Serve, amend or extend a bankruptcy notice

Once you've successfully applied for a bankruptcy notice, you need to serve it on the person who owes you money. To serve a notice on someone means you are delivering or presenting a legal document.

The person (or debtor) then has 21 days to comply with the notice. If they don't, you may be able to prove that the person has committed an 'act of bankruptcy'[?].

How do I serve the bankruptcy notice?

You must serve the bankruptcy notice within 6 months of the date we issued it.

The person then has 21 days to comply with the notice from the date you served it.

There are several ways you can serve a bankruptcy notice:

  • personal delivery (you may choose to serve the notice in person to ensure direct receipt)
  • post
  • courier
  • fax
  • email.

You should seek legal assistance about the best method to serve a notice.

What happens if I can't serve the notice?

You can apply to the Federal Court or Federal Magistrates Court for an order of substituted service. Substituted service is a method of delivery on a person other than in-person and subject to the courts permission.

You may wish to seek your own legal advice.

Can I amend a bankruptcy notice?

Yes, in some cases. You must have a court order to amend a bankruptcy notice. You must apply to the court to get an amendment order. Contact the Commonwealth courts for more information.

We only make amendments if you haven’t served the bankruptcy notice. If you have already served the notice, you must pay for a new application.

If you need to amend a bankruptcy notice without a court order, you must pay for a new application.

When a court has ordered an amendment, follow these steps:

  • login to online services
  • upload your court order
  • change the originally issued bankruptcy notice - do this by drawing a line through incorrect information and writing new information next to it
  • upload endorsed copy of amended bankruptcy notice
  • submit.

We don't charge a fee for this process, however you may need to pay court costs.

If we accept it, we endorse the notice with the date we made the amendment.

You then have 6 months to serve the notice from the date of amendment.

Can I extend a bankruptcy notice?

Yes, in certain circumstances. You have 6 months from the date of issue to serve a bankruptcy notice. If you can't serve it during this time you can make an application for an extension. A fee applies. See: Fees and charges.

To request an extension:

  • login to online services
  • provide a statement with the reasons you require the extension.
  • include service attempt details
  • pay the fee
  • submit.

How long do I have to apply for a bankruptcy notice extension?

  • Normally you need to apply for an extension within 6 months of the issue date.
  • You can request further extensions of time after this for 6 months at a time.
  • You may apply for an extension more than 6 months after the issue date. However, we will only grant this under exceptional circumstances.

The person has paid the debt, do I need to cancel the bankruptcy notice?

No, it is automatically removed from the system after 90 days.

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