May news digest

01 June 2017

The following are summaries of media stories related to business turnaround and insolvency in Australia during May 2017.



Bankrupt builder abandons couple's project, seen dining in Sorrento

25 May 2017

Queensland Country Life reports that “a dodgy builder has been ordered to pay $30,000 in compensation and fined $6000 by a magistrate for failing to complete work contracted by a Melbourne couple. The disgruntled clients gave evidence at a Consumer Affairs prosecution, detailing how they paid $130,000 to Andrew Michael Renn for extensive landscaping work, which was incomplete and defective. He undertook at Easter 2014 to finish the work in four months, but by Christmas, it was still not done, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard this week. Renn sent an email abandoning the project, saying he was mentally unwell. But the court heard he was seen that summer: wining and dining in Sorrento.”

$2m collapse: Building industry supplier in liquidation

18 May 2017

The Queensland Times reports that “a building supplies company which traded successfully in Townsville for 30 years has collapsed into liquidation with debts of close to $2 million. Robert Humphreys and Moira Carter of BRI Ferrier were appointed liquidators to Nu-Lite Glass & Aluminium on April 27 and convened the first creditors meeting in Townsville this week. Mr Humphreys said the company suffered from a downturn in work as well as increased competition in the industry.”

Diploma property deal blow

14 May 2017

The West Australian reports that “Diploma Group is likely headed for provisional liquidation after the developer of a commercial project knocked back a deal crucial to rescuing the failed company. WestBusiness understands that Chemlabs developer Emporium has rejected a Diploma proposal to get back into joint ownership of the development and terminated a $6 million project management deal. The Federal Court on Friday appointed provisional liquidators to 20 Diploma entities but put the move on hold until the outcome of the property deal was known. Judge Neil McKerracher stayed until May 25 his orders in favour of a winding up application by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.”

'String of bankruptcies' likely to follow Watersun collapse

13 May 2017

The Bendigo Advertiser reports that “the money owed to Alma and Merso Halilagic by bankrupt builder Watersun Homes could have bought the couple a new Porsche Boxster. But they don't have the luxury of being able to turn their backs on the $155,000 debt. "We have to pay for our materials," said Mrs Halilagic who, with her husband, runs a rendering business based in Sydenham. "We have people working for us that we have to pay every week. "I can't tell them that 'we can't pay you because other people have gone bankrupt'."

Apartment builder CMF Projects in administration

11 May 2017

The Australian Financial Review reports that “Brisbane apartment builder CMF Projects has called in administrators in what could be the first sign of a shake-out in the cooling apartment market.  The builder, which has completed at least a dozen high profile apartment projects in Brisbane, is the first builder of any real significance to go into administration in a market where the number of planned apartment developments has dropped significantly.  In February, Victorian builder Watersun Homes appointed voluntary administrators to its business after identifying it no longer had sufficient funds to continue trading.”


Wheeler dealer Greg Jones facing bankruptcy over AmEx debt

29 May 2017

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “the businessman who allegedly promised disgraced minister Ian Macdonald a multi-million dollar cut from a corrupt mining deal is now facing bankruptcy. Greg Jones, 63, the once high-flying Eastern suburbs wheeler and dealer, is being pursued by American Express over a $90,535 debt. His potential fall from grace is a long way from the $45 million he pocketed over the controversial float of Rams Home Loans in 2007.”

Ombudsman welcomes change to Rio Tinto payment terms

18 May 2017

The North West Star reports that “Australian small business suppliers will soon see the benefits of faster payment times after Rio Tinto announced a change to its payment terms. The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell said it’s a fantastic result for over 5500 small businesses that trade with Rio Tinto.

“By changing its payment terms for Australian suppliers under $1 million of expenditure to 30 days, Rio Tinto is taking a positive step forward and understanding the needs of their small business suppliers,” Ms Carnell said. Ms Carnell said late payments and the resulting lack of cash flow were an on-going issue for businesses in Australia and the lack of cash flow caused financial strain and is the leading cause of business insolvency.”

Lanco Infratech lending company in receivership

11 May 2017

The Collie Mail reports that “while a Griffin Coal spokesperson has ensured its workforce will not be impacted after its Singapore-based lending company went into receivership, South West MLC Steve Thomas said jobs were still under threat. Mr Thomas called on the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) to negotiate in good faith and stop blaming everyone else.  “The company will go under and around 330 direct jobs will be lost if the union continues to refuse pay negotiations“.”

