Apply for bankruptcy

The consequences of bankruptcy are serious and bankruptcy cannot be cancelled if you change your mind. Before continuing, please read Before entering bankruptcy.

To apply for bankruptcy, you need to complete and submit a Bankruptcy Form.

What you need to apply for bankruptcy

When completing a Bankruptcy Form, you will need to give details of:

  • your income
  • your assets (things you own)
  • your debts (money you owe)
  • any businesses, companies and trusts that you're part of
  • any court cases that you're involved in.

To support the information you provide, you may need things such as payslips, Centrelink statements, bank statements, and account numbers.

You will need identity documents

You need to provide 2 forms of identity documents to prove who you are, such as:

  • Medicare card
  • Australian Driver's license
  • Birth Certificate 
  • Australian Passport.

For other identity documents you can use, see How to prove your identity.

Other considerations

Request certain information to be hidden from the NPII

You can apply to have your address (and some other information) hidden from the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) if you believe your safety is at risk. To do this, you must answer “Yes” to question 6 of the Bankruptcy Form and provide your reason.

For information on how to make a request, see Can I hide my details that appear on the National Personal Insolvency Index?

Choose a registered trustee (optional)

You can ask a registered trustee to manage your bankruptcy. This is optional. If you don't do this, AFSA will choose a trustee for you.

If you want to choose a registered trustee, you must ask them to complete a Trustee Consent to Act Declaration form. You must submit this at the same time as your Bankruptcy Form.

A registered trustee cannot submit a Bankruptcy Form online for you. However, they can help you complete a paper Bankruptcy Form and send it to registry@afsa.gov.au

Getting help to complete the Bankruptcy Form

If you need help with your form, you can talk to a financial counsellor, registered trustee or other service provider.

Financial counsellors are available nation-wide and provide an independent, free, and confidential service. To speak with a financial counsellor, contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. For more information on financial counsellors and other support services see Where to find help.

You should list the name of the person/organisation that helped you and any fees you paid for that assistance at question 17 of the Bankruptcy Form.

You can also can contact us if you have any questions or issues completing the Bankruptcy Form.

How to apply

You can apply for bankruptcy online by creating an Online Services account.

It may take you about 30 to 60 mins to create your account and complete the Bankruptcy Form.

You will be first asked to create a Digital Identity or an AFSA account to help you prove your identity.

  • Digital Identity is a simple, safe and secure way to prove who you are. Once set up, you can reuse it with other services whenever you need it. Learn more about Digital Identity.
  • An AFSA account is for use on our website only. AFSA uses the Australian Government Identity Matching Services to help you prove who you are. Learn more about IDMatch.

If you need help, see Get help with creating an Online Services account.

Once you’ve created your account and proved your identity, you can complete and submit the Bankruptcy Form. For more information, see: Completing your Bankruptcy Form online.

Can’t create an Online Services account?

If you can’t complete the form online or are completing the form on behalf of someone else, you can submit the Bankruptcy Form offline. To do this, contact us for a Bankruptcy Form and return it via post.

What happens when we receive your form?

If we accept your application for bankruptcy, a confirmation letter will be sent to you and your creditors . This letter will contain your AFSA administration number, which is known as your bankruptcy number. Your creditors may ask for this.

If we don't accept your application, we’ll notify you in writing with the reasons why.

If you submitted your Bankruptcy Form online, you can log back into your account at any time to see the status of your application. For more information, see Check the status of your bankruptcy application.

Already created an Online Services account?