It is all too easy these days for people to fall into the trap of ever-growing debt. Jobs can be precarious, just like the economy overall, and the social safety net is hanging by a thread. Sometimes, it’s easy to miss payments on the house a few times, or a credit card payment, or one day you wake up and find yourself mired in medical bills that are hard to pay off.
Enter bankruptcy. While there remains a significant amount of shame attached to the process of applying for bankruptcy, it is a viable solution for those who need to get out of a jam and provides a fresh start.
If you think you may need to apply for bankruptcy soon, and you’re not sure about the process in Australia, then this article should help.
Beginning Legal Procedures
The process of applying for bankruptcy in Australia is unique in terms of how the matter is handled as opposed to other countries. For starters, the case must be heard in court.
Specifically, the hearing should be heard by the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court. The latter is usually the site of most proceedings, but it will largely depend upon the nature of the bankruptcy filing.
In both cases, the forms and processes themselves won’t be much different for any bankruptcy case.
Forms to Use
Bankruptcy is a stressful process no matter what. At the same time, the court has taken steps to publish easily accessible guides for both practitioners and parties in this specific area of law to help make things more transparent. While it can be difficult to fully ascertain what legal systems are governing bankruptcy in Australia, one thing to know is that the Judicial Registrar is in charge of publishing most of these guides.
Also, the government website has the forms requested readily available. You will most likely need Form B6 of the Federal Clerk, and you can also click on the name of the form for the Creditor’s Petition.
Both of these can be filled out at your own time, from the comfort of your home. For both the guides and the forms, you will be able to find the relevant information utilizing the checklist available via the Creditor’s Petition.
It may seem unfair to pay filing fees when submitting paperwork for bankruptcy – after all, if you had the extra cash, you wouldn’t be in this mess, to begin with – but unfortunately, it is required for certain forms.
Luckily, if you are unable to pay the fee for any of the forms, you can ask the court for a fee waiver to ensure you are exempt or set up a deferral payment plan. If you plan to request a waiver or ask for financial assistance to help pay the filing fees, then be sure to look for the relevant forms via the Registry’s website.
If the process seems too convoluted, then you can always request additional legal assistance. Also, be sure to reach out to the offices of the Federal Court of Australia for more guidance. The legal system may be complicated, but the powers that be have taken measures to make things a bit easier to understand for the general public.