Coal Reuse liquidators seek $1.7m from power generator Stanwell over insolvency allegations

3 May 2017

ABC News reports that “liquidators of a failed coal ash company are pursuing government-owned power generator Stanwell Corporation for $1.7 million, alleging it continued using Coal Reuse knowing it was insolvent. Rogers Reidy is alleging Stanwell knew in August 2015 that Coal Reuse was insolvent, but continued to use the company in an effort to reduce Coal Reuse's debt. The liquidators have written to Stanwell demanding $1,766,734.18 to be paid to it by Friday.”


Money ‘siphoned’ from dealership

30 May 2017

The Courier Mail reports that “hundreds of thousands of dollars was allegedly siphoned from collapsed car dealer Bryan Byrt in a series of transactions described as’ shams and money washing’. Trusts linked to the directors of Bryan Byrt allegedly received some of the money.”

Dick Smith receiver told to pay up for director attack

29 May 2017

ARN Net reports that “Dick Smith Holdings (DHSE) receiver, Ferrier Hodgson, has been ordered to pay the costs of its legal action against the insurers of the failed tech retailer’s former directors and executives. Ferrier Hodgson, in conjunction with National Australia Bank (NAB) and HSBC – two of Dick Smith’s largest creditors – mounted a legal action in March against former directors and executives of the collapsed electronics retailer with a damages claim worth millions. The case was brought against eight directors and executives, including former Dick Smith CEO, Nick Abboud, and saw Ferrier Hodgson go after not only the directors themselves, but also the insurers that provided cover for the individuals in question.”

TOPSHOP Australia joins list of fashion victims

25 May 2017

The Australian Financial Review reports that “Myer's 20 per cent stake in the Australian TOPSHOP franchise is under a cloud after the fast fashion retailer's major shareholder pulled the plug amid falling sales and mounting losses. Fashion industry veteran Hilton Seskin, who acquired the local franchise for TOPSHOP and TOPMAN in 2011, appointed James Stewart, Jim Sarantinos and Ryan Eagle of Ferrier Hodgson as voluntary administrators on Wednesday. Myer acquired a 25 per cent stake in the franchise company, known as Australia, in September 2015 as part of its "wanted brands" strategy and planned to open TOPSHOP and TOPMAN concessions in at least 20 Myer stores.”

Phoenix activity investigation into Ready Flowers and ZFlowers

17 May 2017

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “online florist Ready Flowers collapsed into liquidation last month but has bloomed once more as ZFlowers. Ready Flowers was an "order gatherer" florist; with no shops or warehouses the business operated solely online, gathering orders for flowers from customers and passing them on to local florists while deducting a commission.”

Liquidation of Retail Adventures, owner of Crazy Clark's, Sam's Warehouse, Go-Lo, in final stage

9 May 2017

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “liquidation of the company that operated discount retail brands Crazy Clark's and Sam's Warehouse is close to being finalised, with unsecured creditors expected to receive 17.44 cents in the dollar. Fairfax Media has obtained the annual report of liquidator Deloitte into Retail Adventures Pty Ltd, which entered voluntary administration on October 26, 2012.”

Victoria Station and Kate Hill collapse into voluntary administration, as 350 staff face uncertain times

3 May 2017

Smart Company reports that “luggage retailer Victoria Station is the latest local retail chain to call in administrators, appointing SV Partners to the business on Tuesday. Administrators have been appointed to four companies associated with the operation and assets of the business: Victoria Station Corporation Pty Ltd, Victoria Station Services Pty Ltd, Michael Hartz Pty Ltd and Peter Hartz Pty Ltd. Administrator Michael Carrafa, executive director at SV Partners in Melbourne, says the group operates 64 stores across the country, 43 of which are branded Victoria Station. The other 21 stores trade under the name Kate Hill, the handbag imprint which Victoria Station also operates.”

Beretta’s Bike Studio Geelong closed after emotional post

5 May 2017

The Herald Sun reports that “a Geelong institution has crossed the finish line for the last time. Beretta’s Bike Studio in South Geelong this week announced it had gone into voluntary administration, through an emotional post to Facebook.

“We are absolutely devastated to advise that Beretta’s Bike Studio is permanently closed,” the post from owners Paul and Susie Beretta said. “Yesterday we made the biggest and most difficult decision of our lives, we placed our business into voluntary administration.”


