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

  • 13 Aug 2018: Nasr v Dixon (Trustee), in the matter of Nasr (Bankrupt) (No 2) [2018] FCA 1207
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - costs - where applicant brought an urgent application seeking orders requiring the joint trustees in bankruptcy of the applicant's estate to give consent to the applicant departing Australia - where the necessity to make the application was almost entirely of the applicant's making - whether applicant ought to pay the…
    Judge: Thawley J
  • 10 Aug 2018: Penson v Palmer [2018] FCA 1202
    BANKRUPTCY - application for declarations concerning orders made in the Supreme Court of New South Wales which vested property in a receiver and manager - whether Supreme Court required leave of a federal court vested with jurisdiction in bankruptcy pursuant to s 58(3) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) - whether the orders disturbed the order of…
    Judge: Farrell J
  • 7 Aug 2018: Free (Trustee) v Crawford, in the matter of Crawford (Bankrupt) (No 2) [2018] FCA 1208
    BANKRUPTCY - stay - application by bankrupt for a stay of execution of a writ of possession - where applicant seeking to refinance property the subject of the writ of possession - application dismissed
    Judge: Thawley J
  • 2 Aug 2018: Cheung v Burness (Trustee) [2018] FCA 1145
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - appeal from decision of the Federal Circuit Court - application for extension of time in which to appeal orders - application for annulment of bankruptcy - discretion to annul bankruptcy under section 153B of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) - principles applicable to exercise of the discretion - principles applicable to…
    Judge: Davies J
  • 1 Aug 2018: Rambaldi v Meletsis, in the matter of Karas (Bankrupt) [2018] FCA 791
    TRUSTS AND TRUSTEES - interlocutory application - where trustees of bankrupt estate acquired causes of action from liquidator and company by deed of assignment - where trustees sued on assigned causes of action - whether trustees had power to acquire assigned claims - whether trustees justified in acquiring assigned claims STATUTORY INTERPRETATION …
    Judge: Davies J
  • 30 Jul 2018: Hayes v Pioneer Credit Acquisition Services Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 1113
    BANKRUPTCY - appeal from Federal Circuit Court where sequestration order was made against appellant - where appellant was removed from courtroom - whether there was denial of procedural fairness - right to fair hearing - appeal allowed
    Judge: Rangiah J
  • 24 Jul 2018: Lowbeer v De Varda [2018] FCAFC 115
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - appeal from Federal Circuit Court dismissing creditor's petitions based on certificates of taxation and costs order made in favour of petitioning creditor against the respondents - where primary judge found in truth and reality no debt due and payable because costs had been incurred by third party - principles to be…
    Judge: Reeves, Farrell and Colvin JJ
  • 20 Jul 2018: Kitay, in the matter of Frigger (No 2) [2018] FCA 1032
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - petition for sequestration orders on the basis of unpaid costs order - principles to be applied where debtors seek to go behind costs order and decision on assessment on taxation - costs assessment deemed to take effect as a judgment - whether claim that costs order should not have been made to be evaluated as a claim…
    Judge: Colvin J
  • 18 Jul 2018: Carter v Australian Securities & Investments Commission [2018] FCA 1064
    CORPORATIONS - disqualification from managing corporations - s 206F of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) - whether notice of disqualification validly served by ASIC - meaning of requirement for notice to be served 'on the person' - where notice provided electronically to applicant's solicitor - where notice came to the actual attention of the applicant…
    Judge: Colvin J
  • 6 Jul 2018: Nasr v Dixon (Trustee), in the matter of Nasr (Bankrupt) [2018] FCA 1039
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - where applicant (a bankrupt) seeks orders requiring joint trustees in bankruptcy to consent to applicant travelling overseas - where trustees refuse consent and oppose applicant leaving Australia - whether Court should direct trustees to give consent, and if so, on what terms
    Judge: Thawley J


To stay up-to-date with news in the Federal Court, including developments in this NPA, subscribe to our email subscription services.

We provide subscriptions to the latest judgments and events (by NPA); Practice News to keep up-to-date with changes to practice and procedure; and Daily Court Listings.

All Subscriptions

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.