Australian personal insolvency reform for COVID-19 impacted debtors

The Australian government’s proposed retention of the restrictions of bankruptcy on COVID-19 impacted business proprietors and consumers is questionable, but expected.  Reasons for this range from a protective concern by the government not to allow these bankrupts too much free rein in light of the uncertain economic outlook for 2021, in case they become ‘serial […]

Liquidator’s registration suspended not cancelled, by agreement

In A liquidator disciplinary decision – some regulatory insights | Murrays Legal Commentary , I reported an AAT decision refusing a liquidator’s application for a stay of a 13 December 2019 discipline committee decision to cancel his registration but granting a stay of the publication of the committee’s reasons for decision. That was nearly a […]

New Zealand and Australian voluntary administration law

New Zealand adopted Australia’s Part 5.3A voluntary administration regime some years ago, in Part 15A of its Companies Act 1993. The NZ High Court has recently noted the relevance of Australian law in interpreting its voluntary administration provisions. In Meltzer v Amstar New Zealand Limited [2020] NZHC 3510, administrators sought directions under section 239ADR of […]

‘Modernising’ insolvency communications

The Australian government’s consultation paper – Modernising Business Communications – Improving the Technology Neutrality[1] of Treasury Portfolio Laws, of December 2020 – offers, as an example of what it is about, the new “package of reforms to streamline insolvency procedures”, allowing “businesses to use technology to conduct meetings relating to the external administration of a […]

Australia’s new liquidator registration processes, and its ‘new liquidators’

On 30 December 2020, ASIC issued guidance on the new liquidator registration processes that apply in Australia two days hence – from 1 January 2021 – see Important changes to applying for and maintaining registration as a liquidator from 1 January 2021. This guidance explains the key changes enacted by the Corporations Amendment (Corporate Insolvency […]

Bad bankruptcy notices

A bankruptcy notice was found to have been wrongly issued by the Official Receiver because it did not attach a final judgment or order of a court, merely a costs assessor’s certificate: Thomas v Raftopoulos [2020] FCCA 3515. According to AFSA’s explanation of the law in Official Receiver Practice Statement 6 – Applying for a […]

The financial viability of personal insolvency practice in Australia

The Australian bankruptcy regulator – AFSA – has been making inquiries about the financial health of bankruptcy trustee firms during what AFSA terms ‘the challenges presented by COVID-19’.   Those challenges have been exacerbated by the protective legislative responses to COVID-19 but the reality is that bankruptcies were falling in numbers the years up to […]