Brisbane tow truck company Cactus Towing goes into liquidation

20 May 2017

The Courier Mail reports that “rogue towing companies running a lucrative private car parking rip-off are going bust after racking up hefty debts only for operations to continue under a new company. Cactus Towing — exposed for baiting motorists into parking in private lots then charging $660 to release their cars — is now in liquidation. But a new company has already begun operating at the former Cactus compound and is towing from the same “honey trap” car park in Fortitude Valley that Cactus previously worked.”


Airport cafe liquidated, but CEO says there's a silver lining

16 May 2017

The Gladstone Observer reports that “sipping on an espresso latte while waiting for a loved one to arrive at the Gladstone Airport will no longer be as simple as placing an order at the arrivals cafe. Last week the Cafe Espresso, located in the Gladstone Airport arrivals area, closed for good after operator Lortons, better known as Gladstone Catering Service, was placed in liquidation. The cafe was one of two eateries in the Gladstone Airport, now leaving the departures lounge Coffee Club as the sole food and beverage provider. Now airport visitors and arrivals will need to go through the departure security process if they're feeling a little thirsty or peckish. But there is a silver lining, according to Gladstone Airport chief executive Peter Friel.”

Wicked Travel goes into liquidation owing travel companies, employees and customers more than $1m

16 May 2017

ABC News reports that “Canadian backpacker Taylor Gray arrived in Australia knowing she wanted to explore the vast exciting tourist opportunities the country has to offer, but not quite sure how to do it. She thought she found the answer when she chanced upon a travel shop in Brisbane with friendly faces out the front enticing her inside as part of well-rehearsed sales techniques. The company, Wicked Travel, is now bankrupt.”

WA events in $3m debt

7 May 2017

The Sunday Times reports that “WA event suppliers are facing bankruptcy and being forced to sell their homes because they are owed almost $3 million from promoters of summer events. Events Industry Association of WA president Cassandra Brennan said she had never seen the industry in such crisis. “I’ve been contacted by numerous creditors who are owed, collectively, almost $3 million from events that have been held in WA since September,” Ms Brennan said. “I’ve spoken to one guy who has had to sell his house, another guy who has had to borrow money from his family and several who are facing going bankrupt because they simply cannot continue.””

Bankrupt Alitalia had debts of $4.4 billion at end of February, government

6 May 2017

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “loss-making airline Alitalia, which asked to be put under special administration on Tuesday, had debts of around 3 billion euros ($A4.45 billion) as of February 28, Italy's government said. In a document marking the opening of the special administration process and the appointment of three commissioners that will run the airline from now on, the government said on Saturday Alitalia had current liabilities of around 2.3 billion euros ($A3.4b) and assets worth 921 million.


NBN, Vodafone contractor Daly International goes under owing millions

17 May 2017

CRN Net reports that “Daly International, an infrastructure contractor that worked on the National Broadband Network, has called in administrators under the weight of millions in debt to unsecured creditors and employees. The infrastructure delivery company, which has offices in Australia and the UK, appointed an administrator on 13 April after more than 25 years in business, predominantly delivering projects for mobile carriers, including Vodafone and Optus. The administrator terminated all 80 of Daly's staff upon its appointment, as well as vacating all business premises, which included offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.”


Dragoman Global in liquidation as Tom Harley and John Fast part ways

8 May 2017

The Australian Financial Review reports that “as we predicted back in March, Dragoman Global – the consulting company that offers "engagement with senior government and political figures", but is not a lobbying firm – is no longer anything at all. Its two equity partners, former BHP Billiton colleagues Tom Harley and John Fast, have tipped their business into voluntary liquidation, a process overseen by Deloitte. An official announcement is reportedly in the works. We suppose Dragoman really needed a decent dragoman to solve this pickle, yet attempts to reconcile differences ultimately failed, despite the best efforts of chairman Mark Johnson.”


Education Minister announces ‘tuition insurance’ scheme to save stranded TAFE students

30 May 2017 reports that “thousands of young Australians heartbreakingly stranded short of earning important skill qualifications by a company collapse will be offered a chance to keep studying. Just over 7000 vocational students nationally were caught last week when private trainer Careers Australia went into voluntary administration.

