Members Benefits & Services > Debt Recovery

The ATA provides Members assistance with recovery of overdue debts.

ATA Letter of Demand for debts in excess of $250.00
Australian Receivables Limited (ARL)
Consultation and general advice with outstanding debts
Account itemisation
Considering an Owners contract
Applying an Owners contract
Applying Terms & Conditions 

ATA Letter of Demand for debts in excess of $250.00

This service is considered by Members' to be a valuable tool with many delivered a favourable resolution.  Whilst for others the process has either expedited the recovery process or enabled them to assess any appropriate action thereafter.

Your checklist to proceed...

1.  You are a current Member of the Australian Trainers' Association.
2.  The debt relates to horse training.
3.  The debt for the Owner is in excess $250.00.
4.  Debt is not against another licensed Trainer.
5.  Contact the ATA Head Office to discuss the matter before providing the following together with other details that may be required.
6.  Debt Recovery Assistance Fee of $25.00 per debtor, payable by credit card prior to issue of initial letter.

What you need to provide to the ATA?

1.  Name & address of the Debtor/Owner.
2.  Name of horse(s) concerning the debt.
3.  Percentage of share in horse(s).
4.  Total amount outstanding of Owner share.
5.  Invoices itemising the total outstanding.
6.  Copy of your Terms & Conditions if applied.
7.  Letter requesting service to be provided.

How to lodge all details with the ATA?

1.  Post - Australian Trainers' Association
                 Level 1,  400 Epsom Road 
                 Flemington Vic 3031

2.  Facsimile - (03) 9372 1699

3.  Email - ata@austrainers.com.au


What happens next?

1.  The information received from you will be assessed to determine if the requirements of the checklist are in order and if ATA is able to proceed with your instruction. 

Please note:  ATA requires your immediate advice of any payment and further knowledge in relation to the debt beyond this point.

2.  ATA issues a Letter of Demand to the Debtor printed on ATA letterhead.

3.  ATA provides you with a copy of the Letter of Demand.

4.  The Debtor is provided 14 days notice to either pay the debt or contact the ATA office.

5.  If ATA receives full payment, it will be forwarded to you immediately and the file is considered closed.

6.  If ATA receives part payment, it will be forwarded to you immediately along with any other details to hand, and ATA will contact you to discuss the matter further.

7.  If ATA does not receive any payment, an ATA representative will contact you to discuss the matter further. 

8.  A Second Notice may then be prepared and issued to the debtor giving him/her a further 7 days to settle the outstanding account.

9.  Should the debt remain outstanding you may consider the option to pursue the matter further with Australian Receivables Limited (ARL). 

*** There is a one-off $25.00 Debt Recovery Assistance Fee per debtor, payable by credit card prior to issue of initial letter for the services provided by the ATA up to this stage.

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Australian Receivables Limited (ARL)

The ATA utilises Debt Recovery services provided by ARL and has negotiated reduced rates with ARL for Members'.  There is no obligation for Members' to utilise the services of ARL and may consider other service providers if so desired.

If a Member decides to pursue debt recovery through ARL they need to first contact the ATA Head Office.  The roll of the ATA from this point is to introduce the Member to ARL which ultimately provides access to the reduced rates mentioned above.

The ATA encourages the Member to communicate directly with ARL once the Member has entered into an arrangement with ARL.  The ATA is pleased to discuss the progress of debt recovery proceedings with a Member and assist with general enquires where possible.  However, any advice provided by ATA should not be relied upon as legal advice and is only of a general nature.
 
Any arrangement entered into with ARL will be directly between the Member and ARL.  Therefore, ATA is neither party to nor a beneficiary of such arrangement or services provided by ARL.

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Consultation and general advice with outstanding debts

Handling the collection of Debt is both time consuming and costly to any business. In fact one is often faced with the dilemma of debt versus the cost of any recovery proceedings. The ATA handles many enquiries from Trainers and is well versed on the various scenarios impacting them and the most likely outcome. ARL has dealt with various cases that have required further action beyond the ATA Letter of Demand.

Generally in the Training Industry many horses are divided into individual ownership shares or owned by a syndicate. In either case a Manager is nominated although that does not necessarily assure that all accounts for a horse are guaranteed from the ownership shareholders. Whilst on the other hand it may be an outstanding debt from one particular Debtor/Owner that holds shares in many horses within your business that is having an adverse effect on your overall cashflow.

