THE FEDERAL Government last week moved to close a legal loophole that will prevent people from avoiding their debts. The Bankruptcy Legislation Bill 2004 would address concerns that a part of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 was being manipulated by some people, according to Attorney General Philip Ruddock.
Part of the Bankruptcy Act offers a formal alternative to bankruptcy, which allows debtors to reach a binding agreement to pay their debts to creditors. Under the new Bill, however, creditors must accept whatever the debtor proposes as the best way to repay their debts.
The new legislation would ensure creditors have early access to information about their debtors and are permitted to request written declarations about any relationships creditors should be aware of, before they accept their payment proposals.
Personal insolvency agreements will have to be entered by debtors, and details about their payment proposals must be provided.