Fact Sheet

by Shaw Gidley15.09.20

One of the most frequent questions asked about bankruptcy is “who will, or can, find out about my bankruptcy?”. Why people ask this question is for several reasons, but most often because they are fearful others can find out about their financial difficulties. The word “bankruptcy” historically has a commercial immorality connotation affecting one’s perception of the process or the individual. This article will outline the facts about the record which holds this information and what is available to the public.

What is the National Personal Insolvency Index (“NPII”)

The NPII is a public electronic record of personal insolvency options in Australia. It is essential to know if an individual enters into a Debt Agreement, or Bankruptcy or a Personal Insolvency Agreement this will be recorded on the NPII forever.

Who can access the NPII? 

Any person can access, for a fee to the information on the NPII. The public searches are available through the Bankruptcy Registry Search and will cost $15.

What is recorded on the NPII?

Below is a list of the information that is recorded: -

  1. The name and other personal information used to identify an individual: 
    1. Family and given names
    2. Date of birth, if known
    3. Aliases, if known
    4. Residential address at the date of lodgement of documents, if know
    5. Occupation, if known
  2. The type of personal insolvency option: - 
    1. Creditors Petitions
    2. Bankruptcies
    3. Debt Agreements
    4. Personal Insolvency Agreement proposals
    5. Personal Insolvency Agreements
    6. Part XI administration orders, known as bankrupt deceased estates
    7. Section 50 orders which are pre-bankruptcy property control orders
  3. The name of the trustee, administrator or controlling trustee, or proceeding, recording: 
    1. Their contact details,
    2. Their business name,
    3. Their business address and
    4. Their phone number
  4. The petitioning creditor and/or their solicitor, if applicable
  5. The date an administration or proceeding started
  6. The current status of the administration or proceeding, e.g. undischarged or discharged bankrupt

Note: - personal information, including address and occupation, is not changed once it has been recorded on the NPII. Although a bankrupt is required to notify the trustee of changes of details, it will not appear on the NPII.

What can I do if I am concerned about my safety and personal information being available on a public record? 

If a person believes that publishing their address on the NPII could jeopardise their safety, they can apply to have this information suppressed. They can apply to the Inspector-General and must include supporting documents. Examples of documents could consist of, domestic violence order, apprehended violence order or similar order; police report; or a report from a social worker, medical practitioner, psychiatrist or other relevant practitioners.

The applicant must submit the request form at the same time as their bankruptcy form. The decision to suppress information is usually made within one day to avoid delays to the lodgement of the paperwork. The application form can be found here.

What types of proceedings are listed on the NPII?

  • Creditors’ petitions
  • Bankruptcies
  • Debt agreements
  • Personal Insolvency Agreement proposals
  • Personal Insolvency Agreements
  • Part XI administration orders. These are known as bankrupt deceased estates
  • Section 50 orders which are pre-bankruptcy property control orders

What happens if I annul my bankruptcy?

Annulment of bankruptcy via full payment of the debts, or composition arrangement agreed by creditors or by the court, will be recorded on the NPII. The record will be updated to show that the bankruptcy has been annulled.

When applying for a job, do I need to advise of my bankruptcy status? 

The Bankruptcy Act does not require bankrupts to disclose their status when applying for employment. However, an employer might ask for this information or choose to complete a search on the NPII to find out.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding the NPII, or regarding bankruptcy in general:

Shaw Gidley are experts in restructuring, turnaround and insolvency and provide free initial advice on these matters. Please contact our offices on (02) 4908 4444 or (02) 6580 0400.