Many Australian’s have only truly considered bankruptcy when playing a game of Monopoly with their friends! In spite of this, there are roughly 13,000 people that declare bankruptcy every year in Australia. It’s astounding how rapidly individuals can go from experiencing a balanced financial position to tackling a mountain of debt. Most of the time, unfortunate events like loss of income, divorce, or unplanned medical expenditures will trigger serious financial problems within just a couple of months. Rather than wrestling with these debts for years and ignoring the elephant in the room, it’s far better to cut your losses and seek financial support as quickly as possible.
A short time ago, the Australian Government proposed changes to bankruptcy laws that reduce the bankruptcy period from three years to 1 year. If this proposed act is passed, it will have a remarkable impact on the stigma linked to bankruptcy and the financial repercussions that bankrupts will experience down the road. While lots of people understand the concept of bankruptcy, lots of folks wouldn’t know where to start if they decided that filing for bankruptcy is the best option for them. To offer some insight, here are the top 5 tips on how to file for bankruptcy in Australia.
- Seek guidance from a registered bankruptcy trustee
If you’ve decided that bankruptcy is the best approach for you, always consult with a registered bankruptcy trustee prior to making any concrete decisions. There is a vast difference between a firm that charges you to file for bankruptcy and a legitimately registered bankruptcy trustee firm. In most cases, bankruptcy firms are not the same as registered bankruptcy trustee firms, so be sure you get the right advice the first time so you can make the best financial decision. The right advice will not only aid you with your decision-making, but also put you in the best position to make a complete recovery after you have been discharged.
- Download the forms needed to file for bankruptcy
If you’ve decided that bankruptcy is the best choice for your individual scenario, there are two sets of documents that you will need to complete in order to declare bankruptcy:
- The Debtor’s Petition, which is a 3 page document (visit this site to download: https://www.afsa.gov.au/insolvency/how-we-can-help/forms-list/debtors-petition).
- The Statement of Affairs, which is a 25 page document (visit this site to download: https://www.afsa.gov.au/insolvency/how-we-can-help/forms-list/statement-affairs).
- Collect your supporting documents.
In almost all bankruptcy proceedings, individuals have to provide evidence that their claims are accurate by supplying a variety of supporting documents. Typically, this will include the following:.
- Income statements and personal tax returns
- Company tax returns (if you are a business owner)
- Centrelink benefits statement (if appropriate)
- Formal child support notices
- Any family law orders
- Any court orders
- Wills of any deceased estate of which you are the beneficiary
- All transaction statements from transferred assets over the last 5 years
It is paramount to note that failing to provide accurate information or any effort to conceal information that would otherwise be relevant to your bankruptcy case is a serious offence that is punishable in a criminal court.
- Complete the bankruptcy paperwork.
You must answer each and every question in your bankruptcy paperwork accurately and honestly to ensure it gets processed effectively. It is essential that you include the address details of all your creditors in the secured and unsecured sections of the bankruptcy paperwork. In the Debtor’s Petition, you’ll need to provide at the very least two types of ID. If you’re unsure of which forms of ID are acceptable, check the AFSA website (https://www.afsa.gov.au). If you run out of space when answering any questions, simply print out another copy of that page and use it to fill out extra details. Moreover, be careful to include all assets sold in the last 5 years in question 33.
- Submit your bankruptcy paperwork.
Before you lodge your bankruptcy paperwork, inspect the date to make sure you are lodging it within 28 days of you signing it. At Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth, we understand that all the paperwork can be a bit overwhelming, so if you have any questions regarding your any of your answers, it’s best to contact us on 1300 795 575 to ensure you get it right the first time. Alternatively, visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au.