There are a number of services which can assist you if you are facing insolvency. These range from business services which assist your company or personal services to assist you as the business owner. If you believe you are heading towards insolvency, you are much better off entering voluntary administration at the earliest possible moment. If you wait until you are ordered into administration you will lose a lot of control over the outcome.
What business insolvency services are available to you?
- Voluntary administration: if you choose to enter voluntary administration, an administrator will look deeply into your company’s financial position and its history. The administrator then makes a recommendation to your creditors about how to proceed. The creditors can decide whether to adopt a Deed of Company Arrangement (if you propose one) or else they can either liquidate your company or return control back to you.
- Liquidation: if you choose to pay back your creditors by liquidating your company, a liquidator will sell off your assets for the benefit of your creditors. After your company assets are sold, your company will be deregistered and it will no longer exist. The liquidation of an insolvent company must be handled by a Registered Liquidator who is licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
- Receivership: your secured creditors may appoint a receiver (or a receiver and manager together) who releases your assets for the benefits of your creditors. This can occur at the same time that your company is in liquidation or voluntary administration, or it can occur separately. Unlike company liquidations, during this time a company with a receivership may continue to trade whilst a plan is worked out to repay the secured creditor.
- Creditor negotiation: insolvency practitioners can negotiate on your behalf with your creditors in order to create a plan that is realistically achievable. It is in your creditor's’ best interest to work with you to ensure they receive as much of their credit back as possible.
What personal insolvency services available?
- Bankruptcy: is a three-year process designed to provide a fair outcome for all involved if you are unable to pay your debts. Declaring bankruptcy will free you of any unsecured debts that were incurred before your bankruptcy began. There are serious consequences for bankruptcy however, so this should be considered your last resort.
- Bankruptcy alternatives: considering the serious consequences of bankruptcy, you should always consider the alternatives first. The main two options available to you are:
- Personal debt agreement: A debt agreement is a legally binding agreement made with your creditors which allows you to negotiate the amount of debt to be repaid and the time given to you to do so. Typically the negotiated sum is lower than your total outstanding debt - the difference is written off.
- Personal insolvency agreement: A PIA is a legally binding agreement which is similar to a debt agreement. Once approved, a PIA requires you to pay a regular sum for a period of 3 to 5 years until your debt is repaid. The interest on your debts is frozen during this time and a trustee is appointed as the point of contact for your creditors.