Looking for inspiration for the Family Connect column I re-read a blog by our Bright Futures home based early childhood......
People in all sorts of situations and from all walks of life can find household budgeting and money management difficult. We offer FREE, confidential and non-judgemental advice. The earlier we can see you, the better the outcome will be. Contact us today.
Setting a budget is the baseline service provided for every client. In the first appointment with a client we will determine all income, expenses, debts and other outgoings to reveal the current financial situation.
Here we will check our clients are receiving the correct entitlements (e.g WINZ/IRD). The length of time involved in setting a budget depends on the complexity of the client’s situation but often we’ll make good progress in the first meeting.
These meetings show us where else we can help improve our client’s current financial situation.
Improving our cashflow comes down to good planning.
Working with our Financial Coaches you will be encouraged to have plans for weekly, monthly and yearly expenses so you can save a little each week for some of the bigger commitments that come up only once or twice a year.
Planning this way is effective for reminding us all what commitments we have and what we would like to save for. Occasions like Christmas can be much more enjoyable when we are relived of the burden of a huge hit to the budget.
Putting our goals, realities, options and ways forward on paper is a practical way we can work with you to improve your overall financial situation.
A Financial Action Plan prepared with one of or Financial Coaches will help you pay off debt in a manageable way and can be a great tool to help you work towards purchasing something you need.
Remember, if you can’t afford to save for it, you can’t afford to buy it.
Our Financial Coaches are able to negotiate with creditors on our client’s behalf. This means we are often able to bring payments down to fit into a realistic budget thus avoiding penalties and further debt.
Often this means the debt is spread out over a longer period and we can sometimes freeze interest.
Applying for WINZ and IRD entitlements can be complex and confusing. Our Financial Coaches are very experienced with the processes and have up to date knowledge to ensure our clients get what they are entitled to.
We can talk directly with WINZ and IRD on our client’s behalf.
We can also support our clients by advocating for them with other parties. This may mean sourcing emergency housing, food parcels or clothing for instance.
Or it might mean talking with Kiwisaver (for hardship withdrawals), banks, power companies and many more.
We have two SIO supervisor‘s who are court appointed and qualified to initiate and supervise SIOs.
A SIO is a formal arrangement between a debtor and creditors that allows you (the debtor) to make regular repayments to pay back all, or an agreed part, of your debts of up to $47,000 over time.
An SIO supervisor is someone who will administer the SIO. This debt must be unsecured (In finance, unsecured debt refers to any type of debt or general obligation that is not protected by a guarantor, or collateralised by a lien on specific assets of the borrower in the case of a bankruptcy or liquidation or failure to meet the terms for repayment) and can include credit cards and personal loans, but not child support, student loans, court fines/reparation or any debt incurred after applying for an SIO.
SIOs are a good option for people who are able to pay all or a percentage of their debt. An SIO also stops all interest and penalties which means people plan and work towards an end to their debt.
No Asset Procedure (NAP)
If you owe between $1000 – $47,000 and are not able to repay any amount, we may be able to work with you to arrange a NAP.
A No Asset Procedure (NAP) is a way to clear your debts if you have no way of paying them. It doesn’t have as many restrictions as bankruptcy, but it will have an impact on your credit rating and possibly your employment prospects.
A NAP usually lasts for one year. When you enter the NAP your debts are cleared. Your creditors (the people or organisations you owe money to) don’t get paid anything.
You can only enter into a NAP once — if you’ve already completed a NAP, bankruptcy is your only other insolvency option.
Bankruptcy/ Debtor’s or Creditor’s Application
Bankruptcy is a way to clear your debts if you can not pay back any amount to the people or organisations you owe money to.
It’s not an easy way out — entering bankruptcy means the Official Assignee has control over everything you own (except things like your clothes and household appliances), and can sell them to pay off your debts.
You can become bankrupt if you owe more than $1,000, but it’s best for people who owe more than $47,000.
Napier Family Centre has a range of services that are often utilised by an individual client or family.
We also have good relationships with other support agencies such as Problem Gambling Foundation, Foodbank, Quit smoking etc and can refer our clients to one or more of these.
