Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W

A

administrator person appointed to manage the property or finances of another
arrears overdue payments
asset money or property that a person or company owns or has a right to, from which a benefit can be derived
attachment of earnings order a court order that requires money to be taken from wages (prior to an employee being paid) or a bank account to pay a debt. also referred to as a garnishee order.

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B

bankruptcy a legal process through which a person is declared unable to pay their debts, and control of most of their debts and assets is handed over to a bankruptcy trustee
bona-fide something truly represented, or presented in good faith
bond loan an interest-free loan from the Victorian Government to assist low income earners pay the security deposit when they enter a new lease agreement
budget a document that compares your amount of income with the amount of your expenses
bundling the packaging of a range of services onto a single account (for gas and electricity or phone and internet for example) Bundling often offering discounts compared to individual bills for each of the component services

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C

cash advance a loan taken out against a line of credit or credit card, typically imposing higher-than-normal interest charges
Centrelink the Australian Government agency responsible for delivering a wide range of services and payments to Australians who find themselves on a low income or without and income.
Child Support Agency the organisation that administers Australia’s Child Support (sometimes called Child Maintenance) Scheme under which separated parents contribute and transfer payment for the benefit of their children
concession a reduction of costs compared to the amount required under standard conditions, and made available to people on reduced incomes by governments and providers of essential services
Consumer Action Law Centre a community legal centre that provides free legal advice and representation to vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers in Victoria
Consumer credit law legislation that applies throughout Australia governing consumer credit protections
contract variation a change to the terms of a contract
court order an order issued by a court that requires a person to do or refrain from doing something
creditor a party who is owed money and can be a person, organisation or a company
credit the practice of obtaining goods and services now and paying for them later, using a loan or a credit card from a bank or financial institution. Money or goods and services obtained on credit usually need to be repaid within an agreed time-frame and interest payments usually apply
credit insurance a policy that purports to cover you if you are unable to meet payments on your loans and other credit purchases
credit rating an ongoing record of a person’s credit history used by creditors to assess the risks associated with providing loans and credit to individuals

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D

debit card a bankcard used to make an electronic withdrawal from funds in a bank account
debt a sum of money that is owed to another person or organisation
debt consolidation to bring debts that were previously held under arrangements that were independent of each other together under a single loan
default failure to meet financial or other contratual obligations, for example with respect to loan repayments
deferred payment a payment excused from payment on the due date by agreement between the person who owes the money and to person or organisation to whom it is owed

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E

emergency relief provision of essential food and shelter to people in circumstances of serious hardship
equity the current market value of property minus the outstanding mortgage balance
eviction a legal process by which a person is removed from rented premises because of a dispute with the landlord
ex-gratia as a favour; not compelled by legal right

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F

financial advisor see financial planner below
financial counsellor a person trained to provide a free, impartial and confidential service to help people to manage their debts
financial hardship a situation where a person wants to pay their bills and debts but has insufficient money to do so
financial planner a licensed person who provides advice on investment and the management of assets to maximise returns
forced bankruptcy bankruptcy initiated by a creditor (or creditors) who have been unable to recover debts owed that together total at least $5000

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H

hardship see financial hardship
hardship variation a change to the terms of a loan or credit contract made to make payments more affordable in the short-term for somebody with reduced or insufficient income to make normal payments
Home repossession when a creditor seeks to gain the borrower’s equity in a mortgaged property by forcing the sale of the property because mortgage payments have not been made within the proper time

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I

industry ombudsman a dispute resolution body established by government to investigate and resolve disputes between consumers and participants in the particular industry the ombudsman represents
in lieu in pace of, instead of
insolvency the condition of a person having insufficient assets for the full payment of their debts
insurance a guarantee against risk of loss or harm, usually purchased through payment of a premium
interest a sum paid for the use of money borrowed

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J

judgment debt a court order that requires the payment of an outstanding debt that a creditor has taken somebody to court to resolve and the court has ruled in the creditor’s favour

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L

landlord a person who owns and leases property to another
legal action any behaviour authorised by law and concerning its administration
lender a person or organisation (including bank, credit union, finance company or other financial institution) that provides money on the understanding it will be repaid with a consideration on agreed terms
liquid assets cash or other assets, such as shares, that can be readily converted to cash

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M

mediation a no-cost process where parties to a dispute are brought together to resolve their issues by agreement with the assistance of an appropriately experienced mediator or member of a tribunal
minimum payment the smallest amount to be paid on a bill or loan so that additional costs and charges are not applied. This can be as low as two percent of the total debt and is usually not enough to pay off the loan within a reasonable time
mortgage a loan to purchase a home or other item such as a car where the home or item is used as security in the event of repayments not being made according to the contract
Mortgage Relief Scheme a short-term interest free loan available from the government to Victorians experiencing financial hardship

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N

National Personal Insolvency Index a list containing information on proceedings and administrations under the Bankruptcy Act 1996 that identifies all people who have been bankrupt

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O

ombudsman a government funded dispute resolution service for an industry sector

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P

payday loan a short-term loan which has very high interest fees and charges
payment arrangement an agreement as to how a debt or bill will be paid
Possession Order a court order enabling a landlord to evict a tenant.
preservation age the minimum age you must be to access your superannuation fund; at least 55 years

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R

redundancy the situation where a job is no longer required to be performed by anyone
refinance to pay off an existing loan by obtaining a new loan, usually one with a higher interest rate
repossess take back possession of goods, or real property, usually because of non-payment of loan
retrench to end a contract of employment as result of the particular job they have performed being no longer required by the employer

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S

secured loan a loan where the property being purchased with the borrowed funds (or other specified property) can be seized by the lender if repayments are not made by the borrower according to the loan agreement
security something of value identified to be at risk of seizure and sale by the lender or creditor if the borrower does not comply with the contract requirements for repayment
service provider a business that supplies and delivers services for which a consumer agrees to pay
sheriff a person who administers justice by executing warrants under the direction of the courts; sometimes called a bailiff
statute-barred debt a debt that is not enforceable by the creditor because it is more than six (or in some cases, 15) years since there has been any attempt to collect outstanding money
superannuation funds taken out of wages and salary and invested to eventually serve as income during retirement

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T

tangible asset something real or actual; something that can be touched
termination payment a payment received on ceasing to work for an organisation. It includes monies owed for accrued benefits and a government compliant allowance for redundancy if applicable
tenancy agreement an agreement between a tenant and a landlord that satisfies the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act
tenant a person who lives in another person’s property and pays the owner (or their agent) rent under a lease or tenancy agreement
tenants union a community legal service established to educate tenants about their rights and to improve the conditions of their housing and to advocate on their behalf (in VCAT for example)
tribunal a body set up to hear and resolve disputes
trustee a person who holds property on trust for another who must satisfy certain requirements of propriety in managing that property

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U

unsecured loan a loan against which no property is held as security
utility company a company that supplies gas, electricity or water services
Utility Relief Grant a financial grant available from the Victorian Government to assist people on low-incomes who are experiencing short-term financial hardship pay for gas, electricity or water supply and use at their property

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V

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal a court-like tribunal where its members make determinations on civil and administrative disputes, including disputes between traders and consumers and landlords and tenants
voluntary bankruptcy where a person applies to be made bankrupt because they are unable to pay their debts and wish to make a fresh financial start

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W

waiver an agreement that money or a debt owed will no longer be pursued by the creditor
warrant an authorisation issued by a Magistrate that the lawful holder may take certain actions which may include seizing property

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