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

  • 22 May 2018: Mackendrick v Lawless [2018] FCA 735
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - Creditor's petition - Act of bankruptcy comprised failure to comply with bankruptcy notice founded on a judgment debt for taxed costs - Application to review decision of Registrar making sequestration order against the respondent's estate - Rehearing - Where no justification to go behind judgment debt - Where no…
    Judge: Banks-smith J
  • 7 May 2018: Commissioner of Taxation v Yeo (Trustee) [2018] FCA 635
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - service out of jurisdiction - application by Commissioner of Taxation in proceeding seeking recovery of tax-related liabilities - whether requirements for service out of the jurisdiction satisfied
    Judge: Moshinsky J
  • 7 May 2018: CFB18 v Reader Lawyers & Mediators [2018] FCA 611
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application to set aside bankruptcy notice - whether the applicant has a counter-claim , set-off or cross demand pursuant to s 40(1)(g) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) - where applicant's alleged off-setting claim arises from respondent's representation in Family Court proceedings - no offsetting claim BANKRUPTCY AND…
    Judge: Colvin J
  • 2 May 2018: Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty Limited, in the matter of Compton v Compton [2018] FCA 742
    BANKRUPTCY & INSOLVENCY - creditors' petition - application to serve outside jurisdiction pursuant to s 309(2) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) - application granted
    Judge: Gleeson J
  • 1 May 2018: Frigger v Murfett Legal Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 591
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application to set aside a bankruptcy notice - whether the applicants have a counterclaim - whether there is an entitlement to damages pursuant to a prior undertaking - applicability of National Credit Code - where there was a failure to advance arguments in previous proceedings
    Judge: McKerracher J
  • 30 Apr 2018: Bechara v Bates (No 2) [2018] FCA 583
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for a lump sum costs orders - relevant principles discussed - where circumstances warrant lump sum costs order -quantification of lump sum costs order
    Judge: Perry J
  • 30 Apr 2018: Ambrose (Trustee) in the matter of Poumako (Bankrupt) v Poumako (No 6) [2018] FCA 577
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application to revoke or vary an order once varied - alleged non-disclosure of material fact - obligation by a solicitor to indemnify client in respect of an order for costs thrown away - whether client's primary obligation compromised by settlement deed - whether settlement deed subject to implied undertaking as to its…
    Judge: Charlesworth J
  • 27 Apr 2018: Stojanovski v Stojanovski [2018] FCA 580
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application for leave to prosecute proceedings in Supreme Court of New South Wales - where proceedings already commenced when sequestration order made against First Respondent - whether leave should be granted
    Judge: Flick J
  • 26 Apr 2018: Coshott v Parker [2018] FCA 596
    STATUTORY INTERPRETATION - separate question regarding the operation of s 68 of the Limitation Act 1969 (NSW) - whether, in the context of a maintained general retaining lien, that section has the effect that certain statute-barred debts were nevertheless payable in the administration of a deceased estate - s 68 has the effect that the debts are…
    Judge: Lee J
  • 26 Apr 2018: Mehajer v Weston (Trustee), in the matter of Mehajer [2018] FCA 608
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application for stay of sequestration order - where sequestration order takes immediate and automatic effect by force of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) upon it being made and cannot be stayed - application for stay of sequestration order dismissed PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - consideration of stay of proceedings under a…
    Judge: Lee 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.