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  • Q&A with a financial counsellor! SPECIAL EVENT.

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    User avatar
    BrittV (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 316
    Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 11:40 am

    Q&A with a financial counsellor! SPECIAL EVENT.

    Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:03 pm

    Special event: Q&A with a financial counsellor.

    Image

    Financial counselling can be a really incredible service for assisting with money problems, but one that many of us don’t know too much about or aren’t sure how it can help.

    This week, we’re feeling very excited and lucky to have Maria Turnbull here to answer your questions!

    Maria is not only a fantastic Specialist Financial Counsellor through Odyssey House Victoria, she also received the Order of Australia medal for service to the community through social welfare organisations.
    She is a strong advocate for YOU, and sharing the ways in which financial counselling can help you.

    Post any questions you may have about financial counselling services, as well as some general advice she may have about managing debts, below.
    You may know lots, or very little about the service, but there’s no such things as a bad question so ask away!

    This thread will be open until Sunday for your questions, then we will send them through to Maria.
    She will do her best to get us all informed, and share her answers next week.



    Please be aware that this is an opportunity to talk about financial services in general. We do not give specific referrals or individualised advice through this platform.
    1 x
    User avatar
    BrittV (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 316
    Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 11:40 am

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with a financial counsellor!

    Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:35 pm

    Maybe I'll get the ball rolling!

    My question is who would you recommend financial counselling to or who do you think it's most helpful for?
    1 x
    TimTam
    Member
    Posts: 75
    Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:13 am

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with a financial counsellor!

    Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:22 am

    I would love a description about how a financial counsellor supports people with gambling problems. What roles do they have?
    2 x
    JoseJones
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:05 pm

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with a financial counsellor!

    Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:11 pm

    I was hoping you could clarify a partner of a gambler may be able to protect their assets.

    Also, what options are available to someone who has spent their entire pay on gambling and needs to pay for food?
    3 x
    Calvin (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 300
    Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:01 pm

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with a financial counsellor!

    Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:36 pm

    We know that financial counsellors can alleviate financial stress, but are there any potential limits to the financial counselling service ?
    2 x
    How the F did I get here
    Senior Member
    Posts: 248
    Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:05 pm

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with a financial counsellor!

    Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:42 am

    Not a question. But I am glad I saw a financial planner when I hit absolute rock bottom!
    1 x
    Mona58
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1024
    Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:44 am

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with a financial counsellor!

    Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:15 am

    Given the recent Royal Commission into the Banks.

    How can the Banks assist with restrictions to accounts at the request of their customer? Do they have any moral obligations if they knowingly lend money to a chronic gambler?
    2 x
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.~Confucius
    User avatar
    BrittV (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 316
    Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 11:40 am

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with a financial counsellor!

    Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:53 pm

    Fantastic question @Mona58, I look forward to Maria’s answer about this as justice for gamblers is something she’s both knowledgeable and passionate about!

    @How the F did I get here I’m glad to hear you had a great experience with a financial counsellors.
    Perhaps Maria could also describe to us How to know whether the financial counsellors you’ve accessed are as good as possible/ as beneficial as possible or not?

    Just over 24 more hours to ask questions about advice and information. Did anyone else have a question? Don’t miss out!
    1 x
    User avatar
    BrittV (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 316
    Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 11:40 am

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with a financial counsellor!

    Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:09 am

    Thank you all for your amazing questions.

    This thread is now closed as our guest prepares her answers!
    0 x
    User avatar
    BrittV (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 316
    Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 11:40 am

    Your questions answered!

    Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:22 pm

    Without further ado, I have Maria Turnbull's answers to your financial counselling questions!

    Every person’s financial situation and experience are different, so these responses are some suggestions only and are not a substitute for financial options or financial counselling that are relevant to individuals’ situations.

    Q - I would love a description about how a financial counsellor supports people with gambling problems. What roles do they have?
    A specialist financial counsellor supports people affected by gambling by providing advocacy, options, support and interaction with other support services and therapeutic counsellors including cross referral as needed.

    Q - Who would you recommend financial counselling to or who do you think it's most helpful for?
    I recommend financial counselling for people (including but not limited to):
    • People with debt they are having trouble with
    • Concerned about the safety of their assets eg car or house
    • Worried about their own or others’ finances or financial situation
    • Those who wonder how they can help someone affected by gambling
    Q - We know that financial counsellors can alleviate financial stress, but are there any potential limits to the financial counselling service?
    Financial Counsellors are not financial advisors or planners. They are advocates who act in the best interest of clients – not industry. It is a free and non-judgmental service. Financial Counsellors cannot tell anyone what to do. They provide options and support people with their chosen option. Of course this comes with limitations. If someone is not happy or not sure about the information they have received, they should ask for clarification or second opinion as needed.

