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

  • 24 Dec 2019: Cooper (Trustee) v GT Capital Partners Pty Ltd, in the matter of Tonner [2019] FCA 2174
    BANKRUPTCY -- application by a trustee in bankruptcy for a declaration that the trustee has validly and effectively disclaimed a funding agreement as an unprofitable contract pursuant to s 133 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) -- where trustee purported to disclaim the funding agreement under s 133(1A) of the Bankruptcy Act and served a notice in…
    Judge: Besanko J
  • 20 Dec 2019: Ruhe (Trustee), in the matter of Power (Bankrupt) [2019] FCA 2179
    BANKRUPTCY - where bankrupts are summonsed to give evidence and produce documents at examination - where arrest warrants against bankrupts are issued and executed - where trustees seek order granting the bankrupts bail on certain conditions - whether bankrupts should be granted bail on what terms proposed by trustees PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE -…
    Judge: Anderson J
  • 20 Dec 2019: Laughton v Gye [2019] FCA 2165
    COSTS - consideration of costs - whether applicant was a secured creditor under s 4 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) following payment into the Supreme Court of New South Wales - whether respondent entitled to indemnity costs - respondent entitled to part of his costs on an ordinary basis - applicant awarded a lump sum for his share of the costs…
    Judge: Burley J
  • 19 Dec 2019: Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Zappia [2019] FCA 2152
    BANKRUPTCY - application to set aside a composition - terms of agreement unreasonable - terms not calculated to benefit creditors generally - possibility of greater return to creditors -private arrangements made with creditors - more extensive investigation into the bankruptcy required - application allowed
    Judge: Jagot J
  • 18 Dec 2019: James Legal Pty Ltd v Milanos as trustee for the property of Alfred Michael Vincent Attard [2019] FCA 2130
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - appeal from a decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia dismissing an application by a creditor to set aside a personal insolvency agreement - whether the trial judge erred in dismissing application - held: appeal allowed
    Judge: Bromwich J
  • 13 Dec 2019: Endresz v Commonwealth of Australia (No 2) [2019] FCAFC 223
    COSTS - application for respondents to pay costs of appeals on indemnity basis and the costs of trial - where respondent's rejection of appellants' Calderbank offer not unreasonable in all of the circumstances - where grounds of appeal were arguable but did not have good prospects of success - where appeals could not be allowed by consent unless…
    Judge: Rares, Markovic and Charlesworth JJ
  • 10 Dec 2019: Dimitriou v Pineview Property Holdings Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 2123
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for stay of proceedings - where respondent conceded that appellant had arguable ground of appeal - whether balance of convenience favours stay - application dismissed PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for security for costs of appeal proceeding - application allowed
    Judge: Markovic J
  • 6 Dec 2019: Gounder v Superior Alignments Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 2093
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for extension of time in which to appeal from Federal Circuit Court of Australia - leave required to rely on new grounds and new evidence - no prospects of success - application dismissed
    Judge: Derrington J
  • 4 Dec 2019: Lafferty v Waterton [2019] FCA 2049
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for adjournment - alleged misunderstanding about listing - where there would be prejudice to the respondent - application refused COSTS - application for security for costs - where security sought for the costs of an appeal against a sequestration order - where not demonstrated that there is substantial merit…
    Judge: Colvin J
  • 29 Nov 2019: A.F.I. Management Pty Ltd v Condon in his Capacity as Trustee of the Bankrupt Estate of Brian Keith Hones [2019] FCA 2012
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application to commence and continue to prosecute proceeding in Supreme Court of New South Wales - where defendant in Supreme Court proceeding discharged from bankruptcy after filing - whether claims in Supreme Court proceeding in respect of provable debts - where indemnity for claims against defendant vested in…
    Judge: Griffiths 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.