Consequences of a DOI

It's a serious step to lodge a declaration of intention to present a debtor's petition (DOI). Learn about how the consequences will impact you if you proceed.

If you continue with a DOI your creditors are:

  • Notified by us of the 21 day protection period and receive a copy of your financial affairs.
  • Unable to enforce recovery of unsecured debts for 21 days - this includes garnishing[?] of wages and seizing property.
  • Able to start or continue legal action, but can't take enforcement action to recover the debt.
  • Able to continue recovery for a secured debt e.g. house or car.

Note: The Australian Tax Office can still garnish your wages if it has a statutory garnishee notice issued under s260-5 of Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

Other impacts of a DOI:

  • You are committing an act of bankruptcy[?]. Creditors can use this to apply to court to make you bankrupt.
  • After 21 days you are not automatically bankrupt and creditors can again resume trying to recover their debts.
  • If you need to appear in court and are unsure if you should attend, contact the court.  For more information about legal assistance see: Seek legal assistance.

Seek advice

To help understand the consequences of a DOI and how they may impact you, you can speak to a free financial counsellor. Their services are free, independent and confidential. They can provide advice about your financial situation and recommend the best option for you to deal with unmanageable debt. 

To speak with a free 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.