Last updated 30 November 2022

Generally speaking bankruptcy lasts for three years.

The steps a trustee will take are to:

  • confirm which creditors’ debts should be paid
  • sell the bankrupt’s property
  • ensure any creditors given priority in the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) are paid first
  • pay the remaining proceeds to creditors with each creditor paid in proportion to their share of the debtor’s total debts.

If there is no registered bankruptcy trustee appointed, the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) administers the estate as the Official Trustee in Bankruptcy.

It is important to seek advice and a list of registered trustees and registered debt agreement administrators is available from the AFSA website.

The AFSA website also has a range of resources including a number of short videos to provide information to clients on key personal insolvency topics such as Unmanageable Debt—Where to find help and Consequences of Bankruptcy.