National panel of registered trustees

On occasion, the Official Trustee (OT) has cause to transfer bankrupt estates to registered trustees (RT) in order to ensure timely and robust administration.  These transfers are effected pursuant to sections 181A and 157(1) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966. 

Criteria for transfer

There is no guarantee estates will result in a realisation. An estate may be nominated for transfer where:

  • there is a reasonable probability of commercially realisable assets and/or income
  • there is a requirement for investigations with a likelihood of a realisation, and/or
  • the estate is likely to become a joint estates with joint property, and a registered trustee is administering one of the separate estates.

When an estate is selected for transfer:

  • the next registered trustee on the register is emailed a short report about the estate and Part B of the bankrupt’s statement of affairs (if this has been filed) 
  • the registered trustee has 24 hours to notify any conflict of interest or other reason to refuse accepting the estate, otherwise they should confirm they will accept the estate which will trigger the transfer process commencing.


1. Submit a form to join the AFSA panel for Official Trustee transfers

  • As part of the application to join please submit the Application to join national panel of registered trustees by email to RTnationaltransfers [at]
  • Note: registered trustees still provide a declaration regarding any perceived or actual conflict of interest for each proposed transfer, and confirm they accept the transfer by return email to the Official Trustee.

2. Decline under limited circumstances

A registered trustee should only decline an estate if:

  • there is a perceived or actual conflict of interest
  • their resources are insufficient to effectively administer the estate within acceptable standards or
  • they are unable to handle the estate as the size, complexity or public interest issues in the estate are beyond their capacity.

If an estate transfer is declined

  • If a transfer is declined due to one of the above circumstances, the registered trustee will remain eligible for the next estate for transfer. 
  • If the refusal is due to resource constraints, the registered trustee may request a period of time to remain dormant on the panel.
  • If the registered trustee is unable to accept an estate for any other reason, they will not be selected until the next round of offers is made.

3. Remuneration not be in excess of median industry rates

Remuneration charged to a transferred estate should not be in excess of median industry hourly rates.  An assessment of median rates is conducted against all staffing levels annually, and communicated by email to panel members thereafter. 

To view the current list of median rates for registered trustee remuneration see:  

Contact details

To submit the consent form, make a query or update email: RTnationaltransfers [at]


  • Sections 181A and 157(1) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.