Learn more about the provisional personal insolvency statistics.
We publish provisional numbers of bankruptcies, debt agreements and personal insolvency agreements on a quarterly basis.
Provisional personal insolvency statistics for the financial year are released at the same time as the June quarter statistics each year.
Every debtor who becomes bankrupt or proposes a debt agreement or personal insolvency agreement is required to lodge a completed statement of affairs form with AFSA. The provisional personal insolvency statistics are generally sourced from this form.
When a bankruptcy is the result of a sequestration order, there may be a delay before the bankrupt lodges a statement of affairs. When this occurs, we record the details supplied by the court, including the address of the bankrupt. We update the record with information supplied by the bankrupt when the statement of affairs is lodged. Bankruptcies resulting from sequestration orders accounted for 10% of bankruptcies in 2011–12. We do not revise the provisional personal insolvency statistics with this updated data.
Defining new personal insolvency administrations
The provisional personal insolvency statistics report on the number of new proceedings administered under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 as follows:
- Bankruptcies (Parts IV and XI of the Bankruptcy Act 1966): number of new debtors petitions, sequestration orders and Part XI deceased estate bankruptcy administrations which have occurred in the reporting period.
- Debt agreements (Part IX of the Bankruptcy Act 1966): number of new debt agreements which have been accepted by creditors in the reporting period.
- Personal insolvency agreements (Part X of the Bankruptcy Act 1966): number of new personal insolvency agreements which have been accepted by creditors in the reporting period.
Scope and coverage
The provisional personal insolvency statistics are published at the state and territory level. When possible, this information is based on the state of residence reported on the statement of affairs form. When a bankruptcy is the result of a sequestration order, we record the debtors address supplied by the court. We update this address when the bankrupt lodges a statement of affairs.
Our quarterly statistics report on the most recent debtor’s address supplied to us. We validate these addresses as correct addresses.
From the March quarter 2019, we implemented a change to the reporting of administrations with multiple debtors who live in different states or territories. These figures count unique administrations in each state and territory. State and territory figures will not necessarily sum to the national total. If multiple debtors in the same state or territory enter into a joint administration, they are only included once in these figures.
We extract our personal insolvency statistics using a new method of geographic coding from the September quarter 2017. This change is a break in series for our statistical publications.
This change includes a shift to the Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS) 2016 (from ASGS 2011) regions. You can read more about the changes in boundaries on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website.
This time series break affects information at the state and territory level but does not impact on the national total.
From the September quarter 2017, we have also implemented a minor change to how we count new personal insolvency agreements. This change relates to the date that a new personal insolvency agreement commences. There are multiple stages in a personal insolvency agreement, including a creditor meeting and signing of the agreement. These may occur on different dates. Personal insolvency agreements are now included in our statistics from the date they were signed. We previously counted them from the date the vote occurred.
The Bankruptcy Amendment (Debt Agreement Reform) Act 2018 received Royal Assent on Thursday 27 September 2018. The majority of the amendments commenced on 27 June 2019. These reforms are a break in series for our statistical publications. See Debt agreements law reform – Statistics for more information.
Comparison with other datasets
Insolvency proceedings involving two or more partners are treated as one administration. The provisional personal insolvency statistics report on the number of administrations.
We report personal information, such as whether a debtor’s personal insolvency is business related, based on the number of people not administrations.
Information presented in the provisional personal insolvency statistics is not directly reconcilable with information in other publications.
Personal insolvency activity is recorded on a live system and can change regularly. Our publications are correct as at the time of compilation.
Great care is taken to ensure that the personal insolvency statistics are correct and accurate at the time of compilation.
Information continues to be processed and stored in our systems after we release the provisional statistics, however we do not revise our provisional statistics. Delays in the receipt, processing and administration of personal insolvencies may affect the statistics.
The provisional personal insolvency statistics are not revised unless an error is identified.