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Bankruptcy and Personal Insolvency Lawyers

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Bankruptcy is the process of releasing an individual from almost all of their debts and, in some cases, it can offer people a fresh start. Our team of experts can walk you through the financial options available to you and the consequences of each.

Shine’s bankruptcy and personal insolvency services

Shine Lawyers’ personal insolvency law team helps those in financial difficulty navigate Australia’s insolvency law regime. We work with you to achieve the best outcome for you.

  • Are you worried about or considering bankruptcy? A Part IX consumer debt agreement? Don’t know which option is right for you?
  • Are you being pursued by debt collectors?
  • Do you have too much debt and want to know what your legal options are?
  • Are you about to receive worker’s compensation, or insurance proceeds from a personal injury, and want to know what your options are to protect your compensation from creditors?

The Shine Lawyers Difference

Lots of services offer “debt solutions” or “debt management” plans to customers. Unfortunately, many aren't run by lawyers or accountants and lack formal insolvency law qualifications. Some may offer a 'one size fits all' solution, like a consumer debt agreement, because they earn commission, even though it may not be right for you.

Shine Lawyers is different because we guarantee that:

  • You deal directly with a qualified bankruptcy and insolvency lawyer or, in appropriate cases, are referred to an insolvency accountant trained in this area of the law.
  • We take the time to understand your situation and explain all the available options.
  • As experienced commercial lawyers, we can advise on a broad range legal options. This includes bringing or defending litigation, asset protection and structuring your financial affairs - where we identify the need.

Shine Lawyers charges highly competitive rates for our services. We guarantee we will never earn commission on our advice or compromise our professional independence in any way.

Get in touch with the team using the forms below.

Our offer to you

  • Obligation-free consultation to assess your case confidentially

  • Claim assessment process where we will explain all of the options available to you

  • We can come to you - if you can't make it into the office we're more than happy to come to you

  • No Win No Fee arrangement

Common questions about Bankruptcy and Personal Insolvency Lawyers

A person becomes bankrupt when they are unable to pay their debts and cannot come to a suitable repayment arrangement. You can claim bankruptcy in two ways:

Voluntary Bankruptcy – Debtor’s Petitions
This requires personally claiming bankruptcy. To do this you will need to complete and lodge a:
  • Debtor’s Petition. Includes an application to become bankrupt and a signed acknowledgement of Prescribed Information.
  • Statement of Affairs

These documents must be completed and lodged with the Official Receiver within 28 days of signing the forms.

Creditors making you bankrupt
If you are unable to pay your debts, have been unable to enter into an arrangement with your creditors and you haven’t voluntarily made yourself bankrupt, a creditor owed $5000 or more may apply to the court to have you made bankrupt. You will be required to complete a Statement of Affairs and lodge it with the Australian Financial Security Authority within 14 days of being notified.
Insolvency is when a person cannot pay their debts. A Personal Insolvency Agreement (PIA) is a formal way to deal with unmanageable debt. This is a way to settle your debts with the creditor without becoming bankrupt. To do this you must be insolvent, in Australia and not have proposed another PIA in the last 6 months.
Bankruptcy is serious and will result in a permanent record with the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII). This record can be accessed by anyone. You will then be appointed a trustee to:
  • Sell your assets
  • Recover any income you earn over a certain amount
  • Investigate your financial affairs, including anything you have transferred to someone prior to bankruptcy.

Other obligations can be found on the Australian Financial Security Authority website.
Bankruptcy is not the only option. You can seek help from:
  • A financial counselling service
  • Community legal centre
  • Registered trustee
  • Registered debt agreement administrator
  • Lawyer
  • Accountant

These people will usually advise you on debt agreements and personal insolvency agreements.
  • A Debt Agreement is an act of bankruptcy and a creditor can use this to apply to make you bankrupt. This agreement is between the debtor and their creditor where they accept a sum of money which the debtor can afford.
  • A Personal Insolvency Agreement (PIA) is a formal way to deal with unmanageable debt. This is a way to settle your debts with the creditor without becoming bankrupt. To do this you must be insolvent, in Australia and not have proposed another PIA in the last 6 months.
Bankruptcy usually lasts for 3 years but it can be extended.
Yes. Voluntary Bankruptcy/Debtor’s Petitions allows you to claim bankruptcy. To do this you will need to complete and lodge a:
  • Debtor’s Petition. Includes an application to become bankrupt and a signed acknowledgement of Prescribed Information.
  • Statement of Affairs

These documents must be completed and lodged with the Official Receiver within 28 days of signing the forms.

You will be eligible to lodge a debtor’s petition if:
  • You are personally present, or ordinarily reside in Australia
  • You have a dwelling-house or place of business in Australia
  • You or your firm/partnership is carrying on a business in Australia

A claim can be rejected if:
  • Your forms are incomplete and inaccurate
  • You have not provided sufficient and appropriate proof of identify
  • You have previously been bankrupt 3 or more times, or once in the last 5 years
  • You are unwilling to pay one or more creditors, or creditors in general
There are fees associated with becoming bankrupt. You can view these on the Australian Financial Security Authority website.
  • You can lose personal items including TV, computers, jewellery, artwork and furniture
  • Bankruptcy will affect you applying for future loans
  • You may lose your house and car
  • Any inheritance, winnings and tax refunds will be taken to pay your debts
  • You will lose any money in your bank account in excess of $1,000
A Debt Agreement is an act of bankruptcy and a creditor can use this to apply to make you bankrupt. This agreement is between the debtor and their creditor where they accept a sum of money which the debtor can afford.

In order to be eligible for a debt agreement you must:
  • Be insolvent
  • Have not been bankrupt, entered into a Debt Agreement or given an authority under Part X of the Bankruptcy Act in the last 10 years
  • Be under set limits specified by AFSA for unsecured debts, assets and after tax income for the next 12 months
Shine Lawyers’ dedicated insolvency law team assists individuals and small businesses in financial difficulty. We can help navigate Australia’s insolvency law regime to get the best outcome for you.
  • Are you considering bankruptcy or a Part IX consumer debt agreement?
  • Are you being pursued by debt collectors?
  • Do you have too much debt and want to know your legal options?

Contact us today to find out more about the services that we provide.
Where you are located isn't necessarily a barrier when it comes to obtaining the services of a lawyer. We're experts when it comes to Bankruptcy related claims and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

It doesn't matter if you are located close or far away from a Shine Lawyers office - we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.

Our compensation experts are in the following locations:

Victoria

New South Wales

Queensland

Western Australia

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