List of glossary items

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  • AFSA’s independent Enforcement and Practitioner Supervision division examines complaints made against registered trustees and registered debt agreement administrators.

  • A thing or circumstance that causes ongoing or persistent suffering or difficulty. There are specific hardship provisions in section 139T of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 that are limited to exceptional circumstances that would impose an excessive financial burden on a debtor. The list of hardship reasons is exhaustive and includes ongoing medical expenses, necessary childcare costs to enable employment and rent costs.

  • Some state and territory laws provide that motor vehicles used in the commission of certain offences may be made subject to impoundment, immobilisation and forfeiture. Motor vehicles that have been the subject of such sanctions may be registered on the Personal Property Securities Register, as a hoon lien.

  • Items that a bankrupt is able to retain when they become a bankrupt (i.e. that are not divisible property). A list of these items can be found in section 27 of the Bankruptcy Regulations 2021.

  • This is the income of the bankrupt that is used for assessing his or her income contributions liability. It is not necessarily the same as the bankrupt's taxable income for taxation purposes, as certain amounts are specifically included in, or excluded from, income for bankruptcy purposes—see section 139L of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.

  • A bankrupt may be liable to make a contribution—subject to thresholds and the number of dependents—to their bankrupt estate from income earned during their bankruptcy. It is fitting that some of the income from the bankrupt's efforts during the bankruptcy are used to satisfy their past debts.

  • A legally-binding promise whereby a party undertakes to accept the risk of loss or damage another party may suffer. For example, where an entity hires a venue to host a conference it may indemnify the owner of that venue against losses that may be suffered if attendees damage the venue. An indemnity may give rise to a contingent liability for the party who gives the indemnity.

  • AFSA no longer has Index Search Agents. Index Search Agents were previously listed on our website as they provided the only way for the general public to search the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII). AFSA has moved away from this operating model and on 19 October 2014, we launched our own online Bankruptcy Register Search (BRS) service. Users can now self-serve and conduct a search of the NPII for a fee of $15.00.

    For more information please see:

  • Amounts referenced in the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and related statutory instruments that are periodically adjusted in accordance with the consumer price index. Some are adjusted every quarter, others every six months. As an example, they identify the value of assets that can be retained by a bankrupt or the income a bankrupt can earn before they are required by law to contribute towards their bankruptcy.

  • A person that is an individual person (as opposed to an organisation, such as a company) who grants a security interest in personal property.

  • Australian Government agencies that are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI), are required to publish a range of information on their websites as part of the IPS. The IPS is intended to form the basis for a more open and transparent culture across government with agencies encouraged to take a proactive approach to publishing the information they hold, and to consider what they can publish over and above the information they are obliged to publish.

  • A statutory demand for payment of a fine issued due to contravention of legislation. In relation to the Bankruptcy Act 1966, infringement notices may be issued (by AFSA's Enforcement and Practitioner Supervision division, acting on behalf of the Inspector-General in Bankruptcy) in respect of certain offences against the Act.

    1. The state of being insolvent.
    2. One of the types of administrations provided under the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
  • A person or entity who is unable to pay his or her debts as and when they fall due.

  • An office created under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 to be responsible for the general administration of the Bankruptcy Act and to have the powers to regulate registered trustees and debt agreement administrators, review decisions of trustees and investigate allegations of offences under the Act.

  • IGPDs assist regulated entities, by explaining how the law should be interpreted, giving both guidance and direction on specific insolvency practice.

  • IGPGs give guidance to regulated and non-regulated entities by explaining when and how the Inspector-General in Bankruptcy will interpret areas of work or practice that are specifically governed or provided for under the Bankruptcy Act 1966, describing the principles underlying the Inspector-General's approach and the Inspector-General's expectation of practitioners.

  • IGPSs give guidance to regulated entities by explaining when and how the Inspector-General in Bankruptcy will exercise specific powers under the Bankruptcy Act 1966, describing the principles underlying the Inspector-General's approach and the Inspector-General's expectation of practitioners.

  • Under powers in the Bankruptcy Act 1966, AFSA’s independent Enforcement and Practitioner Supervision division—as delegates of the Inspector-General in Bankruptcy—may review decisions made by a bankruptcy trustee about:

    • income contribution assessments
    • hardship applications
    • supervised account notices
    • objections to discharge
    • trustee remuneration and costs by a third party.
  • Personal property (including a licence) e.g. copyright, debts and other receivables, bank accounts, but not goods or financial property.

  • The interest earned on funds held by registered trustees and debt agreement administrators is paid to the Commonwealth, and used to fund the cost of conducting inquiries in certain bankruptcies, investigating alleged offences, monitoring and regulating trustees and administrators and providing information to a range of clients.

  • An international body that brings together the collective experience and expertise of government insolvency regulators from jurisdictions around the world.