There are many instances where Trainers are faced with difficulties:

> Collection proceedings may result in the Trainer losing the horse and possibly other horses whether fully owned or part-owned by the Debtor within their establishment.
> Taking appropriate recovery action against a part-owner in a horse may impact on other part-owners that are within terms.  This in turn may result in the horse being transferred away from the Trainer should the action have an adverse effect on the horse.
> The Trainer is also a part-owner of a horse with proceedings against another part-owner.

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Why account itemisation is important?

Often many disputes arise and at times result in difficulties with debt collection proceedings through inadequate account itemisation.  There is no doubting the number of transactions that a Trainer deals with whilst a horse is in their care.  There is no limit to the amount of itemisation that may be recorded or relevant for that matter.  That is a decision entirely up to each Trainer to consider.  However, we have listed some common requests:

> Date relating to a charge or event.
> Quantity & rate of charge.
> Location where charge/event occurred.
> Origin & destinations for floating/travel.
> Daily fees - Training / Agistment / Stabling.
> Race meeting expense itemisation.
> Special Trainer services provided.
> Third party services provided.
> Special products/saddlery purchased.
> Percentage of ownership.
> Amount due based on Owner share.
> Amount overdue or 90/60/30 days.
> Receipt of any payments.
> Invoice or Tax Invoice or Statement.
> Business Name & address.
> Owner Name & address.
> Business ACN & ABN. (if applicable)
> Goods & Services Tax.
> Terms & Conditions of Training included.

Members' for a copy of the ATA Terms & Conditions of Training click here.

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Considering an Owners' contract?

Traditionally it has been a known fact that the Training Industry has rested upon a handshake agreement between the Trainer & Owner(s).  However, as we all know the world today has prompted businesses to prudently assess the arrangements they have in place for all areas of exposure or risk.  Of course in the Training Industry one of these areas is without doubt the management of your Debtors otherwise known as your Owners'.

The ATA has available for Members' an A4 version of Terms & Conditions of Training prepared and amended from time to time by solicitors for the ATA.  The Terms & Conditions have benefited through experience the ATA has acquired over many years of debt collection management and feedback obtained from various aspects of the Industry.

The ATA recommends that all Trainers consider having in place contracts to confirm the arrangements between the Trainer and your Owner(s).  Generally the Terms & Conditions would form part of the contract and any other details that you or your legal representative consider appropriate in your business.

An example of some items that may form part of an Owners contract or otherwise referred to as "Terms & Conditions of Training":

> Application of the terms.
> Ownership - jointly & severally.
> Rights & Obligations of the Trainer.
> Trading terms.
> Default & recovery process.
> Schedule of Training & other fees.
> Stakeholding during & upon transfer.
> Sale of the horse & rights.
> Insurance.
> Warranties & Indemnity.
> Liability.
> Special conditions.
> Disclaimer.

As each business may have unique circumstances to consider the ATA recommends that you seek your own professional advice on this issue.

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Applying an Owners Contract

The following is an example of some methods to apply your Owners contract in order of most to least preferred.

1.  The preferred method is prior to the commencement of Training that each Owner is provided with a contract and is afforded the opportunity to seek professional advice before both parties sign to accept the contract.

2.  In the event that Training has already commenced that Option (1) be applied as soon as possible thereafter.

3.  In the event that option (1) or (2) is considered not practicable then preferably before or as soon as possible after commencement of Training that each Owner is provided notice in writing informing them of the Terms & Conditions of Training that apply forming part of the Owners contract.

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Applying Terms & Conditions

The Terms & Conditions of an Owners Contract, often referred to as Terms & Conditions of Training, should be provided with your accounts information, for example Tax Invoices, Statements and Reminder Notices.

> If sending by mail then printed on the reverse side or otherwise attached to the accounts information.
> If sending by email then also attached with the accounts information or referred to within your email being available from your website address.
> If sending by facsimile then included following the accounts information provided.

Importantly, it should be clearly stated on the front or within any accounts information provided that the Terms & Conditions are available either on the reverse side, enclosed, attached or otherwise.

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The Australian Trainers’ Trust (‘The Trust’) was launched in September 2015.