Monday, 09 January 2017 15:33

Desperate Australian Firms Turning to Biker Gangs For Debt Collection

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The scourge of unpaid invoices threatening the survival of small and medium sized businesses is an international problem. In Australia, things have got so bad that some companies are turning to desperate debt collection methods to try to recover money owed to them.

As a new report revealed that the average Australian business is typically owed £23,000 in outstanding invoices, one industry spokesman suggested hard pressed firms are ready to return to an old and infamous solution - biker gangs.

‘Bikies’, as they are known down under, have a long association with illegal debt collection in Australia, acting has ‘hired muscle’ using threats and extortion for debt recovery.

Now the spokesperson for a building subcontractors’ alliance has spoken publicly about members contemplating a return to the dark days when bikers were hired to make sure foremen on construction sites paid up on time.

Financial Crisis

Australia’s construction industry is in the midst of a financial crisis which has seen a number of big name firms go under in recent years. That has left large numbers of subcontractors, or ‘subbies’ as they are called in Australia, unpaid and increasingly frustrated.

biker

The latest collapse, in December last year, saw the Queensland based firm Cullen Group Australia liquidated with outstanding debts of £11.5 million. The Subcontractors’ Alliance spokesman, Les Williams, suggested construction company collapses in Queensland alone have led to losses in excess of £200 million since 2013.

Overall, a new report estimates that unpaid invoices account for a £46 billion hole in Australia’s economy, disproportionately affecting small to medium sized suppliers.

While we may not have the same problem of biker gangs acting as debt collection enforcers, the situation in Australia mirrors what is happening in the UK. Last year, almost £50 billion in unpaid debt was written off by SMEs in the UK.

Problems overseas can also mean problems for homegrown businesses. Many UK companies trade with Australia, and many contractors in the construction and other industries are attracted by the high rates of pay on offer for specialist skills.

International Debt Recovery

However, the prospect of travelling halfway around the world to work, only to not get paid, does not sound attractive. Those unlucky enough to find themselves in that situation can find themselves at a loss what to do or where to find help. International debt collection is often seen as a major barrier to working and trading overseas, with the added complexity of distance, time differences, and dealing with different legal jurisdictions.

And let’s face it, the last thing anyone wants is to have to track down a biker gang.

Fortunately, there is a safer, more effective, and very definitely more legal solution. If you are facing unpaid invoices or outstanding debts from Australia, or any other country, the best thing to do is contact a debt collection agency based in the UK.

Safe Collections has built up a network of partnerships with accredited debt recovery professionals worldwide. Our partners in Australia offer the same kind of effective, efficient, high quality service you would expect from us, and have decades of expertise working within the Australian legal system.

Image "Harley Rider" by Tim Vrtiska is shared under the Creative Commons License 2.0.

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