General and Personal Insolvency Sub-area NPA logo with link NPA logo with link

General and Personal Insolvency Sub-area

About this Sub-Area

This Sub-area includes matters related to general and personal insolvency under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) (Bankruptcy Act). Relevant matters include:

  • Applications by trustees in the management of bankrupt estates (e.g. voidable transactions)
  • Applications by bankrupts contesting decisions of a trustee
  • Applications for annulment of bankruptcy
  • Bankruptcy matters referred to a Judge by a Registrar.

Bankruptcy matters may be heard by the Federal Court. They may also be heard in the Federal Circuit Court.

This Sub-area does not include any corporate insolvency matters such as winding-up applications. These types of matters fall within the Corporations and Corporate Insolvency Sub-area in the Commercial and Corporations NPA.

Bankruptcy matters before a Registrar

A significant proportion of bankruptcy matters are case managed and determined by Registrars of the Court. This includes:

  • creditors’ petitions
  • applications to set aside bankruptcy notices
  • examinations pursuant to s 81 of the Bankruptcy Act.

A Guide to Bankruptcy Matters before a Registrar has been prepared to assist litigants involved in bankruptcy matters before a Registrar and relevant information for Registrar bankruptcy lists in each registry.

Practice Notes

All practice notes are to be read with the Central Practice Note.  It is the essential guide to practice in the Federal Court in all proceedings.

NPA Practice Note:

NOTE: also refer to Schedule 2 of the practice note – General and Personal
Insolvency Sub-area

Other general practice notes and Court developed guides which may be relevant to this Sub-area include:

General Practice Notes:


Forms, Rules & Fees

Filing fees for commencing a proceeding in this Sub-area may apply. Information about Court Fees, including the fees payable and circumstances where an exemption or deferral can be given is available in Forms, Fees & Costs or from the Registry.

The general procedure for the conduct of matters in this Sub-area is set out in the Federal Court (Bankruptcy) Rules 2016 (Bankruptcy Rules). As the Bankruptcy Rules do not provide a comprehensive code, the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) (Rules) also apply except to the extent of any inconsistency.

Unless the Bankruptcy Rules otherwise provide, you must make an application under the Bankruptcy Act to the Court by filing:

  • Corporations Rules 2.01 (including Notes 1 and 2), 2.02, 2.03, 6.01, 6.05, 6.11, 6.16, 14.01, 14.04, 14.08 and 14.09

Latest Judgments

  • 19 Oct 2018: Lane (Trustee), in the matter of Lee (Bankrupt) v Commissioner of Taxation (No 3) [2018] FCA 1572
    BANKRUPCY AND INSOLVENCY - property available to meet creditors' claims - trustee had exercised right of exoneration to discharge taxation liability - payment void under s 122 of the Bankruptcy Act - money received by Bankruptcy Trustees subject to trust obligations
    Judge: Derrington J
  • 19 Oct 2018: Coshott v Prentice [2018] FCAFC 179
    BANKRUPTCY - appeals from decision of single judge of Federal Court of Australia to dismiss applications to set aside appellants' bankruptcy notices - where bankruptcy notices issued as appellants failed to pay debts arising from taxation of costs certificate issued against them in related proceeding - where appellants argued that notices should…
    Judge: Kerr, Farrell and Gleeson JJ
  • 18 Oct 2018: Kimber v The Owners Strata Plan No 48216 [2018] FCAFC 181
    BANKRUPTCY - appeal against refusal to set aside Bankruptcy Notice - whether any grounds for setting aside notice - whether appellant had established any basis on which a cross-demand might be set up - appellant required extension of time in which to comply with Bankruptcy Notice - whether time ought to be extended - whether any evidence of…
    Judge: Flick, Barker and Derrington JJ
  • 9 Oct 2018: Cooper, in the matter of Chopsonion Pty Ltd (Receivers and Managers Appointed) v Chopsonion Pty Ltd (Receivers and Managers Appointed) (No 2) [2018] FCA 1504
    CONTEMPT - where third defendant previously found to have committed a contempt in failing to comply with orders of the Court - where third defendant is bankrupt - consideration of appropriate penalty and costs - where options in terms of penalty appear to be a custodial sentence or a pecuniary penalty - where a pecuniary penalty for contempt falls …
    Judge: Besanko J
  • 9 Oct 2018: Mansfield (Trustee) v Cruz [2018] FCA 1525
    CORPORATIONS - application by trustee seeking declarations to void transactions against trustee pursuant to s 120 and/or s 121 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) and s 37A of the Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW) - parties resolved proceeding by agreement - whether appropriate to order the transfer of the bankrupt's shares in a company to the trustee…
    Judge: Farrell J
  • 26 Sep 2018: Dixon (Trustee) v Citiline Developments Pty Limited, in the matter of Nasr (Bankrupt) [2018] FCA 1446
    EVIDENCE – whether s 304 of the Duties Act 1997 (NSW) is picked up by s 79 of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) in respect of proceedings in the Federal Court where admissibility is governed by ss 55 and 56 of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) – applicability of s 9(3) of the Evidence Act
    Judge: Lee J
  • 26 Sep 2018: Nugawela v Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCA 1458
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for summary dismissal - appeal from decision of Administrative Appeals Tribunal dismissing applications to review decisions by Commissioner regarding objections to tax assessments - where appellant is bankrupt - where Tribunal found appellant lacked standing to progress applications - where trustee did not…
    Judge: Colvin J
  • 26 Sep 2018: Nugawela v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCA 1457
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - appeal against the dismissal of an application under s 39B Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) - objection to competency of appeal - where appellant is bankrupt - where sequestration orders made against appellant - where sequestration orders stayed - where trustee did not elect to continue proceedings - consideration of principles …
    Judge: Colvin J
  • 21 Sep 2018: Wheaton v Krawec [2018] FCA 1466
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for an extension of time to appeal from a decision of a Federal Court judge - where no evidence given - no basis for granting an extension - application dismissed
    Judge: O'Callaghan J
  • 13 Sep 2018: LFDB v MS S M [2018] FCA 1397
    BANKRUPTCY - where pseudonyms are used to describe both the debtor and creditor's name on a bankruptcy notice - whether the bankruptcy notice is a nullity because, by using pseudonyms instead of naming parties, it fails to fulfil the public interest objectives of bankruptcy - whether the bankruptcy notice is a nullity because the debtor could have …
    Judge: Markovic J


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Important note: This information is procedural advice only. You should seek your own legal advice about legal cases and procedure in the Federal Court and in this area of law.