How do I apply for bankruptcy?

Most people assume that bankruptcy is something that is forced on you by your creditors, but it is also a choice that you can make for yourself. Applying for bankruptcy yourself can be a daunting process, but with professional help it is actually relatively simple.

The first step is to know who your Bankruptcy Trustee is going to be, and for this you have two choices. There is the Official Trustee, which is actually a government body known as AFSA, or you can appoint a private Registered Trustee to act for you. To find your own Registered Trustee you would need to do a search and then choose someone that you feel comfortable with.

After your Trustee has been decided on, your bankruptcy application needs to be completed. This consists of a Debtor’s Petition (a form that states your desire to declare bankruptcy), a Statement of Affairs (a rather large form that sets out your current financial affairs) and required supporting documentation. If AFSA are your chosen Trustee, the application will be lodged directly with them – for a private Trustee, you will give them the application so that they can add their own Consent to Act to it.

Probably the hardest part of the process is getting the right advice and assistance, as there are many companies out there offering bankruptcy services, but their qualifications and capabilities are not always the same. When choosing a company to deal with, we recommend that you ask them the following:

  • Do you have a Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy on staff?
  • What exact services are you able to provide?
  • What are your qualifications?
  • Are you qualified to administer my bankruptcy directly?

Bankruptcy is a highly regulated process, and so some companies might not be able to provide you with a complete bankruptcy service. Some may be able to give you advice or help you fill out the paperwork, but will then pass your file over to another company for further work, or lodge your application with AFSA without you realising that they’ll be your Trustee. For the best possible service, choose a company that is run by accountants and has a Registered Trustee on staff who can administer your bankruptcy if you so choose.

We also suggest that you make a few calls and compare prices before deciding who to enlist for help. Be sure to find out exactly what service is being offered, and whether or not you will be dealing with the one company from start to finish. To give you an example, our company is run by a Registered Trustee who is able to administer your bankruptcy for you, and we can offer the following services:

  • Private bankruptcy administration starting at $80 per week (on a voluntary basis) (exclusive of any contributions you may be required to make under bankruptcy law)
  • We can complete your bankruptcy application and lodge it with AFSA for $400
  • General bankruptcy advice – free!

So if you feel you might have to apply for bankruptcy, call us today on 1800 462 767. Our advice is both free and obligation-free, and our focus is on ensuring that you are equipped to make an informed decision that serves your best interests – not ours.




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