AFSA exercises coercive powers to seize books and records from NSW bankrupt

On Friday 22 November, officers of the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), accompanied by members of the New South Wales Police Force and Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy, Mr Michael Jones of Jones Partners, seized books and records from the residential premises of an undischarged bankrupt on the mid north coast of New South Wales.

AFSA utilised an Official Receiver power under section 77AA of the Bankruptcy Act to recover records for the benefit of the bankrupt estate. The power was exercised following a pattern of non-compliance by the bankrupt in providing information required by the trustee to administer the estate.

Under the Bankruptcy Act, a trustee of a bankrupt estate can apply to the Official Receiver for assistance to recover records, this allows AFSA officials to access premises and recover books associated with the bankruptcy. This exercise was carried out at a property in Coffs Harbour, and resulted in the seizure of physical and electronic records that will assist the trustee in fulfilling their duties.