In August 2019, we invited you to preview the new Bankruptcy Form (containing the debtor’s petition and statement of affairs), that we developed with your assistance. We now want to give you some information about the new online lodgement service for submitting the bankruptcy form.
From January 2020, an individual wanting to apply for bankruptcy, or needing to file their statement of affairs following a court bankruptcy order, will be able to do this online. They will be able to create an online account with us, automatically validate their identity using two forms of identity documents (such as a driver’s licence, birth certificate or Medicare card) and complete and submit their form.
This new service will be called Bankruptcy Online and will be available from AFSA’s website.
The Bankruptcy Form will be available for download from the online account that the individual creates, and can be saved, even if partially complete, on their computer or other electronic storage device. Once complete, the form can be uploaded and submitted through the online portal.
What if someone doesn’t have access to the internet?
If the person applying for bankruptcy doesn’t have access to a computer or the internet, they can call AFSA’s national service centre on 1300 364 785 and ask for the Bankruptcy Form to be posted to them. They will need to have their identity verified by an authorised witness, such as a Justice of the Peace, accountant, police officer or pharmacist. Registered trustees and financial counsellors will also be allowed to act as an authorised witness. A full list of authorised witnesses will be published on AFSA’s website.
What if someone wants a registered trustee to manage their bankruptcy?
If a person applying for bankruptcy has organised for a registered trustee to become the trustee of their bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Online allows them to upload the trustee’s signed consent form and submit that along with their application. If the application is accepted, AFSA will appoint that trustee to the administration and notify them, as we currently do.
Can a registered trustee lodge a bankruptcy application through Bankruptcy Online on behalf of an applicant?
No, in this first release of Bankruptcy Online, registered trustees will not be able to submit an application online on behalf of an applicant. In future, we will consult with trustees to consider further options.
The trustee Consent to Act form is changing
We have reviewed the ‘consent to act’ form and are proposing some changes to make it shorter and easier for trustees to complete. The new draft form has been published on AFSAsandpit and we invite you to review it and provide your feedback by 30 October 2019.
We’ll provide further updates and information over the coming weeks, directly to you and on our website at Bankruptcy Online. In the meantime, if you have particular questions, you can write to us at stakeholders [at] afsa.gov.au.