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 Judicial Registrar.

Bankruptcy matters may be heard by the Federal Court. They may also be heard in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

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 Judicial Registrar

A significant proportion of bankruptcy matters are case managed and determined by Judicial 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 Judicial Registrar has been prepared to assist litigants involved in bankruptcy matters before a Judicial Registrar and relevant information for Judicial 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

  • 18 May 2022: Amirbeaggi as Trustee for the Bankrupt Estate of Hanna v Hanna (No 2) [2022] FCA 562
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for leave to amend cross-claim - where application made after expert report concluded, contrary to the cross-claimant's pleaded position, that he had signed a dealing for the transfer of property - where consideration of the factors relevant to the discretion weighs in favour of allowing the amendment PRACTICE…
    Judge: Goodman J
  • 11 May 2022: Mann (Trustee) v Storey [2022] FCA 542
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application by respondent to vacate upcoming final hearing due to alleged inability to participate adequately related to lack of personal computer - whether respondent will be provided with a fair hearing if hearing proceeds on listed date - application dismissed
    Judge: Stewart J
  • 6 May 2022: Toyota Finance Australia Limited v Youssef Berro [2022] FCA 497
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application by respondent to set aside sequestration orders and dismiss creditor's petition - where no evidence of statement of affairs provided - where respondent failed to establish he is able to pay his debts as and when they fall due - application dismissed PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application by respondent to set…
    Judge: Burley J
  • 3 May 2022: Rahman v Kent [2022] FCA 485
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - appeal from Federal Circuit Court's ("FCC") dismissal of a review of a Registrar's orders - where Registrar awarded costs of self-represented solicitors including professional fees - where FCC's decision handed down prior to the High Court's decision in Bell Lawyers Pty Ltd v Pentelow [2019] HCA 29; 269 CLR 333 - where…
    Judge: Stewart J
  • 29 Apr 2022: Jess v McNiven, in the matter of McNiven (No 2) [2022] FCA 446
    BANKRUPTCY - where bankrupts owned a matrimonial home and investment property at time of bankruptcy - where properties vested in trustees pursuant to s 58 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) on declaration of bankruptcy - where properties secured by two mortgages - where debts owed under mortgages exceeded value of properties at time of bankruptcy -…
    Judge: Anastassiou J
  • 27 Apr 2022: Frigger v Trenfield (No 2) [2022] FCA 501
    Judge: Feutrill J
  • 7 Apr 2022: Storry v Weir [2022] FCA 362
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for interim orders to stay sequestration order of Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia - whether arguable point on the proposed appeal or rational prospect of success -balance of convenience
    Judge: Collier J
  • 5 Apr 2022: Frigger v Trenfield (No 5) [2022] FCA 531
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for leave to amend originating application - where application seeks to re-agitate previously adjourned or abandoned applications for interlocutory relief - where proceeding adjourned pending determination of proceedings in Supreme Court of Western Australia - where interests of justice still favour adjournment …
    Judge: Logan J
  • 4 Apr 2022: Frigger v Trenfield (No 11) [2022] FCA 326
    COSTS - costs of unsuccessful application by then bankrupts against trustee in bankruptcy - costs to follow usual rule - costs between parties distinguished from trustee in bankruptcy's right of indemnity from the bankrupt estate - order affirming trustee in bankruptcy's right of indemnity - no order as to extent of bankrupts' right of indemnity…
    Judge: Jackson J
  • 1 Apr 2022: Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd v Porter [2022] FCA 336
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for leave to appeal - where applicant not a party in proceeding below - where judgment appealed from includes both final and interlocutory orders - where draft amended notice of appeal seeks to raise new grounds - where amounts in dispute are modest and stakes in the appeal are low - where no substantial…
    Judge: Stewart 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.