    Q - Perhaps Maria could also describe to us how to know whether the financial counsellors you’ve accessed are as good as possible/ as beneficial as possible or not?
    Financial Counselling is about providing options and supporting the chosen option/s. Trust instincts – If it does not sound or feel right, ask questions; request a second opinion or seek a second opinion on your own. A good financial counsellor should suggest or offer a second opinion at the beginning. If something does not feel right, if you’re not satisfied or you don’t ‘click’ with your financial counsellor ask questions or seek another opinion. Something to remember though is that financial counselling is a limited resource and being unhappy with what you are hearing may mean that there are limited options available.

    Q - I was hoping you could clarify a partner of a gambler may be able to protect their assets.
    One of the best and concise lists of some strategies that can help someone protect assets is called The Baker’s Dozen on page 24 of the following book Slots and Shots.
    Strategies that can help with asset protection and gambling may include:
    1. When property (real estate) is in joint names:
      a. Transfer title to a non-gambler’s name for “love and affection” to avoid stamp duty – requires legal assistance
      b. Consider altering “joint tenants” on property title to “tenants in common”- to limit access to property equity – requires legal assistance
    2. Alter bank accounts to be joint bank accounts with both to sign
    3. Limit access to primary bank account where main income is paid into:
      a. Online banking to have dual logins and passwords (especially for transfers)
      b. Do not link or list all bank accounts online
      c. Unlink bank accounts from telephone banking
      d. Ask bank about a passbook account – this slows down access to money and cannot be accessed after hours
    4. Consider having two bank account systems
    5. Consider not lending money to someone with gambling problems
    6. Place “No more credit” on credit file
    7. Consider “My credit alert” as a way of notification if the partner applies for credit
    8. Close credit card accounts and organise a repayment plan (do not just cut up cards – close accounts)
    9. Reduce credit limits on credit cards as they are paid off
    10. Use a debit card rather than a credit card
    11. Self-exclusion from gambling venues
    12. Seek Financial Counselling for assistance – sooner rather than later
    13. Seek assistance from specialist support services – for example Gambler’s Anonymous, Gambler’s Help.
    The full book is also available for download.

    Q - Also, what options are available to someone who has spent their entire pay on gambling and needs to pay for food?
    For prevention, a dual account system is a useful tool, where two accounts are set up
    One account with no atm card, not online, not easily accessible via phone or internet – for fixed expenses such as rent, utilities etc – both to sign if possible with a trusted person. Neither person can access the money and if the gambler wants/needs to access it, they need to have a conversation with the other person which could then lead to counsellor under certain circumstances.
    The second account is for non fixed expenses and has an atm card attached and is not linked to the first account. Some recommended purchases from this account include food vouchers and petrol vouchers*. After the fixed expenses are paid out of the first account, a pre-determined amount can be organised with the bank to be direct credited to the second account.
    The dual account system allows some financial independence, for bills to be paid and allows for some harm reduction. As the first account is not easily accessible if a client was to bust, the essential expenses eg rent/mortgage can still be paid and this could limit the harm.

    * buying food and or petrol vouchers enables a person to still be able to buy food and petrol if they were to bust and gamble.

    For immediate help in accessing food, there a number of friendly, approachable support services available across the country. Some great service finders include the Secondbite Food Finder and Ask Izzy.

    Q - Given the recent Royal Commission into the Banks. How can the Banks assist with restrictions to accounts at the request of their customer?
    Depending on the bank there has been some positive steps from banks to assist customers who may have indicated gambling is a concern to the bank.
    The most significant is that some banks are offering personal assistance to people who express that gambling, particularly online gambling, is a problem for them. Upon request these banks will suspend all payments to online gambling accounts/companies as well as suspend access to cash withdrawals from a credit facility.
    This also comes with a 7 day lag if a request is made by the customer to lift the suspension. i.e. it takes 7 days from the request to lift the suspension for it to take effect, it’s not immediate.

    Q - Do the banks have any moral obligations if they knowingly lend money to a chronic gambler?
    Banks are under no obligation if they knowingly lend to a chronic gambler. However I believe there would be limitations. There are guidelines and findings by the Financial Ombudsman that provide more information about these issues.


    Amazing! A huge thank you to Maria for her time and fantastic responses.
    Thank you to @TimTam, @JoseJones, @Calvin (facilitator), @How the F did I get here and @Mona58 for their contributions :)

    Did you find this helpful? Please like this post for our information.

    Take care,
    BrittV
    2 x

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