Mining Families Trying To Avoid Bankruptcy

BOOM or BUST: Mining Families Trying To Avoid Bankruptcy

The gold rush of the mining boom is coming to an end as many families and individuals seek financial assistance to avoid bankruptcy.

Their 6-figure salaries were the envy of their friends less than 12 months ago, but as the cash river dries up in the mining sector many families and individuals that were previously “swimming in it”, are seeking financial assistance more than ever.

We’ve all heard the stories, the high-school dropout, the everyday family man with a carpentry business and even the swimwear model.  They all quit their professions to take up lucrative positions as “Fly-In, Fly-Out” (FIFO) workers at mine sites and oil rigs across Western Australia – 3 weeks on, 1 week off, working 10+ hour days on alternating shifts in the middle of nowhere. But the financial rewards were well worth it, many of these workers were clocking more in annual salary than most office executives with little more than a school certificate up their belt.

But therein lies the spanner in the works. John Dickinson director of financial rescue company Just Budget explains, “Most humans are just like goldfish; the bigger their bowl, the bigger they will grow. The same thing applies to salary; the more we earn, the more we spend”. Many of John’s clients are former FIFO miners that have either been laid off due to company downsizing or haven’t been able to keep up with the physical and psychological strain that comes with a FIFO lifestyle and he says this is only a trend which will get larger with “mining investment expected to fall by 3-4 percent of GDP in the next few years” (The Australian).

“Due to their excessive income many of these workers have invested in property and assets that a person on an average salary wouldn’t be able to afford. After leaving the FIFO life they find they can’t keep up with their repayments and end up at risk of defaulting on their home loans, having cars, whitegoods and technology repossessed and potentially having to declare bankruptcy. We try and succeed in most cases, to renegotiate their debts for them and relieve the stress off their debts but there is a feeling of failure surrounding their new lives and we have seen many cases where it’s just too late”.

John explained that due to the qualifications and job experience with many of these former miners, their salaries are nearly cut in half returning home. Just Budget assists families and individuals that find themselves in this predicament by helping breadwinners take control of their family debt and get on top of it before it spirals recklessly out of control.


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