, it can be very easy to be dismissive of people in financial difficulty. However, walk in the shoes of any business owner or individual that has had to enter into some form of corporate or personal insolvency (either on a voluntary or in

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Getting into Debt is Easy. Getting out of Debt is Hard. What Should You Do?!

07/01/2019 by Bruce Gleeson

As we start the new year, I truly believe it is critical to allocate time to review where you are at and to reset / establish your financial and personal development action plan and goals for the upcoming year and beyond (a 2-year plan is good because it enables some bigger goals to be set). For those that haven’t got a plan, there is no better time to start. But don’t just make it a one-off, be disciplined and persistent with it. Your plan should be reviewed at regular intervals throughout the year to ensure that you are still on track to achieve your goals, and if you are not, then you can consider what you might need to alter to get there. Financial and personal success (which can

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Are You Struggling To Pay Your Debts? Don’t Take The Easy Way Out?

19/10/2018 by Bruce Gleeson

Recently I wrote about personal insolvency statistics revealing an increase of 5.6% between 30 June 2017 to 30 June 2018 and that the increase should not be easily dismissed given the present and emerging landscape when considering a lack of real wage growth, increasing living costs and increasing mortgage costs. This article will discuss what you should do if you can’t pay your debts. All too often when individuals get into financial difficulty (which could be from unemployment, ill health, relationship breakdown or economic conditions), they look for the easy way out. After all, we all want the quick fix, don’t we?! That could be in the form of getting yet another credit card(s), a lo

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Personal Insolvencies on the rise. Is the squeeze starting to take effect?

23/08/2018 by Bruce Gleeson

Personal insolvency statistics recently released revealed that there was a 5.6% increase in personal insolvency levels between the period 30 June 2017 to 30 June 2018. Whilst this increase may be swatted away as nothing to worry about by some, to me it is indicative of a general change and a signal of potentially challenging times ahead for many individuals and / or families. Notwithstanding that some of the headline economic statistics for Australia remain solid, i.e. modest levels of GDP and low levels of unemployment, there is no doubt that many individuals and families are now starting to feel the on-going impacts of: 1. An inability to secure all the work that they would like to h

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Government releases draft legislation to combat illegal phoenix activity

16/08/2018 by Bruce Gleeson

The Government announced via the media release http://kmo.ministers.treasury.gov.au/media-release/097-2018/ that it is intending to continue with previous commentary made by it to try and tackle the issue of illegal phoenix activity. As such draft legislation has been formulated and is currently available for review. Among various reforms will be a new offence seeking to target pre-insolvency advisors and those complicit in facilitating illegal phoenix activity. Whilst I fully support this, ultimately the true test will be whether the legislation is drafted in such a manner that it can be effectively used and additionally will ASIC actually use to the anticipated legislation to prosecute! L

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Loans versus Gifts – Bankruptcy and Death – Why Should a Loan be Documented?

02/07/2018 by Bruce Gleeson

During the twenty-five (25) years experience and counting that I have had in administering bankruptcy matters, the issues in identifying whether monies provided to a bankrupt by a family member or friend are a loan or a gift will largely be determined by the facts and importantly documentation at hand (collectively called the evidence). Much like watching a CSI program, the Bankruptcy Trustee will be guided in making their decision with reference to the evidence. In a bankruptcy matter that I am presently administering, an issue arose where the Bankrupt was claiming that his father was an unsecured creditor of the Bankrupt Estate for about $50,000. Whilst on the face of it, that sounds strai

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Franchising – David versus Goliath! Can the system ever be perfect?

24/04/2018 by Bruce Gleeson

Despite reviews of the Franchising Code in 2007, 2010 and 2013, recent Franchisee disquiet regarding high profile retail franchises and indeed Franchisor failure (i.e. Red Lea Chickens) have many parties asking whether or not there should be further amendments to the Code and other legislation. This article will make three (3) observations regarding possible changes. Indeed in late March 2018 the Federal Government has announced another enquirer whereby the Committee appointed is due to report back to Government in September 2018. Simply put a franchise is an agreement in which a “brand” owner, the Franchisor, allows a Franchisee to trade under that brand and typically allows or re

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Corporate Insolvency Statistics – Does Danger Lie Beneath?

19/01/2018 by Bruce Gleeson

As we get stuck into 2018, a review of the corporate insolvency statistics for 2017 provides some useful insights about the trends in Australian corporate insolvency levels. I have also made some forecasts about how I think 2018 and beyond will play out. Whilst forecasts are simply that, I have taken both a pragmatic and conservative perspective in reaching such conclusions. BTW: let’s remember that in the Australian jurisdiction the word “insolvency” is used with reference to corporates, as opposed to in other jurisdictions, such as the United States where the word “bankruptcy” is used. What are the National Statistics Telling Us? * my forecast Based on the abov

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Drive Thru Bankruptcies – STOP PRESS – URGENT UPDATE

03/11/2017 by Bruce Gleeson

In my July 2016 blog, I wrote about the prospect of 1-year bankruptcies being announced as part of the (1) Productivity Commission’s Report to the Federal Government on 7 December 2015. The 1-year proposal was announced as part of the National Science & Innovation Agenda and then subject of a (2) Proposal Paper in April 2016. So, what’s the update? On 19 October 2017 the Bankruptcy Amendment (Enterprise Incentives) Bill 2017 was read for a 2nd time in the Senate. I think it is likely the legislation will be passed and receive Royal Assent by the end of 2017 (absent of other major distractions for Federal Parliament!). Importantly this would likely see the start date to be around Ju

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Crowd Source Funding for Retail Investors. Good idea or the potential for them to be the new Ponzi scheme?

28/08/2017 by Bruce Gleeson

The Corporations Amendment (Crowd Source Funding) Bill 2016 is due to come into operation on 29 September 2017. Crowd Source Funding (“CSF”) continues to be a popular way that allows entrepreneurs/start-ups to raise funds from many investors. Until recently CSF in Australia has been aimed at “sophisticated” or “wholesale” investors. The above Bill effectively establishes a regulatory framework to facilitate CSF by small, unlisted public companies aimed at attracting retail investors. There is no doubt that new funding models such as CSF which enable new ideas to get off the ground and fly and contribute to productivity growth are a good thing. However, I do see the potential f

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