Becoming Bankrupt in Australia by way of a Debtor’s Petition

You can become bankrupt in Australia several ways, either

  • Voluntary by filing a debtor’s petition with AFSA; or
  • The court can declare you bankrupt which is known as a creditor’s petition


Voluntary bankruptcy application – debtor’s petition

You can file a voluntary bankruptcy application with the Official Receiver at AFSA. This method is known as a Debtors’ Petition. In order for AFSA to accept your voluntary bankruptcy application you need to be insolvent (Section 55 of the Bankruptcy Act) and you need to be present in Australia or have a current address in Australia.

To file a voluntary bankruptcy application you can download the forms from the AFSA web site.

Alternatively, we offer a service to assist you with the bankruptcy application from $600. To eligible people this fee can be paid over 6 instalments of $100 each.

The AFSA registry may reject a bankruptcy application if the following factors are present:

  • You are not ordinarily resident in Australia (Section 55 2A of the Bankruptcy Act); or
  • Your statement of affairs or debtors’ petition is not complete (Section 55(3) of the Bankruptcy Act); or
  • The Official Receiver believes (based on the information contained with your statement of affairs) that
    you have the capacity to pay all debts immediately or within a reasonable period of time (Section 55 3AA of the Bankruptcy Act).

The most critical issue is that you are a permanent resident of Australia and the debts listed in your statement of affairs are provable debts in bankruptcy.

Can I appoint a Trustee in Bankruptcy myself?

If you file a debtor’s petition (ie you voluntarily file for bankruptcy) you can elect to appoint a Registered Trustee of your choosing or the Official Trustee.

We have a Registered Trustee on site (ie a Private Trustee) who can consent to act as your Bankruptcy Trustee and will administer your estate subject to our terms and conditions. We provide high service levels of which we are proud of.

Registered Trustee

A Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy is a suitably qualified accountant in private practice with many years experience in bankruptcy administration.

Official Trustee

The Official Trustee is the AFSA government agency who administers bankrupt estates in public practice.

Contact us to discuss our bankruptcy service

If you would like to file for bankruptcy on a voluntary basis call the Australian Bankruptcy Service on 1800 462 767.

All calls are free, entirely confidential and if required, anonymous.




CALL 1800 462 767 NOW

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.