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

  • 13 May 2021: Comcare v Dunkerley [2021] FCA 495
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - creditor's petition for a sequestration order - where respondent debtor opposed creditor's petition and making of a sequestration order - whether a debt due in truth and reality - whether to 'go behind' a judgment - sequestration order made
    Judge: Abraham J
  • 11 May 2021: Vince in his capacity as trustee of the bankrupt estate of Gullquist v Jusbec Pty Ltd as trustee of the Super Fortune Trust [2021] FCA 497
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for review of Registrar's decision - application for adjournment - adjournment refused - application for review dismissed - no point of principle - orders made
    Judge: Beach J
  • 7 May 2021: Aprile v State of Queensland, in the matter of Leftwich [2021] FCA 471
    BANKRUPTCY - disclaimer of real property by trustee in bankruptcy pursuant to s 133(1) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) - application by co-owner of property subject to mortgage pursuant to s 133(9) - desire of co-owner to sell property for the purposes of discharging mortgage - no opposition to orders by any interested party - application allowed
    Judge: Derrington J
  • 6 May 2021: Kitay (Liquidator) v Trenfield (Trustee) [2021] FCA 508
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application for leave under s 58(3) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) to continue Supreme Court proceedings - provable claims linked with other claims - complex facts and law - leave granted
    Judge: Jackson J
  • 6 May 2021: Pekar v Jess (Trustee) (No 3) [2021] FCA 466
    COSTS - application for review of taxation - where Respondent erroneously filed a combined bill of costs for two proceedings, one in the Federal Court of Australia and one in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia - where Respondent subsequently filed two separate bills of costs, which were taxed - where there was an alleged duplication of costs - …
    Judge: Kerr J
  • 3 May 2021: Williamson v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd [2021] FCA 451
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for extension of time to file notice of appeal from Federal Circuit Court - bankruptcy notice - whether adequate explanation for delay - whether sufficient prospects to justify time being extended - application dismissed
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 30 Apr 2021: Mastronardo v Commonwealth Bank of Australia [2021] FCA 443
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - appeal from Federal Circuit Court - appeal against dismissal of application to adjourn hearing of creditor's petition - discretionary decisions and finding that proposed cross-claim was not reasonably arguable - no House v R (1936) 55 CLR 499 error established - appeal dismissed
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 21 Apr 2021: Kellendonk v State of Western Australia, in the matter of Jasienska-Dudek (a Bankrupt) [2021] FCA 418
    BANKRUPTCY - application by mortgagees for order vesting bankrupt's property in them absolutely - prior to bankruptcy bankrupt agreed to transfer property to mortgagees in consideration for discharge of mortgage - mortgagees did not register title before bankruptcy - property disclaimed by trustee in bankruptcy - equitable interest established in…
    Judge: Jackson J
  • 21 Apr 2021: McCallum, in the Matter of Re Holdco Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed) (No 2) [2021] FCA 377
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - where administrators have disposed of property used or in the possession of companies under administration by way of sale pursuant to orders of the Court made under s 44C(2)(c) of the Corporations Act 2010 (Cth) - where the proceeds of sale have been retained to meet the claims of persons who assert ownership or…
    Judge: O'Bryan J
  • 15 Apr 2021: Burnett v Browne (No 2) [2021] FCA 373
    BANKRUPTCY - practice and procedure - further application to appoint litigation representative - application dismissed
    Judge: O'Callaghan 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.