Many were close to gaining diplomas and apprenticeship qualifications and had spent substantial amounts on their courses. Labor MP Graham Perrett last Friday use Twitter to record the distress. “Just got off phone to sacked Careers Australia employee who spent the morning telling apprentices they can’t finish already paid-for courses. Horrible,” he said in one.”

Australian School Based Traineeship Pty Ltd placed in liquidation

26 May 2017

The Townsville Bulletin reports that “the traineeships of hundreds of high school students in Queensland, including some at Townsville, are in limbo after the training provider went bust. Sunshine Coast-based training group Australian School Based Traineeships Pty Ltd, headed by Edison Miraziz, was placed in liquidation and receivership this week. Students have been told ASBT has ceased trading and that their employment under the traineeships has been terminated.

Acquire Learning: Vocational education broker goes into voluntary administration

13 May 2017

ABC News reports that “controversial vocational education broker Acquire Learning, chaired until recently by former AFL head Andrew Demetriou, has gone into voluntary administration. The corporate collapse is the latest in a string of failures following the Turnbull Government's crackdown on the scandal-plagued sector. The collapse is not unexpected because Acquire Learning's website and social media accounts have been offline for months, the company has been shedding customers and there have been mass sackings of staff. It leaves questions about the future of Acquire Learning's major assets which include employment website Career One and two training providers Asia Pacific Training Institute and Franklyn Scholar.”

Cindy Prior hit with bankruptcy action

11 May 2017

The Australian reports that “the woman who pursued the long-running racial discrimination action against the Queensland University of Technology and three students has been hit with a bankruptcy action over alleged unpaid court costs. Two of the students — Calum Thwaites and Jackson Powell — launched the action over $10,780 in costs that a court ordered be paid to them by former QUT administrative officer Cindy Prior. In documents filed in the Federal Court, the pair alleged Ms Prior failed to comply with a bankruptcy notice served to her on April 11 or to make an arrangement to pay the debt within 21 days of it being issued.”


Rod Culleton may have to repay debt after Senate disqualification

16 May 2017

The Australian reports that “One Nation senator Brian Burston says his former colleague Rod Culleton should “suffer the consequences” after the bankrupt farmer was told he owed debt to the Commonwealth. The Department of Finance has advised Mr Culleton in writing that it is pursuing payments made to him and his staff since the election after he was disqualified from the Senate. In February, the High Court found he was ineligible to have been elected because of a larceny charge at the time of the July 2 poll. He was also declared bankrupt in December.”


Court rules banned MFS executives owe $620m to investors

27 May 2017

The Australian reports that “four executives of the Gold Coast’s failed $2.5 billion MFS investment empire have been found to personally owe $620 million to investors after they acted dishonestly, “flagrantly ignored” laws and forged company documents. The Queensland Supreme Court banned former MFS chief executive Michael King from managing corporations for 20 years and ordered that he pay a $300,000 fine. In addition, he was ordered to pay $177m in compensation to a managed investment scheme known as the Premium Income Fund. MFS former deputy chief executive Craig White was ordered­ to pay a fine of $650,000.”

ASIC bans Nathan Tinkler from managing companies for 3 years and 9 months

24 May 2017

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “the corporate regulator has banned Nathan Tinkler and two of his associates from managing companies for between three years and four years, citing "multiple serious failures" in their duty as directors of companies that include his thoroughbred racing empire and A-League football club, the Newcastle Jets.

The ASIC statement said Tinkler - who is now bankrupt - and fellow directors Donna Dennis and Troy Palmer were banned as a result of information contained in reports provided by the liquidators of the failed companies associated with the former billionaire.”

Roger Munro bankruptcy: assets listed include 3 fake watches, $132 in bank

19 May 2017

The Courier Mail reports that “Roger Munro was a fund manager who oversaw more than $60 million in investments — now his hard assets are as little as $132 in the bank and three fake watches. A custom-made bangle, bicycle and two laptop computers are among the other assets that Gold Coast-based Dr Munro has declared following his bankruptcy.

But Dr Munro also said in a statement of affairs, lodged with the Australian Financial Security Authority, he is owed $247,000 from a trading company he used to run. That company, Starport Futures, fell into liquidation in 2009 and Dr Munro alleged he was owed “management fees” and awaiting a settlement from liquidators.


