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 Feb 2018: Compton v Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty Ltd (No 2) [2018] FCAFC 21
    BANKRUPTCY - personal insolvency agreements - where proceedings relating to creditor's petition were stayed by force of s 189AAA of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) - form of orders to be made - costs
    Judge: Siopis, Gleeson and Moshinsky JJ
  • 16 Feb 2018: Szepesvary v Weston (Trustee), in the matter of Szepesvary (Bankrupt) (No 2) [2018] FCA 87
    BANKRUPTCY – application to set aside sequestration order – where bankrupt claims not to have received notice of assignment of petitioning creditor’s debt – whether sequestration order ought not to have been made BANKRUPTCY – assignment of debt – legal assignment of debt - requirements for “express notice” under s 134 of the Property Law Act 1958…
    Judge: O'Callaghan J
  • 16 Feb 2018: Crocker v Infa-Secure Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 84
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Federal Court of Australia - applicant seeking to appeal vexatious proceedings order - s 37AO(2) and s 37AM of the Federal Court Act - importance of access to justice system - conclusion that applicant had instituted proceedings frequently and without reasonable cause in Australian courts - s 37AO order made.
    Judge: Logan J
  • 9 Feb 2018: Cristovao v Tan & Tan Lawyers Pty Ltd (No 4) [2018] FCA 90
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for discovery in an appeal
    Judge: Kerr J
  • 9 Feb 2018: Sharpe v CNH Capital Australia Pty Limited [2018] FCA 49
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - appeal from a sequestration order made in the Federal Circuit Court - whether the primary judge erred in declining to go behind the judgment where the debt underlying the judgment was admitted by the appellant - application of Farm Debt Mediation Act 1994 (NSW) after presentation of a creditor's petition in relation to…
    Judge: Lee J
  • 6 Feb 2018: Nazloomian v Jones [2018] FCA 44
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – second application for security for costs by respondents to appeal – where first application dismissed – whether there was a material change of circumstances or new material since the first application – where appellant commenced litigation against respondents in other courts – application dismissed
    Judge: Farrell J
  • 5 Feb 2018: Woods (Trustee), in the matter of Magnaye (Bankrupt) v Magnaye [2018] FCA 117
    BANKRUPTCY – application by trustee of bankrupt estate – application for declaration that proceeds of sale of bankrupt estate’s property is vested in trustee – application for declaration that bankrupt and others have no interest in the property – where bankrupt asserts that property was held beneficially and does not form part of bankrupt estate.
    Judge: O'Callaghan J
  • 1 Feb 2018: Kusumanadi, in the matter of Artemas v Artemas [2018] FCA 75
    Judge: North J
  • 29 Jan 2018: Ferella v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy (No 2) [2018] FCA 18
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application pursuant to ss 153A, 178 and 179, Bankruptcy Act, for annulment of bankruptcy on the basis certain charges not properly chargeable against the bankrupt estate and the bankrupt's debts were paid in full - failure to plead material facts and disclose reasonable cause of action - failure to plead compliance…
    Judge: Perry J
  • 25 Jan 2018: Cristovao v Tan & Tan Lawyers Pty Ltd (No 3) [2018] FCA 20
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application by a party who had failed to attend hearing of an interlocutory application for a decision made in his absence to be reconsidered PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - single judge case managing matter in respect of an appeal PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for judge's recusal
    Judge: Kerr 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.