Bankruptcy is a legal status of an individual who cannot repay debts of greater than $15,000 and is declared a bankrupt by the High Court. The High Court usually appoints the Official Assignee to administer the bankrupt’s affairs in bankruptcy. These include the selling off of the bankrupt’s assets to repay his creditors, the registration of the creditors' claims and the distribution of dividends to the bankrupt’s creditors.
The Official Assignee
The Official Assignee is a public servant and an officer of the Court. The Official Assignee is assisted in her duties by the officers at the Insolvency Office. The High Court can appoint the Official Assignee as the trustee of the bankruptcy estate. Alternatively, the Court may appoint a private trustee to administer the bankrupt’s affairs if the petitioning creditor so requests.
The Official Assignee's role
The Official Assignee acts as the receiver of the bankrupt’s estate. The Official Assignee shall, as far as practicable, consult the creditors with respect to the management of the bankrupt’s estate. The Official Assignee investigates the conduct and affairs of the bankrupt and also recovers and realises his assets for distribution to the bankrupt’s creditors. The Official Assignee also assists the bankrupt in obtaining a discharge from bankruptcy.