Bankruptcy Online frequently asked questions

Key information about AFSA's new Bankruptcy Online portal which launched in January 2020. 

If you're a registered trustee, financial counsellor or other practitioner please see Bankruptcy Online - frequently asked questions for registered trustees and practitioners.

Do you have a question? If your question isn't covered here, write to stakeholders [at] afsa.gov.au.

Why Bankruptcy Online?

Why is AFSA introducing an online bankruptcy service?

Bankruptcy Online will enable people who are applying for bankruptcy to complete and lodge their own form online for free. It will enable them to check the status of their application, once it’s been submitted.

Is the Bankruptcy Online form the same as the current one?

No, the new form combines the Statement of Affairs form and the Debtor’s Petition form into one. It’s also been changed with feedback from users and stakeholders so that it’s easier to understand and has fewer questions to complete.

When can I use Bankruptcy Online?

When will the new Bankruptcy Form be available to use?

The new Bankruptcy Form will be available to use from January 2020. From this date, individuals who want to apply for bankruptcy, can open an account with AFSA, provide details of approved identification and then download the application form.

I’ve started to fill out my statement of affairs. Can I still use this form?

You can apply for bankruptcy or complete your statement of affairs using the current bankruptcy forms, if you are submitting your application before January 2020. From January 2020, you will need to complete the new Bankruptcy Form, by opening an account with AFSA’s Bankruptcy Online.

How to use Bankruptcy Online

What do I need to open a Bankruptcy Online account?

You will need to provide the details of two forms of identification, such as a driver’s licence, birth certificate or Medicare card.

Is there a fee to lodge the Bankruptcy Form?

No, there is no cost to lodge the Bankruptcy Form and apply for bankruptcy with AFSA.

You can ask for help to complete the form if you need to. Financial counsellors are available nation-wide and provide an independent, free and confidential service. See where to find help for more information on support services.

Some services will charge a fee to help you apply for bankruptcy or to complete the form. You should ask about any costs before you agree to accept help.

You can also contact AFSA’s national service centre on 1300 364 785 if you have any questions or issues completing the Bankruptcy Form.

Can I save my Bankruptcy Form and complete and submit it at a later time?

Yes. Once you download the form from the online account you create with us, you will be able to save the form on your computer (or other electronic storage device) and complete it at your convenience. The form allows you to save the data you have entered without it being lost. 

You must open and save the Bankruptcy Form using Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you complete the form in a web browser (such as Chrome) your information may not be saved. You can download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader for free from the Adobe website.

Do I need to sign the new Bankruptcy Form?

If you are submitting the Bankruptcy Form through your Bankruptcy Online account, you do not need to sign the form.

If you are not able to submit the Bankruptcy Form through a Bankruptcy Online account, you will need to sign the form. You will need to have your approved forms of identification (for example, a driver’s licence, birth certificate or Medicare card) verified by an approved witness. This could be a justice of the peace, an accountant, police officer or pharmacist, a financial counsellor or a registered trustee. You do not need to supply copies of your identification with your form.

Section M of the Bankruptcy Form requires you to declare that the information provided in the form is correct and complete.

Getting help with Bankruptcy Online

Can a person seek assistance to complete the Bankruptcy Form?

Where an individual requires assistance completing their application for bankruptcy, they can seek that assistance from financial counsellors, registered trustees or other service providers. The applicant must disclose the name of the person/organisation that provided them assistance, any fee paid for that assistance at question 17 of the Bankruptcy Form.

Financial counsellors are available nation-wide and provide an independent, free and confidential service. To find more information on where to find help see: Where to find help

Individuals can also can contact us if they have any questions or issues completing the Bankruptcy Form.

Can I have someone else complete the form for me?

In certain circumstances, you can have someone complete the form on your behalf. Section N describes the circumstances where this is allowed, for example, if you are visually impaired, illiterate, unfamiliar with the English language or have a physical disability.

In all instances the person completing the form on your behalf will be required to sign a declaration indicating which of these circumstances apply and that you have read the prescribed information on page iii of the Bankruptcy Form, had the prescribed information read to you, in a language you can both understand; and that you understand the prescribed information.

The prescribed information contains essential information about the consequences of bankruptcy and alternatives to bankruptcy.

Making a joint bankruptcy application 

If you are applying for bankruptcy jointly with someone else, or you're applying with a partner of a business, you will not be able to lodge online as your forms will need to be sent together. 

You and the other person you're applying with should still complete the new Bankruptcy Forms as paper applications and post them to AFSA. For more information about this process see Submitting the Bankruptcy Form Offline

If you are the only partner of a business applying for bankruptcy you can use Bankruptcy Online to submit your Bankruptcy Form.

Can I ask a registered trustee to look after my bankruptcy?

Yes, you can ask a trustee to look after your bankruptcy. Your chosen trustee will want to view your application before agreeing to manage your bankruptcy. Your trustee will then provide you with a signed ‘consent to act form’ which you will need to upload with your completed Bankruptcy Form through your online account. AFSA will let you and the trustee know the outcome of your application.

Can anyone else besides myself or a Registered Trustee lodge the application on my behalf?

No. Only you or your Registered Trustee can lodge your application with AFSA. Registered Trustees are licenced by AFSA.