Insolvency and Bankruptcy Guidance​

Navigating insolvency and bankruptcy can be both complex and stressful. We've compiled a brief list of some of the most useful resources in Australia. For more assistance or advice on your situation, please contact our team. 

Useful information and guidance on the insolvency and bankruptcy process can be obtained from the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and from the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), as well as from the Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business.

ARITA is Australia’s leading organisation for restructuring, insolvency, and turnaround professionals. 

ARITA’s membership comprises accountants, lawyers, lenders and investors, academics and other professionals with an interest in restructuring, insolvency, and turnaround engagements. ARITA members are among the most trusted and sought-after professionals working with under-performing businesses and financially challenged individuals.

ARITA issues a Code of Professional Practice (ARITA Code), which is developed as the standard for professional conduct in the insolvency profession. 

Useful guidance

 

CORPORATE INSOLVENCY – SAFE HARBOUR

The Federal Government recently passed new laws that allow directors of financially distressed businesses a new ‘safe harbour’ to turn around their business free from the worry of being personally pursued for insolvent trading actions. ARITA has prepared guidance for directors of financially distressed companies.

 

CORPORATE INSOLVENCY – GENERAL GUIDANCE

ARITA

ARITA’s website provides information and resources designed to assist business owners, directors, creditors and other interested parties in understanding insolvency processes, which can be accessed at the following links. 

Some of the most commonly used information sheets are:

 

ASIC

ASIC has also produced several insolvency information sheets to assist you if you’re affected by a company’s insolvency. They are written to give directors, employees, creditors and shareholders a basic understanding of the most common company insolvency procedures: liquidation, voluntary administration and receivership.

Most commonly used information sheets:

ASIC guidance on the insolvency process:

Insolvency information sheets can also be accessed directly from the ASIC website:

ASIC provides a website for anyone wishing to lodge a complaint.

ASIC also maintains a website for the publication of notices, including insolvency and external administration-related notices, required to be published under the Corporations Act 2001 and Corporations Regulations. Copies of all notices published in respect of a company can be accessed and viewed by searching for the company name under the Browse/Search Notices tab. 

The Australian Government provides financial assistance to cover certain unpaid employment entitlements to eligible employees who lose their job due to the liquidation or bankruptcy of their employer. Further information can be accessed at the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) website. Employers and employees may find the following links useful:

 

PERSONAL PROPERTY SECURITIES REGISTER

AFSA maintains the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR), which is the single, national online database of security interests in personal property in Australia. 

The website provides information on how the PPSR works, including an overview on the PPSR, an explanation of the key terms of the PPSR, and specific information on the PPSR and receivership, administration and liquidation.

 

PERSONAL INSOLVENCY (BANKRUPTCY)

The Chief Executive of AFSA is also appointed as the Inspector-General in Bankruptcy, and is responsible for the general administration of the Bankruptcy Act. The Inspector-General has powers to regulate bankruptcy trustees and debt agreement administrators, review decisions of trustees, and investigate allegations of offences under the Bankruptcy Act. Further information on personal bankruptcies can be accessed at the AFSA website.

ARITA has developed a range of information sheets designed to assist creditors with understanding insolvency processes. 

Key information sheets on personal insolvency (bankruptcy) include:

Additionally, the Insolvency section of AFSA’s website provides information on the consequences of bankruptcy, including details of the numerous thresholds, limits and other amounts that are regularly indexed within the Bankruptcy Act and Regulations such as those related to income, tools of the trade, and the value of vehicles (cars or motorbikes) used mainly for transport that a bankrupt may keep.

In addition, AFSA and ARITA have jointly developed a resource for creditors on trustee fees

AFSA maintains the Bankruptcy Register Search (BRS), an online service you can use to access personal insolvency information about individuals directly from the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII), a publicly available and permanent electronic record of all personal insolvency proceedings in Australia. 

 

DEALING WITH FINANCIAL DISTRESS

Dealing with retrenchment or an unexpected loss of income can be challenging for many people, causing significant financial and emotional hardship. These events can take a serious toll on your health and wellbeing, relationships, family, and how you see your future. BeyondBlue has prepared a Booklet - Taking Care of Yourself: After retrenchment or financial loss (for employees).

 

GUIDANCE AND ASSISTANCE

If you need any guidance or assistance with a corporate insolvency or a personal bankruptcy matter, please contact one of the William Buck Business Recovery Specialists.

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