Bank-friendly insolvency regime challenged by new laws

30 May 2017

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “Australia's corporate insolvency laws are among the most favourable to banks in the world, but this mantle could be threatened by looming changes to wrestle power away from lenders. The federal government is expected to soon publish legislation it hopes will "reduce the stigma associated with business failure", and one aspect of this will be an overhaul of insolvency laws.”

Fair contracts move by banks gives small business a lifeline

29 May 2017

The Australian reports that “at least one of Australia’s top insolvency firms has undertaken significant staff retrenchments in recent weeks. The main reason is the big fall in the demand by big banks that their small business clients be bankrupted. Part of the reason for the lower bankruptcy actions will be the fact that for some time small enterprises have been much more cautious in their borrowing from banks because, outside the property sector, they are taking less risk. But a significant second reason for the fall in bankruptcy is the fact that the banks are paying a big price for their decision to take on the Australian Parliament and not change their small business overdraft agreements to comply with the unfair contracts act.”

REVEALED: Coffs leads falling business bankruptcy rates

25 May 2017

The Coffs Harbour Advocate reports that ”Coffs Harbour was the leading contributor to a fall in the number of debtors who entered business related bankruptcy outside of Sydney this March quarter. The latest statistics released by the Australian Financial Security Authority revealed the number of business related bankruptcies fell by 10.7%. The overall number of debtors outside of Sydney increased by 1.9%.”

Fair Entitlements Guarantee costs blowout spurs crackdown on corporate restructures

17 May 2017

The Australian Financial Review reports that “the Turnbull government is proposing new laws to crack down on phoenix activity and corporate restructures after a blowout in the Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme saw it shoulder $1 billion in employee entitlements for companies that went bust. The reform options, raised in a consultation paper on Thursday, flag a big push by the government to tackle illegal phoenix activity and include potential sanctions on company directors who "improperly" rely on the scheme and contribution orders against companies associated with insolvent employers. In a joint statement, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and Minister for Revenue Kelly O'Dwyer said FEG costs had "dramatically increased" between 2012-13 and 2015-16 to more than $1 billion, a 75 per cent rise from the previous four years.”

Joseph Gutnick denies hiding assets in tax haven companies

11 May 2017

The Australian reports that “bankrupt mining magnate Joseph Gutnick has been grilled under oath about his links to a network of tax haven companies, including one in the Marshall Islands he failed to disclose to creditors owed $275 million. In the Federal Court yesterday, the former rich lister angrily denied hiding any assets abroad ahead of declaring bankruptcy in July last year and lashed out at the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-­operative, a legal stoush with which prompted his decision to claim protection from his ­creditors. Mr Gutnick said he had been involved in companies or businesses in the Marshall Islands and two other tax havens, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.”

Federal Treasury to fast-track rules to save struggling companies

9 May 2017

The Australian Financial Review reports that “the federal Treasury is expected to fast-track new insolvency laws to encourage entrepreneurialism and keep struggling companies alive as economic growth risks slowing and interest rates remain on pause. The new rules will give directors breathing space to take reasonable risks by providing a "safe harbour" from insolvent trading liabilities, and prevent contractors from using "ipso facto" clauses to terminate contracts with struggling businesses if they are otherwise complying with the terms. "There are some economic headwinds, obviously the world's getting a bit harder in terms of growth and revenue generation," said Turnaround Management Association director Marcus Derwin.”

Insolvency laws punish honest failures

8 May 2017

The Australian reports that “Australia’s approach to corporate insolvency and restructure has been shaped by our history as a penal colony for jailed bankrupts and other ne’er-do-wells. Legislative reforms currently being considered by the federal government recognise that the world has changed. But if we’re serious about making a cultural shift that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, it’s time we stopped punishing honest failure resulting from honest endeavour. Having been involved in many high-profile restructuring transactions over the past 30 years, solvent and insolvent, it’s instructive to reflect on earlier waves of change.”

Court rebukes ‘waste’ of lawyers piled on bankruptcy matter

8 May 2017

Lawyers Weekly reports that “a judge has lamented the unnecessary "general model" of putting many more lawyers on a case than needed and duplicating work which barristers could do at a more reasonable expense to the client. An insolvency matter before the federal court has attracted strong rebuke from Justice Steven Rares, who described the legal fees of the case as wasteful. Four lawyers from Piper Alderman were assigned to work on the case for the client, a bankruptcy trustee, plus counsel.”

