Bankruptcy Online frequently asked questions for registered trustees and practitioners

Key information about AFSA's new Bankruptcy Online portal launching in January 2020 for registered trustees, financial counsellor and other practitioners. 

If you are an individual wanting to know more about this new online portal see Bankruptcy Online - frequently asked questions.

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

Lodging on behalf of a client

Can a registered trustee lodge a Bankruptcy Form online on behalf of their client?

The first release of Bankruptcy Online is designed to enable individuals to lodge their own application through an account with AFSA.

Registered trustees won’t be able to lodge a Bankruptcy Form on behalf of their client through Bankruptcy Online, however a registered trustee can continue sending us their client’s completed application form to registry [at] afsa.gov.au.

Future enhancements to AFSA’s online services may include provision for registered trustees to lodge a Bankruptcy Form online on behalf of their clients. AFSA will consult with registered trustees and professional bodies about this provision.

Can a financial counsellor, registered trustee or other service provider open a Bankruptcy Online account on behalf of a client, if the client has signed a consent to act form and provided acceptable identification?

Bankruptcy Online account can only be opened and used by the person applying for bankruptcy. They must provide details of their identification and make relevant declarations throughout the process.

An agent cannot create or operate an account on behalf of the applicant.

Consent to Act

How does a trustee sight the completed Bankruptcy Form before a Consent to Act is given? There are circumstances where a conflict may arise when the statement of affairs is reviewed, for example, a creditor is related to the trustee or the trustee knows a family member.

Registered trustees will be able to access and download a blank Bankruptcy Form from the Practitioner Online portal from 12 December 2019. Trustees can email the blank form to their clients to complete (or assist the client to complete the form) and ask for the completed form to be returned to the trustee for lodgement with AFSA along with their consent to act for the debtor. Trustees will be able to email the completed Bankruptcy Form and their consent to registry [at] afsa.gov.au.

Registered trustee - certificate of appointment

When a registered trustee is appointed to administer a bankruptcy, a copy of the Certificate of Appointment will be available for the trustee to download from their RT portal.

Helping clients access and complete the Bankruptcy Form

Opening a Bankruptcy Online account 

Opening a Bankruptcy Online account is a first step in the process of applying for bankruptcy. AFSA will not take any action until a completed Bankruptcy Form has been received.

Proof of identity and income evidence  

If the Bankruptcy Form is being submitted online, proof of identity documents, or evidence of income, such as payslips, are not required. The Bankruptcy Online service doesn’t allow for such attachments. If additional information or documents are required, the debtor will be contacted by AFSA.

If using Bankruptcy Online, the debtor is required to complete a proof of identity check as part of the process of setting up a Bankruptcy Online account. AFSA uses the Australian Government Identity Matching Services to help verify a person’s identity. More information is available at https://beta.idmatch.gov.au/for-individuals.   

If a debtor is not able to submit the Bankruptcy Form through a Bankruptcy Online account, they will need to have their approved forms of identification 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.

Proof of identity documents are not required to be provided with the form. For more information see Submitting the bankruptcy form offline.

How does AFSA plan to deal with a debtor who is computer illiterate or has no access to a computer due to a number of various reasons, and cannot complete an online lodgement?

People who are unable to lodge the Bankruptcy Form online can call AFSA on 1300 364 785 and request a paper form to be mailed out to them. Paper applications returned by post will continue to be supported for these clients.

What about clients who are wanting to make a joint bankruptcy application?

Clients applying for bankruptcy jointly with someone else, or applying with a partner of a business, will not be able to apply online as their forms will need to be sent together. They and the other person they are applying with, should still complete the new Bankruptcy Forms and post them to AFSA. For more information about this process see Submitting the form offline

If a client is the only partner of a business applying for bankruptcy, they can use the Bankruptcy Online portal to submit their Bankruptcy Form.

How does a financial counsellor / lawyer / accountant assist a debtor completing forms? There are a number of advisors that have clients in different states/territories, or reside in rural areas.

Debtors who need assistance to complete the Bankruptcy Form can create an online account with AFSA, download the form, and email it to their financial counsellor, lawyer, accountant or other person for assistance with completion. Once the form is complete the debtor can upload the form to their AFSA online account and submit it electronically.

Part X personal insolvency agreements and Part XI deceased estates 

Should the new Bankruptcy Form be used by someone who wants to enter into a personal insolvency agreement, or for administration of the estate of a deceased person?

No. If someone wants to enter into a personal insolvency agreement, they should complete Form 3 (Statement of Affairs). For administration of the estate of a deceased person, Form 4 (Statement of Affairs) should be used. The relevant forms continue to be available online at AFSA forms.