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Bankruptcy In Australia: Various Timelines To Consider

What Is a Bankruptcy Trustee?

If you are considering declaring bankruptcy, you need to understand the major individual who would be with you throughout your bankruptcy – the bankruptcy trustee. The trustee’s duty is to manage the entire process, evaluate your assets, and determine the right way to utilise them.

Let’s look at how the bankruptcy trustee can play a major role during your bankruptcy process.

What Are Bankruptcy Trustees?

A usual bankruptcy case begins when you submit a petition for bankruptcy that includes all your financial information, including liabilities, assets, existing expenditures, current income, leases, debts, and other details.

Once your petition for bankruptcy is accepted, the court appoints a bankruptcy trustee. A trustee could be an individual or a body responsible for handling your bankruptcy. This bankruptcy trustee could either be a registered trustee or an official trustee (AFSA). It is also possible for you to nominate a registered trustee for your case.

To fully understand what a bankruptcy trustee is and their responsibilities and role during the bankruptcy process, you must be aware of the bankruptcy estate concept. When a bankruptcy case is submitted, a bankruptcy estate is established that includes all the property of the debtor. The bankruptcy estate is considered a distinct legal entity that is separated from the debtor.

Since the bankruptcy estate isn’t a person, a bankruptcy trustee needs to step in and take control of the bankruptcy estate. The bankruptcy trustee gets to administrate control of your personal or business property and assets. They are obliged to impartially administer the property for a business or individual.

The bankruptcy trustee performs multiple tasks as specified by the law, depending on the individual bankruptcy case.

How Bankruptcy Trustees Can Help

Once a bankruptcy trustee has been assigned to your bankruptcy case, all of your assets and property under the bankruptcy will be under their control. Typically a bankruptcy trustee is responsible for the following:

  • Gathering the assets of the individual or business to sell-off
  • Investigating the financial affairs of the debtors
  • Examining any proofs of creditor’s claims, if any
  • Distributing the money gathered after selling off the debtor’s property to the creditors, as per a particular order
  • Opposing or approving any discharge of certain debts
  • Creating final and periodic reports, like tax reports, to multiple government agencies as required

Aside from selling your assets, the trustee also has the authority to conduct any investigation regarding the bankruptcy conduct before approving your bankruptcy case. Any transactions that could place the assets out of the creditor’s reach could be set aside, depending on the individual case and circumstances.

This might mean the transfer of assets for low value or even nil value to a relative or spouse during the time you suspect you might be insolvent and in an attempt to protect your asset. This could also include involving money paid for assets given to third parties. In both cases, the bankruptcy trustee has the authority to stop this transaction and recover the money from the third parties or the property from the relative or spouse to distribute to the creditors.

Smaller and simpler bankruptcies don’t usually recover extensive costs or complex investigations, but it is still important to be well aware of the bankruptcy trustee’s investigation rights.

It is essential to keep a few things in mind regarding the bankruptcy expert:

  • The bankruptcy trustee won’t represent you as the debtor but would be working for the bankruptcy court
  • You are allowed to represent yourself in front of the bankruptcy court but it is recommended to hire a bankruptcy expert to guide you through, particularly if your case is complex

The bankruptcy trustee is more like a guide to help you through the bankruptcy process. Your case would go more smoothly if you collaborate efficiently with your bankruptcy trustee, provide all the relevant information regarding your finances, participate in all meetings, and promptly respond to their requests.

BAC’s Experience As Bankruptcy Trustees

With more than 70 years of combined experience, Bankruptcy Advisory Center can guide you through financial distress and assist you throughout the bankruptcy process.

The BAC’s director is a registered Bankruptcy Trustee with AFSA and also a registered liquidator with ASIC. He has more than 30 years of experience assisting companies and individuals through the insolvency and bankruptcy stages.

The BAC team comprises qualified professionals who specialise in different areas of business and personal debt.

With the relevant expertise and knowledge, the team can identify the problem and create the best solutions, depending on your case.

Using the right professional bankruptcy assistance, you would be able to make an informed decision and come out of your financial problems. Get in touch with us for a free consultation



  • As a Trustee in Bankruptcy, Ross Thomson is often required to think outside the box. As well as creative thinking, Ross brings compassion to the table.

    For Ross, it’s important to see the people behind the financial problem –not just numbers.

    Ross recently helped a bankrupt client who lives in a retirement village with her seriously ill husband.

    The unit she & her husband live in is not owned by them, but subject to a 20-year lease.

