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The bankruptcy system and the impacts of coronavirus

Closing date

The Australian Government invited submissions on possible changes to the bankruptcy system to inform the Australian Government's ongoing response to address the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), between 13 January and 12 February 2021.


The Bankruptcy Act 1966 regulates Australia's personal insolvency system. It creates a framework to allow people in severe financial stress to discharge unmanageable debts while providing for the realisation of a debtor's available assets for distribution to affected creditors.

The coronavirus pandemic has had wide reaching personal, employment and economic impacts across Australian communities, businesses, and industry sectors. The Australian Government made significant temporary amendments to the Bankruptcy Act and Regulations as part of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package in March 2020.

This discussion paper provided an overview of four elements of the Bankruptcy Act to guide stakeholder consideration:

  1. the default period of bankruptcy
  2. debt agreements
  3. personal insolvency agreements
  4. offence provisions.

Discussion questions were included as guidance. They were not intended to limit the scope of responses.

We also welcomed views on any other areas that stakeholders consider may address the impact of coronavirus, including the impact that it has had on unincorporated businesses such as sole traders and partnerships.

Download the discussion paper


We received 39 submissions from a wide variety of stakeholders including small business and consumer advocates, peak industry associations, insolvency practitioners and individuals.

We have published 33 submissions.

Submissions received for the consultation on the bankruptcy system and impacts of coronavirus

Use of your information

We will not publish your submission if you asked for it to remain confidential, or if we consider (for any reason) that it should not be made public. We may redact parts of published submissions, as appropriate.

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