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

  • 3 Aug 2020: Hundy v Kashan, in the matter of ACT Land Pty Ltd (in liquidation) [2020] FCA 1101
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for summary judgment under rule 26.01(1)(e) of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) - whether Court could be satisfied that the respondents have no reasonable prospect of successfully defending the proceeding - application dismissed, with costs PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - whether solicitor appearing as advocate or…
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 28 Jul 2020: Quin v Bitcon [2020] FCA 1065
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application for declaration that surplus funds from sale of property vest in trustee in bankruptcy - where bankrupt involved in domestic building dispute and charged and found guilty of causing criminal damage to property - where restraining order made over property owned by bankrupt - where compensation order awarded…
    Judge: Steward J
  • 27 Jul 2020: Hundy as Trustee for the Bankrupt Estate of Ryan v Southorn, in the matter of Ryan [2020] FCA 1050
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - interlocutory application for the respondent's solicitor to be released from an undertaking in order to pay the respondent's reasonable legal costs for defending the substantive proceeding and making a potential application in the Family Court of Australia - whether the Court has the jurisdiction to make the order sought - …
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 24 Jul 2020: Zaghloul v Jewellery & Gift Buying Service Pty Ltd t/as Nationwide Jewellers [2020] FCA 1045
    BANKRUPTCY - annulment - appeal from decision to dismiss application for annulment of bankruptcy - application for annulment brought after discharge - creditor's petition based on failure to comply with bankruptcy notice requiring payment of judgment debt - whether court should go behind judgment debt - whether appellant was solvent at time of…
    Judge: Banks-smith J
  • 23 Jul 2020: Macks (Trustee), in the matter of the Bankrupt Estate of Moltoni [2020] FCA 1052
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - recognition of foreign bankruptcy proceedings under the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law - ex parte application- application allowed
    Judge: Jagot J
  • 23 Jul 2020: Micheletto (Trustee), in the matter of the El-Debel (Bankrupt) v El-Debel [2020] FCA 1031
    BANKRUPTCY - application by trustees in bankruptcy for declarations pursuant to s 31 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) (Act) - whether bankrupt had beneficial interests in four properties which vested in the trustees in bankruptcy pursuant to s 58(1)(a) of the Act - where bankrupt made financial contributions to the purchase of four real properties …
    Judge: Gleeson J
  • 21 Jul 2020: Hanna v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCA 1021
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for extension of time to review decisions of the Australian Taxation Office - applicant an undischarged bankrupt - applicant lacks standing to bring substantive application - applicant not a "person aggrieved" for the purposes of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) - proposed…
    Judge: Jagot J
  • 20 Jul 2020: Kostov (Bankrupt) v Australian Financial Security Authority, in the matter of Kostov [2020] FCA 1105
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY -application for annulment of sequestration order - where applicant claims to have been under legal incapacity at the time the costs order was made and unable to participate in assessment of costs leading to establishing the amount of the judgment debt which was the basis of the bankruptcy petition - where applicant…
    Judge: Farrell J
  • 16 Jul 2020: Semantic Software Asia Pacific Limited v Vince (Trustee), in the matter of Bradley (Bankrupt) [2020] FCA 1007
    COSTS - departure from the general principle that costs follow the event - discussion of the discretion under Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) s 43 - where applicant successful - where applicant ordered to bear their own costs of the application and cross-claim
    Judge: Gleeson J
  • 16 Jul 2020: ACW v Du Bray (No 2) [2020] FCA 994
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - creditor's petition for a sequestration order against the respondent debtor - where indebtedness was said to arise from a series of court orders spanning several years of litigation, including orders registering judgments delivered by courts in New Zealand - where respondent debtor opposed the creditor's petition and…
    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.