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 Jul 2019: Bechara v Bates [2019] FCA 1077
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for an extension of time and leave to appeal - delay in commencing application - intervening application to the High Court - extension granted PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - new argument not previously relied upon - new argument warrants grant of leave in the interests of the administration of justice - a question of …
    Judge: Flick J
  • 9 Jul 2019: Ritson v Commissioner of Police, New South Wales Police Force (No 2) [2019] FCA 1069
    COSTS - where costs order in favour of the present applicant - whether appropriate to make a lump sum costs order in a particular amount - whether set-off against a costs order in favour of the present respondent in other proceedings appropriate - whether disqualifying delay in seeking set-off - whether set-off may amount to a preferential payment …
    Judge: Robertson J
  • 27 Jun 2019: Canberra Childcare Pty Ltd as trustee of the Fyshwick Child Care Trust v Arcidiacono [2019] FCA 1017
    COSTS - application for administration in bankruptcy of the estate of the respondent - where the Commissioner for ACT Revenue was a supporting creditor - whether the Commissioner is entitled to costs in circumstances where the application was not contested - no order for costs concerning the Commissioner's costs
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 27 Jun 2019: Dunkerley v Comcare [2019] FCA 1002
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application to set aside a bankruptcy notice - where debts underlying the bankruptcy notice arise from costs orders from prior litigation between the applicant and respondent - where grounds claimed for setting aside the bankruptcy notice amount to an attempt to litigate again the same legal and factual issues tried in…
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 21 Jun 2019: Lindsay v Meissner [2019] FCA 987
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Costs - whether costs should be awarded against respondent - whether costs should follow the event - respondent to bear costs on party-party basis
    Judge: Stewart J
  • 21 Jun 2019: Nash v Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd (in liq), in the matter of the bankrupt estate of Nash [2019] FCA 957
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application by examinee in public examination under s 81 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) (Act) to restrain law firm acting for and advising the examination applicants - where law firm previously acted for examinee - whether examinee in examination has standing to seek injunctive relief to restrain law firm - inherent…
    Judge: Anderson J
  • 19 Jun 2019: Connolly v Mills Oakley Lawyers (a Partnership) [2019] FCA 950
    COSTS - appeal from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia - whether primary judge erred in exercising discretion as to costs - where bankruptcy notice issued -where sum paid purportedly to settle the debt - where a creditor's petition was subsequently issued - whether the primary judge erred in law by not addressing a sufficiently articulated…
    Judge: Steward J
  • 14 Jun 2019: Wu v Roufeil as Trustee of the Bankrupt Estate of Yan Wu [2019] FCA 1099
    Judge: Rares J
  • 14 Jun 2019: Roufeil v Fiore, in the matter of the Bankrupt Estate of Peter Andrew Fiore (No 2) [2019] FCA 916
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application to set aside examination summons - examination summonses set aside in part
    Judge: Jackson J
  • 12 Jun 2019: Olney-Fraser v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 877
    BANKRUPTCY - appeal from orders of Federal Circuit Court releasing property from control under Part X of Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) - application of Div 2 of Part X subject to s 208 orders - whether special circumstances existed to justify s 208 orders - where appellant identified new creditors subsequent to sworn evidence of extent of liabilities…
    Judge: Davies 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.