Hello and thank you for your question.
Your NZ debts can be recoverd by your creditors in Australia, and although recovering foreign debts is typically much more expensive, that issue is largely negated if the creditor has offices in Australia.
If you cannot afford to repay the debt, then you have the following options:
- ignore your creditors and hope that they decide not to bother pursuing you. However, a debt of $36,000 is unlikely to be abandoned so I would not recommend this approach;
- if you cannot afford to repay the debt, you could apply for voluntary bankruptcy, in which case all your debts will ordinarily be legally discharged after 3 years (though you would still have to pay out what you reasonably could, and all your existing assets would need to be liquidated), and if this is an option you would seriously consider, I suggest you read more on bankruptcy and its consequences here: https://www.afsa.gov.au/debtors/bankruptcy/consequences-of-bankruptcy.
- simply repay the debt and get your creditor off your back. If you do so I would suggest you agree to pay the outstanding amount subject to your creditor acknowledging in writing that such payment will finalise all claims which they may have against you, so as to prevent them later asserting that there is unpaid interest on the debt that is still outstanding, etc.
- finally, you could try to negotiate a repayment arrangement on more favourable terms than simply paying them the full amount. For example, you could offer to pay by way of installments at a rate that is manageable to you, or to pay a reduced amount in full settlement (it costs creditors money to chase debts so if you agree to pay them a lesser amount and can prove you are unable to pay the full debt, they will often accept such an arrangement. Again this should always be done on the basis that the agreed new arrangement is in FULL settlement, otherwise they may try to claim the balance later, or later chase you for interest on the debt. Often it is best to let a lawyer, or other financial adviser negotiate such arrangements for you.
There are also personal advice services available which can review your situation more closely and provide advice on budgeting or negotiating with your creditor, and the following link may assist:
I trust the above assists.
Good luck and PLEASE RATE MY ANSWER.