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Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund (Youpla)

Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund has gone into liquidation. What does that mean for you …

ACBF/Youpla funeral plans – 14 April 2022 update

As at 11 March 2022 all the ACBF/Youpla funds went into liquidation. That means they’ve gone broke.

Those who still had a funeral policy with these funds no longer have funeral benefits.

The ACBF/Youpla funds include:
• Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund Pty Ltd (Fund 1)
• Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund No 2 Pty Ltd (Fund 2)
• ACBF Funeral Plans Pty Ltd (The Plan)

What fund was I in?

To find out what fund you were in, check any recent documents you have or contact the liquidator for all the funds, SV Partners:

Note: you may have had memberships in more than one fund.

Note: you should ask which fund you are in and how much money you have paid them. Write that information down somewhere safe.

Note: The liquidation of Fund 2 was previously handled by Robson Cotter. From 11 April 2022 the liquidators are now SV Partners.

Will the fund pay for funerals now?

The liquidators for Fund 1, SV Partners, have said they may pay out Fund 1 claims for a brief period but no further details are available. If you are wanting to claim against Fund 1 you should email claims@youpla.com.au or call SV Partners on (07) 3310 2005. Please message us on our Mob Strong Facebook page and let us know how you went. Fund 2 and The Plan will not be paying for funerals as they are broke.

Will I get any money back?

The latest information provided by the liquidators, SV Partners and Robson Cotter indicates this:

  • If you were in Fund 1: SV Partners information indicates that Fund 1 has some money in the bank. That means that Fund 1 members may get some money back. If this happens, it will probably be a lot less than you paid – skinny money. That is because any money has to be shared between the many people who are owed money.
  • If you were in Fund 2: The last financial report for Fund 2 showed it barely had any money left. It is unlikely you will get any of your money back.
  • If you were in The Plan: The last financial report for The Plan showed it barely had any money left. It is unlikely you will get any of your money back.

Still making payments?

Your payments should have stopped…

  • Fund 2 stopped taking payments on 22 February 2022
  • Fund 1 and The Plan stopped taking payments on 22 March 2022. SV Partners say any payments made after 11 March 2022 will be refunded.

NOTE: you should check your bank account statements to make sure no payments have come out of your account since those dates. If they have, contact your bank immediately and ask to stop the payments. Members of Fund 1 or The Plan can take this form to their bank:

Why did this happen?

SV Partners say a full investigation is being undertaken and findings will be reported. This is likely to take over a year. We will keep you updated here and on our Mob Strong Facebook page as we hear more but we don’t think there is much chance they will get the money back.

Can I complain?

There’s been lots of complaints recently about Youpla and the Funds about how they were misleading people when selling the funds and the poor value for money., You can still lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) (https://www.afca.org.au or phone: 1800 931 678 but AFCA have placed all complaints on hold because these companies have gone broke. Your complaint might help show the government there is a big problem here they should fix, but it won’t get your money back.

You’ve called Mob Strong Debt Help, but couldn’t get through? 

Mob Strong is getting a lot of calls about ACBF. We’re sorry we haven’t been able to talk to you. We are answering as many calls as we can.

We’re providing constant updates about what is happening with ACBF on our Mob Strong Debt Help Facebook page. We will also keep updating this page with more developments, so please follow us and keep coming back for updates.

Will someone get back to me?

We’re aiming to get back to everyone who has already lodged their details with us, to talk through your individual issues and help you work out what to do next. Other organisations in your state may be able to give you free advice:

VICTORIA

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service: 1800 064 865.

Koori Help Line: 1800 574 457 (Monday – Friday 10 am – 1 pm and 2pm – 5 pm) – Website: https://koorihelp.consumeraction.org.au/

QUEENSLAND

Legal Aid Queensland Indigenous Hotline 1300 650 143

The person who contacts you may be Aboriginal. If you prefer to speak to an Aboriginal worker, please let the person know when they ring you back.

What can I do now?

You can do the following things right now:

  1. If payments are still coming out of your account or credit card: contact your bank to stop all payments to ACBF – if the bank refuses then contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority to lodge a complaint.
  2. Lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (https://www.afca.org.au and 1800 931 678) – have your complaint on the record.
  3. Share this website with your mob – it might help answer a lot of questions as we are getting hundreds of calls.
  4. IF you can afford it, start looking at safe alternatives – build a joint savings fund or pay into a pre-paid funeral or funeral bond. Talk to your family about this.
  5. You can also talk to your local members of parliament about this and get them to raise it with government. Together with other consumer advocates we are raising this with the federal government. We are asking the government to provide compensation to you.
  6. Keep watching this space as we try and campaign for you. We would love to hear from you.

Don’t sign up to another funeral insurance product until you get advice

All of this is unjust! If the liquidation means I get nothing then what is the point of all this?

Agreed! This entire situation is unjust. We are working with other agencies to try to campaign for the Government to put in place a remediation scheme for people who had ACBF/Youpla funds #SaveSorryBusiness

We’ve joined over 125 organisations who’ve signed the open letter calling on the incoming government to support people affected by the Youpla funerals scandal. Add your name too.