Bankruptcies and temporary debt protections

Bankruptcies by debtors’ petition and sequestration order

In 2020–21, 95% of new bankruptcies were by debtors’ petition (voluntary bankruptcies). This proportion rose from 92% in 2019–20. The remaining 5% of new bankruptcies in 2020–21 were by sequestration order (bankruptcies initiated by creditors). 

State or territory

Number of bankruptcies on debtors’ petition in

2019–20

Number of bankruptcies on debtors’ petition in

2020–21

Number of bankruptcies on sequestration order in

2019–20

Number of bankruptcies on sequestration order in

2020–21

NSW

3,371

2,023

326

126

ACT

109

64

19

8

Vic

1,876

944

223

91

Qld

3,374

1,948

205

57

SA

742

419

51

13

NT

119

40

8

1

WA

1,616

735

112

31

Tas

286

140

12

1

Total

11,493

6,313

956

328

There were 4,855 people who were bankrupt sequestration order but had not submitted a statement of affairs. Of these, 79% became bankrupt at least 5 years ago.

Number of years since been made bankrupt by sequestration order

Number of bankrupts who have not lodged a statement of affairs

Less than one year

98

One year

212

Two years

253

Three years

197

Four years

256

Five to ten years

1,400

More than ten years

2,439

Total

4,855

Trustees administering new bankruptcies

The Official Trustee administers most new bankruptcies. In 2020–21, the Official Trustee administered 84% of bankruptcies. This is a fall from 81% in 2019–20

State or territory

Number of bankruptcies administered by the Official Trustee in 2019–20

Number of bankruptcies administered by the Official Trustee in 2020–21

Number of bankruptcies administered by registered trustees in 2019–20

Number of bankruptcies administered by registered trustees in 2020–21

NSW

2,997

1,809

700

340

ACT

82

49

46

23

Vic

1,617

812

482

223

Qld

2,991

1,730

588

275

SA

685

385

108

47

NT

103

36

24

5

WA

1,319

609

409

157

Tas

271

135

27

6

Total

10,065

5,565

2,384

1,076

Temporary debt protections

On 25 March 2020, declarations of intentions were changed to temporary debt protections. From 25 March to 31 December 2020, the length of protection a person can apply for increased from 21 days to six months.

In 2020–21, 416 temporary debt protections were accepted, a decrease of 9% from 2019–20. New South Wales and Queensland had the highest numbers of temporary debt protections accepted in 2020–21.

State or territory

Number of temporary debt protections accepted in 2019–20 Number of temporary debt protections accepted in 2020–21

NSW

205

170

ACT

3

5

Vic

60

60

Qld

93

97

SA

19

23

NT

6

2

WA

67

47

Tas

4

12

Total

457

416