Apply for bankruptcy

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

It may take you approx. 30 to 60 mins to apply.

Bankruptcy is a legal process where you're declared unable to pay your debts. It can release you from most debts, provide relief and allow you to make a fresh start.

However, consequences of bankruptcy are serious and a bankruptcy can’t be cancelled if you change your mind. We recommend contacting a financial counsellor before you apply for bankruptcy. For more information, see: Before entering bankruptcy.

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
- any business, company and trust involvement.

You will need things such as pay slips, Centrelink statements, bank statements, account numbers and details of any court cases you are involved in.

You will need identity documents

You can apply for bankruptcy online by creating an Online Services account. To create an Online Service account, you’ll need to confirm your identity.

You will need 2 forms of ID documents to do this. Common documents you can use include:

- Medicare card
- Australian Driver’s license
- Birth Certificate
- Australian Passport

For other forms of ID you can use please see: How to prove your identity

How to apply

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

You can either create a Digital Identity or an AFSA account.

  • 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.

Unable to create an online account?

If you are completing the form on behalf of someone else or if online lodgement is not an option for you, you can lodge your application offline. To do this, contact us for a Bankruptcy Form and return it via post

Nominate a registered trustee (optional) 

If you’ve arranged for a registered trustee to manage your bankruptcy, ask your trustee to complete a Consent to Act Declaration and submit this at the same time as your Bankruptcy Form online. This is optional. If you don't do this, AFSA will nominate a trustee for you.

Once we receive your application

If we accept your bankruptcy application, we'll send you and your creditors[?] confirmation in writing. This confirmation contains your AFSA administration number[?]. Your creditors may ask for this.

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

If you submitted your Bankruptcy Form online you can log back into your account to see the status of your application and, once accepted, your AFSA administration number.

Already created an Online Services account?