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“Coronavirus Could Haunt You For 5 Years – Even After It’s Cured”

February 14, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email


Businesses and employees affected by coronavirus urged to talk to their creditors ASAP as people’s credit files are not immune.

As the economic ripple effects of the coronavirus hit Australian businesses, leading financial and consumer law firm MyCRA Lawyers urges people to talk to their creditors as soon as possible.

MyCRA Lawyers CEO Graham Doessel says while the World Health Organisation believes a vaccine for the virus maybe 18 months away, the financial repercussions could last for five years.

“Tourism operators, seafood exporters and a host of other industries have already said they are feeling the pinch due to coronavirus with cancelled bookings and orders, the flow-on effect is cutting staff hours, so a host of people will be seeing less money flow into their accounts.

“It is probably going to get worse before it gets better, with authorities now likely to extend the China travel ban beyond this weekend’s original timeframe, following comments from the Health Minister Greg Hunt,” Mr Doessel said.

“The problem is even though the tourists have stopped, the bills won’t stop, and that can mean defaults on people’s credit file. That may not sound serious but as soon as you are 14 days or more late in making a loan repayment it will go on your comprehensive credit file.

“This will impact your ability to access credit. Get a default or a default judgement on your file and you will be feeling the financial symptoms of coronavirus for five years,” Mr Doessel said.

Mr Doessel said if you are struggling to pay bills then you should contact your creditors straight away and apply for hardship.

“Most lenders have a positive obligation to offer hardship in genuine cases, so for example, if you have had your casual work hours cut back dramatically due to coronavirus you may have a case for hardship provisions to kick in.

“The same goes for your business if you have seen your cash flow decimated due to coronavirus, reach out to your creditors and ask for some breathing room. Whatever you do, do not stick your head in the sand, because you can’t hide from your financial obligations.

“Companies like Telstra, Optus, AGL, Origin Energy and the like all have hardship policies for people who are genuine victims of circumstances beyond their control,” Mr Doessel said.

“The economic impacts of coronavirus are certainly some of the worst we’ve seen in recent years, even giving SARS a run for its money,” Mr Doessel said.

“Anyone who finds themselves financially affected by the virus should make a list of their bills and contact each credit provider (in writing if possible) to let them know the circumstances and to check no bills have gone unpaid,” he said.

“Most companies have the discretion to forgive a debt in extreme cases, as no company wants to be the catalyst that drives a customer to suicide over a bill.”

“One way to stay on top of your bills and anything you may have missed is to check your credit file each year which is free and won’t be recorded on your file, you can do this at www.FreeCreditRating.com.au,” Mr Doessel said.



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