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Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is the legal designation that an individual cannot repay their debts. Although a person may be in debt, they will not be deemed bankrupt unless they file for it voluntarily or a Court designates them as being bankrupt. When this happens, a person’s assets may be seized to repay debts and they will also be listed on the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) forever. Further, restrictions are placed upon their passport. The NPII is a publicly searchable register, meaning that anyone can access this information. When a business is unable to repay their debts, they are designated as being insolvent.

Voluntary versus involuntary bankruptcy

Voluntary bankruptcy is when a person files for bankruptcy. This is because they cannot repay debts they owe. When a person files for bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed by the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), who then manages the person’s financial affairs. Bankruptcy last for three years from the date of filing.
Involuntary bankruptcy is when a creditor (or a number of creditors) files a notice for bankruptcy with the Court. When this is filed, a debtor has 21 days to pay back the debt. If the debt is not repaid, the debtor will be made bankrupt.

Legislation

The Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) and the Bankruptcy Regulations 1966 govern bankruptcy matters in Australia. The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) is the regulatory body which administers these laws.

What is a Personal Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Personal bankruptcy lawyers assist individuals who are in financial difficulty and can no longer able to pay their debts. Lawyers who specialise in personal bankruptcy are highly experienced and committed to getting the best outcome for you. Generally, insolvency laws are complex and are sometimes difficult to understand. It is recommended to consult personal bankruptcy lawyers who have the expertise and ability to navigate these laws, and advise on your rights and obligations before and after you are released from bankruptcy. Personal bankruptcy lawyers offer the following services:

  • Preparation of bankruptcy notices
  • Making applications to court
  • General advice on the financial agreements that were signed and entered into
  • Advocating for early release from bankruptcy
  • Information and advice on the validity of bankruptcy notices
  • Advice on resisting bankruptcy applications in court
  • Assistance with negotiating and dealing with debt collectors

Why do I need a Personal Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Personal bankruptcy lawyers should be your first point of contact if you are experiencing financial hardship. Lawyers specialising in personal bankruptcy will make sure early action is taken to avoid severe consequences from occurring, and identify any potential risks. Moreover, personal bankruptcy lawyers will inform you of which legal option is right for you. These lawyers will ensure you are fully informed of the process and are aware of your rights and responsibilities. Personal bankruptcy lawyers will take you carefully through each step of the bankruptcy process. If you do not seek the right advice, serious consequences can arise. It is prudent to consult with personal bankruptcy lawyers who will deal with each issue immediately and effectively.

If you require the services a personal bankruptcy lawyer you can submit a quote through LawPath. You can then compare fixed-price quick quotes from our expert lawyers, as well their experience, price and expertise, before you hire the right one for your job.

What will a Personal Bankruptcy Lawyer provide?

Personal bankruptcy will provide effective solutions to their clients that are specifically catered to their situation. While keeping their clients’ best interests in mind, personal bankruptcy lawyers will commit to minimising the damage bankruptcy can have on your wellbeing and finances from beginning to end. You can confidently rely and trust personal bankruptcy lawyers to achieve a positive outcome.

How much will a Personal Bankruptcy Lawyer charge?

Usually, personal bankruptcy lawyers, and lawyers in general, charge either a fixed amount or an hourly rate. Also, fees are calculated based on the solicitor’s expertise, seniority, location and whether the work is urgent. However, be aware that some law firms may offer a ‘no win no fee’ arrangement.

We work with lawyers in our lawyer network who specialise in bankruptcy law and can provide assistance on a fixed-price basis. We make sure the price is transparent and affordable. There are no hidden costs and you have the option of choosing who you want to be your lawyer.

Hourly rates and Court fees

The cost of a Personal Bankruptcy Lawyer will vary based on the scope of the work. Small issues likely to be addressed quickly will cost less. For matters that will need to go to the relevant Court or Tribunal, there may be additional fees involved, particularly as this work takes time. These types of matters may also involve obtaining documents and negotiating with the other party.

What can a Personal Bankruptcy Lawyer legally charge?

Legal costs can rise very quickly, especially in litigation. However, this is sometimes hard to avoid when work is being done by a lawyer on an hourly basis. Where fixed-fees are not offered by the lawyer, you should expect to be invoiced on a monthly basis with a time period within which you are required to make payment. Lawyers are required to adhere to the rules outlined in the relevant acts. For example, in NSW and Victoria, this is the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014. Lawyers who do not comply with these rules can face disciplinary action from the law society of their State.

Lawyers are required to provide to their clients a document called a ‘costs disclosure’ if your costs will be higher than $750.00. This document will outline how costs will be calculated in relation to your case. Also be mindful that costs are divided into ‘professional costs’ and ‘disbursements’, and you will be expected to pay for both. Professional costs are the costs of the actual work done by the lawyer, whilst disbursements cover incidentals such as court filing fees, telephone calls, photocopying charges – amongst other things.

What if I don’t agree with the costs?

You have the right to request an itemised bill that will outline how much time was spent on each task in relation to your matter, and how this adds up to the fee you’re requested to pay. If you wish to dispute the cost, you can make a complaint to the The Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC) and they will investigate the matter and may allocate a costs assessor. You can also take further legal action in the Courts if you feel you have been unfairly charged.

Further information