Possible reforms to the Bankruptcy system

Closed 25 Feb 2022

Opened 27 Jan 2022

Overview

In January 2021, the Australian Government undertook public consultation on possible changes to the bankruptcy system, to inform its ongoing response to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of this consultation, the government met with key stakeholders and sought public submissions on topics raised in a discussion paper. The discussion paper provided an overview of 4 elements of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 to guide stakeholder consideration:

  • the default period of bankruptcy
  • debt agreements
  • personal insolvency agreements, and
  • offence provisions.

Written submissions were received from a diverse range of stakeholders including members of the public, insolvency practitioners, consumer advocates and peak bodies.

The majority of stakeholders submitted that COVID-19 should not be a driving impetus for reforms to the bankruptcy system, citing the need for a longer-term approach to reform. Notwithstanding this, stakeholders identified a number of reform opportunities of merit.

Why we are consulting

Following a review of submissions, the government is now considering opportunities to reform the Bankruptcy Act 1966, namely to:

  • reduce bankruptcy to one year
  • promote debt agreements, and
  • target untrustworthy advisors.

We are inviting stakeholders to submit their views on these reform opportunities, which have been outlined in further detail in an options paper.

We have developed a survey to enable stakeholders to provide their views on specific components of these reform opportunities, and so that we can collect accurate data to inform this process.

All questions in the survey are optional and it is up to you which questions you answer. If you do not have a view in response to a question, you may skip it and move on to the next.

Stakeholders also have the option of uploading a written submission on the final screen, after the survey. Note that you can both complete the survey and upload a written submission if you like.

Who we want to hear from

While the consultation is open to all members of the public, we would particularly like to hear from small business and consumer advocates, insolvency practitioners and peak industry organisations.

Download the options paper

Interests

  • Legislation
  • Financial law