A plan to introduce ID numbers for company directors could be in the works

5 May 2017

Smart Company reports that “the government will consider introducing identification numbers for directors of Australian companies, after the Productivity Commission labelling it a necessary reform to the country’s insolvency practices. On Thursday, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack handed down the government’s response to the commission’s final report from its review of business set-ups, transfers and closures in Australia, which considered the major factors driving businesses being launched and exited, and whether policy adequately supports the business community.”


Eurosolar Slapped with Winding Up Order by The ATO

31 May 2017

Solarquotes reports that “one of Australia’s largest solar companies has been slapped with a winding up order application by the Australian Tax Office. On the 9th of May 2017, acting through law firm Hunt & Hunt, the ATO applied to wind up “P & N NSW Pty Ltd” which owns the business name Eurosolar.”

Perth tech contractor goes down owing $1M

18 May 2017

ARN Net reports that “market pressures, shrinking sales and stiff competition have contributed to the demise of Western Australian contractor, Aspect Group (WA). The company, based in Perth, was placed into liquidation in early April, owing nearly $1 million to creditors and former staff members. While Aspect Group (WA) had predominantly made a name for itself as an electrical contractor, it also acted as a reseller for telecommunications products such as phone systems, teleconferencing, and videoconferencing infrastructure, and counted tech distributors, Ingram Micro and Hills, among its suppliers.”

Guvera operations “currently ceased”; CEO Claes Loberg has left

15 May 2017

The Music Network reports that “just four months after CEO and co-founder Claes Loberg released a report detailing a number of new overseas partnerships being struck by the Gold Coast-based tech company Guvera, the battle for survival is seemingly over. Loberg left the company he owned 11.5% of, apparently on April 27. Last Friday, sole remaining Director, Darren Herft, said in a memo to its 3000 investors, “Our operations have currently ceased”. The flashpoint came when a key investor in the past 12 months, Coterie Nominees, was “not in a position to continue their funding.” Coterie’s nominee Director Steven Porch, who had a 6.5% stake in Guvera, has also left.”

Global vendors chase Aussie distributors for millions

15 May 2017

ARN Net reports that “Schneider Electric and Kaspersky Lab continue their efforts to recoup millions from the companies formerly known as DPSA and Hemisphere Technologies. Aussie distributors, Hemisphere Technologies and DPSA, have both been wound up and placed into liquidation, but that hasn’t put an end to efforts by two global vendors, Kaspersky lab and Schneider Electric, to recoup cash they claim is owed to them by the local companies. The fallout between DPSA and Schneider Electric was made public last year, with both companies going to court over an apparent $5.4 million in debt that DPSA allegedly owed Schneider Electric.”

Brisbane business: Bankrupt owner puts piece of Sydney to Hobart history up for sale

12 May 2017

The Courier Mail reports that “multiple Sydney to Hobart line winner Ragamuffin is back on the market in the wake of former owner of Tasmanian-based Nant Whisky, Keith Batt, having filed for bankruptcy. The maxi yacht became a darling of the hotly contested Boxing Day race over three decades, winning line honours on three occasions. She is moored at Rivergate Marina, Murrarie, and will be sold by Global Auctioneers on behalf of liquidators. The online auction is expected to start May 22.”

Personal insolvencies surge 11 per cent in March quarter

3 May 2017

ABC Online reports that “personal insolvencies have jumped more than 10 per cent over the past year, as people in financial difficulty sought help from debt-management firms which have been roundly criticised by key corporate regulators. The Australian Financial Securities Authority (AFSA) said there were 7,900 new personal insolvencies in the first three months of the year. "This is an increase of 10.8 per cent compared to the March quarter 2016," AFSA said, noting all states and territories shared in this rise. "Western Australia led the increase, reaching a record high of 928 personal insolvencies in March 2017, after a year-on-year increase of 197 personal insolvencies - or 26.5 per cent," ASFA noted. The ACT recorded the largest proportional increase up 32.6 per cent over the year.”


Graziers’ Investment Co bailout

25 May 2017

The North Queensland Register reports that “Australian Wool Innovation’s (AWI) chiefs are doubtful shareholders of Graziers' Investment Company (GIC) will receive a slice of the dormant company’s $20 million bank balance once liquidation is finalised. A commercial bailout relationship between AWI and GIC was revealed during a Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee senate estimates hearing on Wednesday, with questions fired by Senator Chris Back raising doubts about the distribution of funds.  “Where they connect with (AWI) is that they had a property in Mumbai, (India) which they sold and they couldn’t get the funds out,” AWI chairman Wal Merriman said.”

