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 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 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

  • 12 Jan 2021: Ritson v Commissioner of Police, New South Wales Police Force [2021] FCA 5
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for a stay of case management orders made in a proceeding in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia pending the hearing and determination of an application for leave to appeal in this Court - whether a stay should be granted - application dismissed
    Judge: Markovic J
  • 23 Dec 2020: Wavish (Bankrupt), in the matter of Wavish (Bankrupt) v Micheltto (Trustee) [2020] FCA 1874
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Costs - Abandoned proceeding
    Judge: Middleton J
  • 23 Dec 2020: Valladares as executor of the estate of Sabrina Karen Andreazza v De Angelis [2020] FCA 1865
    BANKRUPTCY - application for review of sequestration orders made by a Registrar pursuant to s 35A(5) of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) - whether leave should be given to the petitioner to amend the creditor's petition so as to have it comply with s 44 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) - leave granted - application for review…
    Judge: White J
  • 23 Dec 2020: Cheng v Zhang [2020] FCA 1859
    BANKRUPTCY - creditor's petition - sequestration order - whether power to extend life of creditor's petition under s 52(5) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) can be exercised retrospectively by invoking the slip rule - whether just and equitable to extend time - whether making of a sequestration order within the term of currency of the petition is a …
    Judge: Stewart J
  • 23 Dec 2020: Burhala v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCA 1854
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for summary dismissal or strike out of whole statement of claim - where the applicant was a bankrupt residing in Romania - where the respondent was a creditor of the bankrupt - where the applicant alleged that an earlier interlocutory judgment of the Court should be set aside on the basis that it had been…
    Judge: Moshinsky J
  • 22 Dec 2020: Hashenko v Gollant as Trustee for the Bankrupt Estate of White [2020] FCA 1836
    BANKRUPTCY - application for annulment of bankruptcy - whether debtor's petition should be annulled pursuant to s 153B(1) of the Bankruptcy Act 1996 (Cth) - whether petitioner was insolvent at the time of bankruptcy - whether the presentation of the debtor's petition was filed for a collateral purpose - relevance of consent orders in Federal…
    Judge: Anastassiou J
  • 16 Dec 2020: Smith, in the matter of Reischl v Reischl [2020] FCA 1852
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application pursuant to s 35A of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) for review of sequestration order made by Registrar - where creditor's petition founded on a default judgment - whether Court should exercise discretion to go behind judgment - application dismissed.
    Judge: Farrell J
  • 14 Dec 2020: Pioneer Australia Pty Ltd v Bettles as Trustee of the Bankrupt Estate of Quinn [2020] FCA 1788
    BANKRUPTCY - replacement of trustee in bankruptcy - whether in interests of administration - where creditor only prepared to fund independent trustee to examine suspicious transactions BANKRUPTCY - whether single joint creditor has standing to apply to seek replacement of trustee under s 90-15 of Schedule 2 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) -…
    Judge: Derrington J
  • 10 Dec 2020: Warner (Trustee), in the matter of McMillan (Bankrupt) v McMillan [2020] FCA 1759
    BANKRUPTCY - transfer of property at less than market value - transfer for $1 BANKRUPTCY - transfers that are void - whether transferor's main purpose in transfer was to defeat creditors EVIDENCE - Jones v Dunkel inference - failure to call witnesses
    Judge: Flick J
  • 27 Nov 2020: Sijabat as trustee of the Bankrupt Estate of Do v Do [2020] FCA 1707
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - transfer of proceedings to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia - where parties requested transfer - whether factors weigh in favour of transfer
    Judge: Wigney 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.