We are sometimes able to make referrals to Foodbank if a client has no entitlement for a food grant/assistance at WINZ.
Food parcels from Foodbank can be picked up at our offices.
Sometimes we can help with other crisis needs. It is important to talk to us as soon as possible.
Educational Talks – Our Financial Capability Services team offer educational talks to groups such as addiction centres and prisons.
Workshops – We offer workshops for companies or organisations that have made redundancies or layoffs. These workshops offer advice and support to those whose income has suddenly reduced.
Collaborative Work – We have a Financial Coach at WINZ in Taradale (two days per week) so clients can quickly see someone when requested to by WINZ. This Financial Coach can discuss your assistance/entitlements directly with your case manager.
MoneyMates Provider – MoneyMates is a peer-led support workshop series for groups. You can contact us to book our MoneyMates Facilitators for many groups such as support groups, mums coffee groups, parenting groups etc.
The series is aimed at people who are repeatedly experiencing financial hardship, or who may be more likely to encounter financial difficulty, or who simply want to learn good financial management and budgeting skills.
Our MoneyMates Facilitators will encourage clients to learn from others, talk about and de-stigmatise financial hardship, and gain control over their financial lives to make longer-term behaviour changes.
Participants can learn more about budgeting, debt, financial products, loans and growing their resources.
To book a MoneyMates workshop series for your group contact us.
Our team of Financial Coaches and SIO Supervisors have over 65 years of experience and are professionally trained. They provide comprehensive services to build financial literacy and capability.
Our Financial Capability Services are open Mon-Fri 8.30am-4.30pm. Appointments are essential.
To book an appointment contact us. Clients are often referred to us by a third party (e.g WINZ).
Client A approached our service asking for food. He was fearful of his safety and unable to return to his home.
We arranged for a food parcel as he had no food entitlement remaining at WINZ.
Returning for a scheduled appointment at a later date, he arrived in a distressed state. His desperation was due to a complicated, crisis situation where his 17 year old son was not able to be released on home detention to his fathers current address because of their situation.
We contacted Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and the police on his behalf which unfortunately did not return a satisfactory result. It was agreed Napier Family Centre could fund four nights accommodation in a backpackers to ensure his safety until we could work with HNZ to relocate him.
Through working with HNZ we were able to relocate client A to another city by the next week. Client A was happy, relaxed and felt he had something to live for. His son was in the process of being released to his address on home detention.
In July 2014 a ‘responsible lending’ discussion paper was released which will help introduce changes to the New Zealand credit legislation. Within days, Napier Family Centre (NFC) received a visit from one woman whose loan agreement with a local lender made us wonder how some lenders view their responsibility.
Young, free and single, this woman’s life could have easily been turned upside down by some ill-thought out lending. The loan for a relatively small $13,500, before fees, resulted in the client’s mother needing to act as guarantor and secure her house against the loan.
A loan for such a small amount held against a $215,000 house is excessive and a responsible lender would have used the clients care collateral instead.
What was even more concerning to us was that the client would have been left with just $75 per week after rent and the $109 loan repayment to fund food, petrol, power, car and other expenses. That isn’t affordable and the loan company would have known that.
In addition the loan agreement included some Work and Income debts and court fines which didn’t incur interest until they were amalgamated into the new loan agreement. That isn’t sensible and this lender acted irresponsibly.
Under the new legislation lenders have a responsibility to the borrower that, in essence, means they can only structure a loan one can afford to repay.
That means asking about the borrower’s income, expenses, credit history and personal circumstances. In this situation the client was not asked to provide any information of a budget, what she paid in rent, or for essential proof of her financial situation.
Because NFC Budgeting Services became involved before the grace period of three days lapsed a phone call and email put a stop to this loan.
Had the budgeting services team not got involved at the early stage, the borrower would have been liable for $28,340 after interest, over the five year term of the loan plus hefty penalties had she not met the repayments.
The result was a happier client with a more manageable $46 per fortnight agreement in place with a new and better structured loan through an alternative lender.