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we are terrified of the debt

Debt amount: 
$8500
Date debt issued: 
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Period debt occurred: 
June 2014
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
Yes
Payment Type: 
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?: 
I don't know how to
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

We haven't logged onto to Mygov account for a while as we had no particular need to. We then received a Dun and Bradstreet letter demanding $8518.00 be in their office immediately bold and underlined.
We have saved for three years for a family holiday that we have had to cancel as we are terrified of the debt. My wife has been physically ill on several occasions. We had approached centrelink when news of these letters broke earlier in 2017 and were told we were ok and doing the right thing. We are not rorters or scammers we are just trying to live our lives.

How do you feel about the way the Government has handled this process?: 

Horrendous. When we did log onto Mygov we did find a letter from May 2017 outlining the debt but from this to Dun and Bradstreet in a month? Bullshit.