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Before you file

Before filing an application for a bankruptcy order, make sure you:

What you will need

You will need to prepare these documents in accordance with the respective forms in the First Schedule of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution (Personal Insolvency) Rules.

Note: You must swear or affirm both of the affidavits before a Commissioner for Oaths (CFO). You should only sign the affidavits when you are in the presence of a CFO. Find out how to arrange for CFO services if you are not represented by a lawyer.

Refer to the downloaded form. For paragraph 1, you have to state which of the following is applicable to you:

  • You are domiciled in Singapore. This means you treat Singapore as your permanent home.
  • You have property in Singapore.
  • You have, at any time within the period of 1 year immediately before the date of the application, been ordinarily resident or has had a place of residence in Singapore.
  • You have, at any time within the period of 1 year immediately before the date of the application, carried on business in Singapore.

You will also have to state that you owe at least $15,000 worth of debt and are unable to repay the amount.

For paragraph 4, there are 2 versions of the text. You have to select the version that applies to you, based on whether you believe the Debt Repayment Scheme applies to you. Read paragraphs 4(a) to 4(j) for both versions carefully and delete the fields that do not apply to you.

For paragraph 6, you have to indicate whether the Official Assignee or a licensed insolvency practitioner has consented to being appointed as trustee of your bankruptcy estate.  A copy of the licensed insolvency practitioner’s licence granted under section 53 of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018 must be annexed if a licensed insolvency practitioner is being appointed as trustee of your bankruptcy estate. 

Estimated fees

Refer to the Third Schedule of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution (Personal Insolvency) Rules for the full list of fees. Examples of some of the fees include:

Item or service

Fee

File a bankruptcy application

$60

File an affidavit

$1 per page (including any exhibits)

File a Statement of Affairs

$5

Deposit paid to the Official Assignee

$1,850

Note: This table does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau, such as transmission and processing fees for applications filed through the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau and its handling fees.

How to file a debtor's bankruptcy application

You may choose to file personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the application will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, follow these steps to file your application in the General Division of the High Court.

Step

Result

1. Place a deposit with the Official Assignee

The Official Assignee receives the deposit and issues a receipt.

2. Find a licensed insolvency practitioner to consent to be nominated as the private trustee in bankruptcy

Licensed insolvency practitioner provides an unqualified written consent stating that the licensed insolvency practitioner consents to act as the trustee of the bankrupt’s estate pursuant to section 318A(a) of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018, and a copy of his or her licence granted under section 53 of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018.

3. File the documents via eLitigation

Your application is filed in the court.

4. Collect the endorsed documents

You receive a copy of the application documents that have been endorsed by the court.

Note: All forms must be typed except for the Statement of Affairs, which can be handwritten.

1. Place a deposit with the Official Assignee

You will need to place a bankruptcy deposit of $1,850 with the Official Assignee.

Payments can be made online at this link. Alternatively, it can be accessed via https://www.mlaw.gov.sg > eServices >Insolvency Office > eCollection Portal.

2. Find a licensed insolvency practitioner to consent to be nominated as the private trustee in bankruptcy

All bankruptcy cases are to be handled by private trustees in bankruptcy except for cases where the Official Assignee considers that there is public interest and consents to be appointed as the trustee in bankruptcy. The court hearing a bankruptcy application will not make a bankruptcy order on a bankruptcy application if neither a licensed insolvency practitioner nor the Official Assignee has consented to act as the trustee in bankruptcy. 

Obtain the written unqualified consent of a licensed insolvency practitioner stating that the licensed insolvency practitioner consents to act as the trustee of the bankrupt’s estate pursuant to section 318A(a) of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018 before filing the bankruptcy application.

Refer to the Ministry of Law's website for more information, including the listing of registered private trustees in bankruptcy.

3. File the documents via eLitigation

Visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file the following documents via eLitigation:

  • All the forms that you have prepared for your application.
  • The receipt for your deposit payment.
  • Licensed insolvency practitioner’s written consent.
  • Copy of licensed insolvency practitioner’s licence granted under section 53 of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018.

Refer to the Ministry of Law's website for more information, including the listing of registered private trustees in bankruptcy.

4. Collect the endorsed documents

The Service Bureau will notify you via email or SMS of whether your application documents have been accepted by the courts.

If the court accepts your application documents, you will be asked to return to the Service Bureau to collect an endorsed and sealed copy of the documents. This will include the date and time of a hearing that you must attend.

After you file

You must attend the hearing on the scheduled date and time. Find out what happens at a bankruptcy hearing.

Tip: If you are unable to attend, you must make a request to change the court date, which is subject to the court's approval.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Related questions

If you are filing a bankruptcy application against your firm, you can generally follow the same steps provided that the application is made by all the partners in the firm or a majority of such partners who are residing in Singapore at the time of the application

However, you need to submit all of the following statements together with your application:

  • A statement containing the particulars of your firm’s assets, creditors, debts and other liabilities as may be prescribed.
  • A Statement of Affairs of each of the firm's partners who are making the bankruptcy application. Each document should contain the particulars of each partner’s assets, creditors, debts and other liabilities as may be prescribed.
  • A statement containing such other information as may be prescribed.

Note: A firm and a company are different legal entities. For information on insolvency cases for companies, find out more about company winding up.

The deposit of $1,850 will not be refunded to bankrupts who have applied for their own bankruptcy.

If the bankruptcy application is dismissed by the court or if it is withdrawn, the Official Assignee will retain $50 as preliminary administration costs and refund $1,800 to the applicant who has filed the bankruptcy application. Refer to the Ministry of Law's website for more information.

That is a choice which you have to make. There is no requirement in law for you to do so.

No, filing of a bankruptcy application does not stop other court actions from happening. However, if your application is approved and you are declared a bankrupt, court actions against you will not be able to continue, unless the court gives permission in accordance with terms the court may impose. Refer to Section 327 of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act for more information.

2021/07/23

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