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PhD research request - bankruptcy, debt agreements and financial difficulty/hardship assistance


Good afternoon

I’m a PhD researcher at Melbourne Law School, and I am seeking participants for my study on the impact of bankruptcy and other options for people in Australia who have had problems with consumer debt.

Please consider completing an online survey for my study if you have:

  1. Received financial difficulty assistance or a hardship variation from a consumer credit provider (at least 6 months ago, and not more than 5 years ago); or
  2. Become bankrupt because of consumer debts (at least 1 year ago, and not more than 10 years ago); or
  3. Entered a formal debt agreement (as a debtor) because of consumer debts (at least 1 year ago, and not more than 10 years ago).

If you are interested, please read on for more information and the survey links.

Through my research, I am hoping to find out more about the impacts that these three different options have on people with consumer debt. For example, what are the short- and longer-term impacts on an individual’s financial position, financial wellbeing, family, career, housing and other matters? You can find more about my research here:

The online surveys cover these and related topics and, depending on your answers, are likely to take around 20-25 minutes to complete. You can complete the survey anonymously. There is also an option to provide your contact details if you wish to particular further. If you provide your contact details, they will be treated confidentially and securely stored separately from your survey responses.

The study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Melbourne (Ethics ID 1851074.5), and you can contact the Committee at if you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of the research.

More information about the surveys are available in the survey instruments (made available through the Qualtrics platform). Please click on the relevant link below to start the survey:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on

If you are able to assist - thank you, your participation is much appreciated!

Nicola Howell
PhD Researcher, Melbourne Law School


Thanks for posting this, Nicola, it sounds like a really worthwhile research project - I look forward to hearing about your findings.


Thanks Sarah, I will be sure to share the results when the project is completed!