    The money to be repaid by the management was due only at sale, when the client finally left the retirement village.

    Sale of the unit was likely to take several years &, if he did sell the couple’s unit, Ross realised he would be effectively evicting them from their home, without resources or family to help them.

    Ross decided to contact the retirement village management & put a proposal to them that they prepay some of the moneys they would otherwise pay the client.

    The village management considered the proposal & have agreed to prepay some of the moneys otherwise due.

    The client is relieved that she will not be evicted & can now concentrate on helping her husband through his health issues.

    The moneys paid represented about 75% of what would have been available to creditors if they waited two years.

    It is a win for the client and for the creditors.

  • I made an appointment with Andrew after finding him on google. I was nervous and apprehensive about what to expect but he made the process of bankruptcy extremely uncomplicated and stress free, allowing myself the opportunity to get the fresh start I was so desperate for. Thank you Andrew I could not recommend you enough.

  • Making the decision to go bankrupt was not easy however once I had spoken to Andrew i felt all my anxiety disappear. Andrew does not judge you and he has an innate ability to put you at ease. He took care of the whole process for me again reducing the stress involved with completing paperwork.
    Thank you very much.

    Hayley Eastough
  • I will definitely recommend Andrew Bell to anyone contemplating bankruptcy. Don't wait! Andrew is there to help. With his knowledge, he can advise you of the best path to take and assist with the mind boggling paperwork.

    Best of all, he is there for you through your entire bankruptcy period. Get your life back, it's not as bad as you think. Thank you Andrew for lifting the burden and allowing me to move on.

    Karilyn Mahon
  • I saw Andrew for 'advice only' on possible bankruptcy due to a divorce. Left an hour later with the paperwork all done and feeling like a new person!

    Andrew was extremely welcoming and made me feel so comfortable with my decision to proceed immediately.

    This was the best investment I have ever made and cannot speak highly enough of Andrew. He doesn't just give excellent service his follow up afterwards is amazing. Thankyou Andrew you made my 'new' life so easy to achieve!

    Vicki Johnston
  • Andrew was very helpful in helping me through the bankruptcy process, as a single mother left with a massive debt from my ex and our previous marriage. I was struggling to keep my head above water on a week to week basis.

    Andrew made me feel at ease immediately and helped me every step of the way, he happily and professionally answered any and all questions I had before, during and after the process. Thanks so much for your help Andrew!

    Aisha Edmonds
  • Would highly recommend Andrew to anyone having financial difficulties. Andrew made me feel very comfortable - he took care of everything and keep in regular contact with me throughout the whole process.

    Service was fantastic and he also keep in regular contact with me when everything had been finalised Thanks Andrew! can now get my life back on track.

    Cassandra Walsh
  • Very prompt service and excellent source of knowledge and information, I highly recommend Andrew's service for a quick turn around of circumstances.

    Eve Damjanovich
  • Andrew put my mind at ease in one easy appointment. Very satisfied with the outcome and service provided. Highly recommend Andrew.

    Tracey Douglas
  • Andrew was a steadying hand with his advice.Showing that things aren't as bad as first thought nor any obstacle insurmountable. If you have questions needing answers, Andrew is the person to ask. Thanks for your advice Andrew.

    Shane Thompson
  • Andrew was very knowledgeable, caring, helpful and compassionate when I went and saw him. He made me feel that I wasn’t the loser and failure that I thought I was being. Even down to the box of tissues on the table.. which I needed. Highly recommend to go see Andrew if your struggling. There is life after!

    Joanne Parker
  • Andrew and his team do an excellent job of helping their clients with bankruptcy advice and it is a pleasure to work with him.

    Gareth Lane
  • Don't hesitate contacting Andrew, I was stressed, struggled sleeping through debt. Andrew put me at ease. He listened to my situation and we decided on my next move. Andrew is professional and easy to talk too. I would recommend highly to anyone who wants help to give him a call. I appreciate your support Andrew. Regards Brett.

  • Andrew has given me back my life!!! After living paycheck to paycheck, I didn’t know what to do. Until I made the big step and booked an appointment with Andrew. As soon as I left his office I felt a huge weight lifted!!!

    Deezy H
  • Andrew was prompt, organised, friendly and efficient with the processing of my documents and made everything very simple for me so I didn’t need to deal with the added pressure and stress. Thank you Andrew for allowing me to start afresh and getting it done within a matter of weeks.


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What you need to know before declaring bankruptcy