  • The final day on which creditors can submit claim and vote forms for a debt agreement proposal to the Official Receiver.

  • A law or body of laws formally made or enacted. The term includes statute law or Acts of Parliament, but also encompasses law made by other bodies under the authority of Parliament.

  • An obligation or responsibility to do something (such as repay a debt).

  • Debts or damages where the amount payable has been fixed or is otherwise certain. Admitting liability for an amount being claimed as a debt or damages does not, of itself, necessarily mean that debt or those damages are liquidated.

    1. An application that is registered in an AFSA insolvency system/s that may or may not result in an administration.
    2. A subject or situation under consideration.
  • A policy or decision of the government that affects revenues or expenses (on a Government Finance Statistics basis).

  • A written agreement between two or more parties that defines the working relationship, expectations and responsibilities. MoUs are usually not legally binding on the parties. They are commonly used to clarify arrangements between non-corporate Commonwealth entities.

  • Includes a Presiding Officer of a Parliamentary Department.

  • An estate in which there is an asset(s) that is uncommercial for the trustee to realise at present and which the Official Trustee in Bankruptcy will monitor with a view to taking action to realise the asset(s) if/when it becomes commercial to do so.

  • The electronic record of all personal insolvency administrations in Australia that can be accessed by anyone for a fee.

  • Where a person is charged with a federal offence, the court may order the person to be discharged without conviction upon giving security by recognisance or otherwise, to the satisfaction of the court (see section 19B of the Crimes Act 1914).

  • A security interest that is created by a security agreement that was not in force prior to 30 January 2012 and continued in force after that time.

  • A written document that outlines the trustee's decision to extend the bankruptcy and why the decision was made. It is filed with the Official Receiver and is registered on the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII).

  • A caution issued to an alleged offender where there appears to be evidence that satisfies the relevant standard of proof of an offence. The caution informs the alleged offender that their actions may be unlawful and acts to deter from similar behaviour in the future.

  • A role created under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 to carry out statutory functions under that Act, including maintaining the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII), providing registry services in relation to personal insolvencies and assisting trustees to perform their functions though the issue of statutory notices.

  • The Official Receiver has discretion to cancel a debt agreement proposal during the voting period on the basis of non-disclosure or incorrect information on the proposal and/or explanatory statement on which the creditors are relying when making a decision on their vote, or when a withdrawal request from the debtor has been received. (Section 185ED of the Bankruptcy Act 1966).

  • The Official Receiver has discretion to withdraw a variation (section 185MD of the Bankruptcy Act 1966) or termination proposal (section 185PD of the Bankruptcy Act) during the voting period when a withdrawal request by the proposing creditor or debtor is received, or if the Official Receiver becomes aware of material reasons that could affect creditors' decisions when voting.

  • A notice issued by the Official Receiver, either on application by a trustee or at the Official Receiver's initiative, that requires a bankrupt, debtor or third party to do something specific and that imposes penalties for non-compliance.

  • A body corporate that administers bankruptcies and other personal insolvency arrangements when a registered trustee or other administrator is not appointed.

  • A resolution passed by a majority in value of the creditors present personally, by telephone, by attorney or by proxy at a meeting of creditors and voting on the resolution.

  • The knowledge, experience, professional skill sets, and specialised people within AFSA that contribute to servicing clients and stakeholders and achieving AFSA's goals.

  • An organisation, such as a company, who grants a security interest in personal property.

  • Government outcomes are the intended results, impacts or consequences of actions by the government on the Australian community.

  • An individual or an organisation.

  • Under proceeds of crime legislation, if certain offences have been committed, pecuniary penalty orders can be made, ordering payments to the Commonwealth of amounts based on the benefits that a person has derived from such an offence and the benefits that the person has derived from other unlawful activity.

  • Data sought and generated by AFSA to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of activities in the achievement of AFSA's purpose(s). Performance information supports stories that describe how public resources are used to deliver on AFSA's purposes.

  • Mechanisms used by AFSA to generate performance information relating to the efficiency and effectiveness of activities in pursuing AFSA's purpose(s). These measures are reported against in annual performance statements.

  • A term that covers debt agreements, personal insolvency agreements, debtors' petition bankruptcies, sequestration order bankruptcies and deceased estate administrations.

  • A formal arrangement under Part X of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 that results from creditors accepting a debtor's proposal to settle his or her debts. Unlike debt agreements, personal insolvency agreements are not subject to income, asset or debt thresholds.

  • The combination of registered trustees in private practice, AFSA's trustee function (the Official Trustee in Bankruptcy), registered and unregistered debt agreement administrators in private practice, and solicitors who act as controlling trustees in Part X.

  • An association for practitioners who are primarily involved with the personal insolvency industry, particularly Part IX debt agreements.

  • The way in which AFSA transmits reports and file downloads of information from the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) to credit reporting and licensing organisations.