Adelaide entrepreneur Shane Yeend threatens liquidation of the Australian Cannabis Corporation

17 May 2017

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that “Adelaide entrepreneur Shane Yeend has threatened liquidation of the Australian Cannabis Corporation as a messy split with his former business partners continues to escalate. The founders of Australian Cannabis Corporation had hoped to use the Holden plant at Elizabeth as a base for a medical cannabis industry they claimed would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But ACC shareholders Reece Formosa and Ben Fitzsimons now say there is “no way forward” for the company and told The Advertiser their relationships with Mr Yeend had disintegrated dramatically.”

Shark Lake Food Group's future pending

17 May 2017

The Esperance Express reports that “the future of a local abattoir will be decided today, after the slaughterhouse went into voluntary administration on February 24. At 12:30pm a second meeting of creditors will be held at the Esperance Bay Yacht Club. The Shark Lake Food Group’s future will be decided as either the administration will come to an end; a deed of company arrangement, if proposed, will be accepted; or the company will be placed into liquidation.”



US credit scores hit record high as recession wounds heal

30 May 2017

The Australian reports that “credit scores for US consumers have reached a record high while the share of Americans deemed to be some of the riskiest borrowers has hit a record low — a potential boon for lending and economic activity.

Consumers’ improving fortunes reflect falling unemployment and continued, if lacklustre, economic growth. An added benefit: the passage of time since the recession and housing meltdown are helping household balance sheets. In ever-growing numbers, the worst personal financial setbacks, namely foreclosures and bankruptcies, are falling off Americans’ credit reports. More than six million US adults will have personal bankruptcies disappear over the next five years, according to a recent Barclays report.”


Puerto Rico requests bankruptcy relief on $US123 billion

4 May 2017

The Australian Financial Review reports that “with its creditors at its heels and its coffers depleted, Puerto Rico sought what is essentially bankruptcy relief in federal court on Wednesday (Thursday AEST), the first time in history that an American state or territory had taken the extraordinary measure. The action sent Puerto Rico, whose approximately $US123 billion in debt and pension obligations far exceeds the $US18 billion bankruptcy filed by Detroit in 2013, to uncharted ground.”


Canadian Fest Featuring The Avalanches Goes Bankrupt, Refunds In Doubt

18 May 2017 reports that “a Canadian music festival featuring the likes of The Avalanches, Chance The Rapper, Muse and Tegan & Sara has been cancelled, with festival organisers announcing they will not be issuing automatic refunds to punters due to bankruptcy. As Brooklyn Vegan reports, up until 18 May (local time) tickets were available to Pemberton Music Festival, but with rumours rampant of its imminent cancellation, ticket-holders started contacting organisers for more information. However, the festival deleted their Twitter and Instagram accounts and later updated their website with the official announcement that they had gone bankrupt and the festival would not be going ahead in the town of Pemberton, British Columbia. They stated that they have "no ability to provide refunds for tickets purchased".”

Cruel bankruptcy lessons now at core of Marques Ogden's post-NFL career

10 May 2017

Sporting News reports that “on Wednesday in Kansas City, Marques Ogden will open his second two-day public speaking conference bearing his name. Plans are already in place for a third conference this November in Baltimore, up the highway from his hometown of Washington and in the city where he made one of his four stops during his five-year NFL career. Baltimore is also where, four years ago, Ogden went bankrupt. His first post-playing career venture, a successful, fast-growing and award-winning construction company, had been destroyed in the fallout of one disastrous job. At one point, both of his cars had been repossessed, and he was reduced to doing janitorial work in a Raleigh, N.C., apartment building to pay his bills — as he waited with fingers crossed that a lifeline to the players union would get answered.”

Dance Moms' Abby Lee Miller sentenced to year in prison for bankruptcy fraud

10 May 2017 reports that “Abby Lee Miller, who starred in the reality series Dance Moms, has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison for bankruptcy fraud, Deadline reports. Abby, 50, plead guilty to fraud charges last year. A federal judge in Pittsburgh handed down the sentence on Wednesday. Abby was also ordered to pay a $40,000 fine plus an additional $120,000 stemming from a currency-reporting violation authorities uncovered last summer.”