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 and Family Court of Australia.

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

  • 5 Jul 2022: Shaw v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy of the Australian Financial Security Authority [2022] FCA 775
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - applications by the respondent (Trustee) for a stay of each of the appellate proceedings NSD 9 of 2022 and NSD 42 of 2022 (appellate proceedings) pending the determination of separate proceedings in the original jurisdiction of this Court - where the Trustee seeks a vexatious proceedings order in respect of Mr Shaw (VPO…
    Judge: Cheeseman J
  • 29 Jun 2022: Lucan (Trustee) v State of New South Wales, in the matter of the Bankrupt Estate of Williams [2022] FCA 751
    BANKRUPTCY - application by trustee in bankruptcy for an order vesting an interest in real property to the trustee - property disclaimed by predecessor trustee - change in circumstances - just and equitable to make order
    Judge: Goodman J
  • 29 Jun 2022: Naumets (Trustee), in the matter of Dorokhov (Bankrupt) v Dorokhov [2022] FCA 748
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY- cross border insolvency - application for recognition of a foreign main proceeding pursuant to the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 (Cth) and the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law - where applicant was appointed trustee of the estate of the respondent by…
    Judge: McElwaine J
  • 23 Jun 2022: Makhoul v State of New South Wales [2022] FCA 731
    BANKRUPTCY - disclaimer of interest in real property by trustee in bankruptcy pursuant to s 133(1) of Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) (Act) - application by co-owner of the property for order pursuant to s 133(9) of the Act for vesting of property in applicant subject to mortgage and caveat - no opposition to orders by any interested party -…
    Judge: Halley J
  • 16 Jun 2022: Scott (Trustee), in the matter of Stolyar (Bankrupt) v Stolyar [2022] FCA 691
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - application by Trustee in bankruptcy (Trustee) to recover several properties or interests in those properties - whether properties, or interests in those properties, are held on trust for the bankrupt estates - whether the transfer of certain property was an undervalued transaction or a transaction to defeat creditors…
    Judge: Markovic J
  • 2 Jun 2022: Jafari v 23 Developments Pty Ltd [2022] FCA 651
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - continued non-compliance with Court orders - where appellant given repeated opportunities to comply with court orders - default judgment awarded under r 5.23 of Federal Court Rules 2011
    Judge: Anderson J
  • 2 Jun 2022: Francis (Trustee), in the matter of Fotios (Bankrupt) v Helios Corporation Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] FCA 652
    CORPORATIONS - application for advice by Court appointed receivers - issues as to final form of orders - whether order should provide for priority of right of recoupment over right of exoneration
    Judge: Colvin J
  • 31 May 2022: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited v State of Western Australia, in the matter of Raleigh [2022] FCA 639
    BANKRUPTCY - application by mortgagee for order vesting bankrupts' properties in mortgagee - properties disclaimed by trustee in bankruptcy - mortgagee seeks to utilise powers as if mortgagee in possession - just and equitable that property be vested in mortgagee - appropriate allocation of any surplus - orders and declarations made
    Judge: Banks-smith J
  • 24 May 2022: Thompson v Lane (Trustee) (No 4) [2022] FCA 616
    COSTS - application for annulment of bankruptcy - where applicant unsuccessful - where costs sought by creditor who took active role as contradictor - where creditor sought lump-sum costs order and for costs to be paid in the same priority as provided for in s 109(1)(a) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) - where role of creditor as contradictor…
    Judge: Logan J
  • 24 May 2022: Mann (Trustee) v Storey (No 2) [2022] FCA 609
    BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY - where applicant was appointed trustee of the estate of the respondent by orders of the High Court of the Republic of Singapore - where letter of request received from the Supreme Court of Singapore - application pursuant to s 29(2)(a) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) for the appointment of a receiver empowered to manage …
    Judge: Stewart J


To stay up-to-date with news in the Federal Court, including developments in this NPA, subscribe to our email subscription services.

We provide subscriptions to the latest judgments and events (by NPA); Practice News to keep up-to-date with changes to practice and procedure; and Daily Court Listings.

All Subscriptions

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.