Avoiding bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal process that releases a person from almost all of their debts. However, it has many serious consequences that will affect your future, so it’s best to fully understand the implications. Remember, declaring bankruptcy may not clear all your debts.

    Who can help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you?


    Ultimately you need to decide whether bankruptcy is right for you. A Financial Counsellor can work with you to help you understand how bankruptcy will affect you and identify any alternative options. If you decide that bankruptcy is your best option, our financial counsellor can assist you with the process, free of charge. They will also be able to guide you through the paperwork to make the process a little easier.


    For detailed information on bankruptcy, visit the Australian Financial Security Authority.


    What are the consequences of declaring bankruptcy?


    Bankruptcy has a number of short and long-term consequences that vary from person to person. We have listed a few examples of what you can expect below.

    1. You’ll be listed on the National Personal Insolvency Index for life.
    2. Your name will be placed on a credit file, which may affect your ability to borrow money in the future.
    3. You may be prevented from taking up certain jobs in the future.
    4. You may not be able to rent certain properties.
    5. You may lose some of your assets, including your home and/or your car.
    6. You may be prevented from travelling overseas.
    7. Contributions may be taken from your wages if your income is above the index amount. The index amount changes from time to time so you should visit the Australia Financial Security Authority website to find out.



    What options exist?


    Financial difficulty is something that can affect anyone. Fortunately, there are a number of options to help you get back on track and prevent you incurring further debt. The options include:

    • Bankruptcy
    • Debt agreement
    • Personal insolvency agreement

    You can discuss these options, and how they would effect you, with your Financial Counsellor.

    Preventative measures


    Due to the varied and serious consequences of declaring bankruptcy, it should only be considered as a last resort.
    Consider the following steps to help you overcome your financial predicament without bankruptcy.

    Talk to your creditor
    The sooner a creditor knows about something, the more they can help you.
    Seek help
    Get legal advice or talk to a Financial Counsellor about your financial position and the consequences of any debt you have.
    Make a plan
    Be prepared. Know your rights and responsibilities and have a solution in place when a creditor or debt collector contacts you.
    Is it your debt?
    Check that the debt is actually yours. If you are unsure, do not admit responsibility for it. It may be an old debt nearing the end of its legal collection period, at which time it becomes statute barred, and not recoverable. To find out more seek legal advice or call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.

    Additional information

    women meeting with finance councillor
    Looking for guidance?
    Contact us today to organise a meeting with one of our financial counsellors.

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